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Holes In Pothos Leaves: 7 Common Causes

Pothos always remain among the most favorite indoor plants thanks to their gorgeous leaves. However, holes in pothos leaves will ruin all the beauty that nature gives them. So, what can you do in this case? You can blame this plant problem for numerous reasons. Once you’ve determined the causes, you can find the solutions easily.

If you don’t know where to start, we will lead the way. Let’s check out our guide and learn how to give your plants the best treat!

7 Reasons That Cause Holes In Pothos Leaves

Check for the following issues if you notice pothos plant holes in the leaves. They may be the cause of plant problems.

Liriomyza Melanogaster

One of the causes of holes in Pothos leaves is the Liriomyza Melanogaster fly. Because they are night lovers, you can’t find them during the day. If you suspect these obnoxious bugs are making holes in your pothos, you can visit a plant store and purchase Phoxim or other insecticides to deter them permanently. Also, be sure to get rid of any affected leaves.


Remind yourself how often you relocate your plants and change your room decorations. Your plant will suffer from wear and tear if you carry out these tasks regularly. You may unintentionally hurt the leaf blade or inner tissues. You can’t see them immediately, but they will become apparent in a few days.

There’s a chance of a baby plant getting damaged. When it grows up, holes appear. Such a thing can happen when you move your plants around your house.

Regularly relocate and change plant may cause wear and tear on plants.

Leaf spot disease

Leaf spot disease always starts as tiny, harmless spots on a few leaves. Several adjacent leaves also developed similar brown stains as a result of it. Later, as the illness progresses, the holes show up in the leaves.

Infected pothos can spread the illness to other healthy plants. Therefore, as soon as you spot them, cut the leaves off the plant and destroy them immediately. There are several medications that can cure the disease completely, but it is important to consult with a professional for specific recommendations.

Shot hole disease

Shot hole disease can occur on fruit plants and indoor pothos. If you often keep your plant in moist soil, it may lead to the disease. Shothole disease thrives in wet conditions. Once it grows, the newly emerging leaves will encounter a huge problem.

At the early stage, you can see reddish or purple spots on the pothos leaves. They will become more apparent over time and appear as holes. Watering plays a vital role in controlling this disease. Only water your plant when the top inches of the soil are dry.

Low humidity level

If only new leaves have holes, low humidity levels in the house may be the issue. Pothos don’t like dry environments; they demand a high humidity level. The leaf’s ridges seem to get crisper and lose water when the humidity is low.

Moreover, they can stick to each other when fresh leaves emerge. Because of their inflexibility, fresh leaves will be more susceptible to the unfurling process.

You can buy a humidifier and put it next to your plant to improve the situation. If you can’t afford this device, use a water bowl as an alternative.

Low humidity levels may be the issue for Pothos holes.

Excessive fertilization

Overfertilization can change the soil’s normal pH levels and dramatically increase the salt content, which can scorch the leaves and cause holes. The bad soil will even damage the plant tissues. So, if your leaves are either developing holes or leaves turning brown or black, stop applying fertilizer for a while.

Another thing to note is that holes in pothos leaves are common among planters who routinely use granular nitrogen fertilizers. Hence, choosing the right type of fertilizer for your plant is important.

If your pothos is flourishing without vitamins, do not fertilize it. And if you think it’s necessary, always choose liquid nutrients and meticulously check the label for the recommended dose.


Insects, like bush crickets and caterpillars, are nightmares for pothos. They will infest your plants and make holes in the leaves.

  • Bush crickets: Pothos leaves with holes are the result of bush crickets eating your plant. They will also lay eggs on the leaves.
  • Caterpillars: These leaf miners feed on their host plant when they hatch. They can eat an entire leaf.
  • Slugs and snails: These animals are not insects. Yet, they have the same negative effects on your plant as caterpillars and bush crickets. They eat your pothos, leaving small or medium holes in the foliage.

How To Prevent Holes On Pothos Leaves?

We have mentioned the causes of Pothos holes in leaves and some effective solutions. Yet there are still other methods for preventing this problem.

Use organic solutions

Organic solutions do an excellent job of eliminating pests and keeping your plants healthy. Here are some ideas to try:

  • Neem oil: This natural solution can deal with annoying leaf miners. You should dilute the oil and spray it on your plant every month.
  • Apple cider vinegar: Use the diluted vinegar to wipe the pothos leaves, and you can prevent pests.
  • Dish soap: A mixture of water and dish soap can eliminate mites and bugs in your plant.

Change the potting mix.

It might be advisable to change the potting mix if Liriomyza Melanogaster is killing your pothos leaves. An insecticide alone might not be sufficient to entirely eradicate the pests. Luckily, the potting mix is fairly pest-resistant. Make sure to thoroughly rinse the roots with water before placing the potting mix on them.

Deal with physical damage

Physical harm may happen while the plant is still growing. The leaves are still too weak to withstand the damage. To minimize physical damage, keep in mind these tips:

  • Do it with caution if you need to move or repot the plant.
  • Leave enough distance between the Pothos and other plants when growing them outside.
  • Keep the pothos indoors, far from the kids’ playground. Make sure your pets can’t get to the plants either.
Be careful because physical harm may happen while the plant is still growing

Control pests

If pests are the cause of the holes in your Pothos leaves, apply these tips to remove pests and prevent them from destroying the entire plant.

  • Spray the insecticide at night to kill Liliomyza melanogaster because it’s nocturnal.
  • Clean snails and slugs by hand if you spot them. Another way to set up a trap is to place a plate filled with beer next to the bottom of the plant. The beer can lure snails and slugs, who drown in it.
  • Turn off the lights at night if bush crickets cause holes in pothos leaves.
  • If you can’t kill pests, let their predators do it. Introducing spiders, birds, lizards, or cats is a good idea.
  • Handpick and throw the caterpillars away. You can also use parasitic wasps for this purpose.

Dealing with malnutrition

Your plant needs boric acid. You can dilute it and feed it to your plant every one or two months. Remember to water pothos anytime you fertilize.

Apply sufficient amounts of diluted fertilizer each month as well. Overfertilizing the pothos can lead to mineral excess, so avoid doing it. If you use too much fertilizer, remove the pothos from the pot, give the roots a thorough scrubbing to clear any extra minerals, and report it.

Control leaf disease

Leaf spot results from a fungal or bacterial infection, and overwatering is the primary reason for the disease. So how do you water your plant correctly?

  • Do not mist the plant or apply water directly to the soil.
  • Aerate the potting soil frequently before watering your plant.
  • Only water if the top two inches of the soil are dry.
  • Improve the ventilation of your plant by spacing and pruning it.
  • Prune all the infected leaves to prevent the infection from spreading.


Pothos with holes in the leaves will be terrible for the entire plant’s development. As a result, treat the pothos with holes using our guides right when you notice them. Hopefully, you will have healthy and gorgeous Pothos as you expect.

Please let us know if you have any problems growing your plant. We will be glad to help.

Kelly Lawrence

Kelly Lawrence

Kelly Lawrence is the CEO of Flower Bed Nursery. She has over 10 years in the writing and editing industry, she brings a wealth of expertise and creativity to the world of gardening.