Why Are My Satin Pothos Leaves Curling?

Satin pothos, also known by its scientific name Scindapsus pictus, is a popular houseplant known for its shiny, satiny leaves. However, many satin pothos owners notice that their plant’s leaves start to curl under at the edges, giving the leaves an unsightly appearance. What causes satin pothos leaves to curl, and what can you do to fix it?

Common Causes of Curling Satin Pothos Leaves

There are several common reasons why the leaves on your satin pothos may be curling under. Here are some of the most likely culprits:


One of the most common causes of curling pothos leaves is underwatering. Satin pothos need a fairly consistent supply of water to look their best. If the plant goes too long without water, the leaves will start to curl and droop.

Signs that your plant is underwatered include:

  • Leaves feeling limp or droopy
  • Leaves curling under at edges
  • Soil is completely dry
  • Pot feels very light when lifted
  • New growth is smaller than usual

To fix an underwatered pothos, give it a thorough soak and allow the excess water to drain out. Water again when the top inch or two of soil has dried out. Satin pothos should be watered whenever the soil is partly but not completely dry.


While underwatering causes curling leaves, overwatering can cause similar issues. If the soil stays soggy and roots don’t get enough oxygen, the leaves will start to droop and curl under.

Signs of overwatering include:

  • Leaves yellowing or browning
  • Soft, mushy leaves
  • Mold or fungus on soil
  • Wet soil that takes a long time to dry out
  • Roots that are dark brown or black

To remedy overwatering, allow the soil to completely dry out before watering again. Cut back on watering frequency and make sure the pot has drainage holes to prevent excess moisture buildup.

Low Humidity

Satin pothos prefer higher humidity levels of 50-60%. In drier indoor air, the leaves may start to curl or brown on the edges as they lose moisture.

Ways to increase humidity for your pothos include:

  • Using a pebble tray filled with water
  • Grouping plants together to create a humid microclimate
  • Mist leaves regularly with a spray bottle
  • Use a humidifier nearby
  • Move plant to a bathroom or kitchen where humidity levels tend to be higher

Sunlight Issues

Too much or too little light can also cause satin pothos leaves to curl. These plants do best in bright, indirect light. Low light causes the leaves to curl under in an effort to expose more surface area to sunlight. Too much direct sun will scorch the leaves, causing them to yellow, brown, and curl.

Make sure your pothos is getting adequate bright, indirect light. Move it further from a window if the leaves are scorched. Provide artificial lighting if the area is too dark.

Temperature Stress

Excessive heat or cold can put stress on satin pothos. Temperatures above 85°F or sudden drops to 50°F or below may shock the plant, causing leaf curl.

Try to keep the plant in an environment between 65-80°F. Move it away from drafty windows, heating/cooling vents, or other sources of temperature extremes.

Pest Infestations

Houseplant pests like spider mites, mealybugs, and scale can infest the leaves and stems of pothos plants. As they feed, the leaves will often curl and deform. Check for tiny insects or webbing on the undersides of leaves and along the stems. Wipe leaves with a damp cloth to remove any visible pests, and use horticultural oils or insecticidal soaps to treat infestations. Isolate the affected plant away from other houseplants.

Nutrient Deficiencies

If the soil lacks essential nutrients, satin pothos leaves may start to yellow and curl under. Adding a balanced fertilizer diluted to half-strength once a month will provide nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and micronutrients. Avoid over-fertilizing, which can burn the leaves. If using compost or slow-release fertilizer, supplementing with liquid fertilizer may not be necessary.

How to Fix Curling Satin Pothos Leaves

If your satin pothos is showing signs of curling leaves, take the following steps to get it back to health:

  • Examine the plant and look for any signs of pests, disease, or other underlying issues. Check the soil moisture and drainage.
  • Evaluate watering routine and make adjustments to correct any underwatering or overwatering issues. Water when partly but not entirely dry.
  • Provide good humidity by using pebble trays, misting leaves, or using a humidifier. 40-50% humidity is ideal.
  • Ensure proper lighting. Satin pothos need bright, indirect light. Move plant if it is getting too much sun or too little light.
  • Maintain ideal temperatures between 65-80°F. Move plant away from drafty areas or heating/cooling vents.
  • Treat any pests such as spider mites that may be present. Wipe leaves with damp cloth and use horticultural oils/insecticidal soaps.
  • Fertilize monthly during the growing season with a balanced houseplant fertilizer to prevent nutrient deficiencies.
  • Remove damaged leaves by trimming them off at the base of the stem. This conserves the plant’s energy.
  • Allow time for recovery. It takes a while for satin pothos to bounce back from stress. Continue proper care and new growth should recover.

With some time and attentive care, a satin pothos showing curling leaves can make a full recovery. Be patient and tend to its needs. Once the underlying issues are corrected, it will start producing beautiful foliage once again.

FAQ About Curling Satin Pothos Leaves

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about curling leaves in satin pothos plants:

Why are the leaves on my satin pothos curling downwards?

The most common causes of downwards curling (leaves curling under) are underwatering, overwatering, low humidity, too much or too little light, temperature stress, pests, and nutrient deficiencies. Evaluate your plant’s care and correct any issues that may be contributing to the problem.

What causes satin pothos leaves to curl upwards?

Upward curling is not as common, but can be caused by overwatering or high temperatures. The leaf edges may curl up in an effort to prevent water loss. Keep the soil from getting waterlogged and maintain optimal temperatures.

Why are the leaves on my pothos plant curling and turning yellow?

Yellow, curled leaves are often caused by overwatering or lack of nutrients. Allow the soil to dry between waterings. Add a balanced fertilizer monthly to provide essential nutrients. Remove any leaves that are heavily yellowed or damaged.

How can I fix my pothos if the leaves are small and curling?

When pothos leaves are abnormally small and curled, it is usually from a lack of light. Provide bright, indirect sunlight or artificial lighting if natural light is insufficient. Increase water and fertilizer to support new growth.

What causes pothos leaves to curl and drop?

If pothos leaves are curling, turning yellow, and dropping, the cause is likely underwatering. The plant is stressed and shedding leaves to conserve resources. Provide thorough waterings when the top soil becomes partly dry. Increase humidity as well.

Why are my pothos leaves limp, droopy and curling?

Limp, droopy, curled leaves most often indicate underwatering. Feel the soil and water if the top few inches are dry. Drooping leaves can also be caused by overwatering, so check that the soil is not soggy or compacted.

How much light does a pothos need to prevent curling leaves?

Pothos do best with bright, indirect sunlight. Some morning or late afternoon sun is tolerated. Low light causes leaves to curl and reach for light. Direct hot sunlight will scorch leaves. Adjust the location to give your pothos adequate diffuse light.


Curling leaves on your prized satin pothos can be alarming, but are often a sign that something is simply amiss with its care and environment. By systematically evaluating watering, light, humidity, temperature, pests, and fertilization, you can get to the root of the problem and take steps to revitalize your plant. Satin pothos are fairly forgiving, and with a little time and attention, your plant will be back to showing off its beautiful, satiny leaves. With the proper care, your pothos will continue growing and trailing in your home for years to come.

Why Are My Satin Pothos Leaves Curling?

Satin pothos, with their showy and satiny-textured leaves, are a popular houseplant. However, the leaves curling is a common problem that plagues these plants. Curled leaves on your satin pothos can indicate several underlying issues. Let’s examine the possible causes and solutions to revive your plant back to health.

Common Reasons for Curling Leaves on Satin Pothos


Satin pothos need consistently moist soil, but not soggy. Underwatering is the most common reason for curled leaves. Check if the soil is partly dry and the plant is drooping. Water thoroughly until it drains from the bottom and repeat when the top inch of soil dries.


Too much water can also curl the leaves. Check for soggy soil that stays wet for too long. Allow the soil to completely dry before watering again. Improve drainage by repotting with fresh potting mix.

Low Humidity

Satin pothos prefer 40-60% humidity. In dry air, the leaves lose moisture and curl up. Mist frequently, use pebble trays, increase nearby plants, or use a humidifier to boost humidity.

Inadequate Lighting

Insufficient light causes the leaves to curl and stretch upwards to reach better light exposure. Move the plant to a brighter location or use grow lights if natural light is low.

Excessive Light

Too much direct sunlight can burn and dry out the leaves. Move the plant back from bright southern windows. East or west light is better. Provide shade if needed.

Temperature Stress

Very warm or cold temps shock the plant, causing leaves to curl. Keep your pothos between 60°F and 80°F and away from drafty areas.

Nutrient Deficiency

Without enough fertilizer, plants can’t produce healthy leaves. Apply a balanced liquid fertilizer monthly. Repot in fresh soil yearly to replenish nutrients.


Spider mites, mealybugs and other pests can infest pothos, causing leaves to curl and deform. Check for webbing and tiny insects under the leaves. Wipe with neem oil or insecticidal soap solution.

How to Fix Curling Leaves on Satin Pothos

  • Evaluate watering and adjust frequency to keep soil evenly moist.
  • Provide humidity through misting, pebble trays, and humidifiers.
  • Ensure the plant gets bright, indirect light daily.
  • Maintain ideal temperatures between 60°F and 80°F.
  • Apply a balanced liquid fertilizer monthly during growing season.
  • Inspect for pests and treat any infestations. Isolate affected plants.
  • Be patient! It takes time for pothos to recover once issues are corrected.

With the proper adjustments to care, new satin pothos growth should resume normally. Remove any severely damaged leaves. Your pothos’ foliage will soon return to its signature shiny and sleek look.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are the leaves on my satin pothos curling downwards?

Downward curling leaves are most often caused by underwatering. Feel the soil to check for dryness and water thoroughly when the top inch becomes partly dry.

What causes satin pothos leaves to curl upwards?

Upward curling is usually due to significant overwatering. Allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again. Improve drainage to prevent moisture buildup.

Why do the leaves on my pothos keep curling?

If your pothos leaves constantly curl, the problem is likely inconsistent watering. Satin pothos need fairly constant moisture. Check soil frequently and water when partly dry.

How can I tell if my pothos is being overwatered or underwatered?

Overwatered pothos will have very wet soil that takes long to dry out. Underwatered plants will have dry, lightweight soil and limp, drooping leaves. Adjust watering frequency accordingly.

What causes new leaves on pothos to be small and curled?

Insufficient light causes pothos leaves to be abnormally small and curled as they struggle to reach light sources. Provide bright, indirect lighting or supplemental grow lights.

How much humidity does a satin pothos need?

Satin pothos thrive in 40-60% humidity. Use a humidifier or pebble tray to maintain humidity. Mist leaves frequently to prevent leaf curl in dry air.

How can I increase humidity for my satin pothos houseplant?

Group plants together, use a pebble tray filled with water, mist frequently with a spray bottle, place in bathrooms/kitchens, or use a humidifier to increase humidity around your satin pothos.

Final Thoughts

With some adjustments to care, a satin pothos with curling leaves can make a full recovery. Proper watering, humidity, light, temperature, nutrients and pest management will get your plant back on track. Examine your plant closely to pinpoint causes and address any issues promptly. With the right conditions, your pothos will soon produce stunning satiny leaves.