Most tropical or subtropical plants are ideal for indoor growth as they prefer the same temperature and humidity levels as their owners. The ever-popular Pothos plant is no exception. Preferring warm environments and high humidity but adapting well to changes in conditions, meeting this richly symbolic plant’s preferences is simple if you follow this guide.
- Pothos Plant Temperature and Humidity Range – The Essentials
- Typical Temperature and Humidity Ranges Pothos Plants Receive in Their Native Habitats
- Signs Your Pothos Plants Are Exposed to the Wrong Temperature and Humidity
- Ideal Temperature and Humidity Considerations for Pothos Plants
- How to Boost Humidity in Your Home
- Caring for Pothos Plants in Spring and Summer
- Caring for Pothos Plants Over Winter
- Wrap Up
Pothos Plant Temperature and Humidity Range – The Essentials
Found in tropical environments, Pothos plants prefer warmer temperatures and higher humidity. Temperatures between 65F and 85F are ideal, but they can handle slightly higher or lower temperatures for short periods. Humidity around 60% is preferred, but Pothos plants will thrive in anything above 40%.
Typical Temperature and Humidity Ranges Pothos Plants Receive in Their Native Habitats
Pothos plants (Epipremnum aureum) are thought to be native to the islands of French Polynesia. Due to their quick growth and spread, they have become naturalized in tropical and sub-tropical areas around the world. They can be found growing up tree trunks in these areas, with leaves far larger than we may recognize indoors.
In these tropical climates, Pothos plants are accustomed to temperatures around 68F to 85F. Rarely, if ever, do temperatures drop below 65F. They don’t reach much higher than 85F either, as intense scorching temperatures are not common.
Tropical rainforests are known for their high humidity environments. Pothos plants are used to humidity levels between 60 and 80% in their natural habitats. The concentration of plants and high levels of moisture due to consistent rainfall produce these conditions.
Luckily, Pothos plants (including variegated pothos cultivars) will grow happily indoors without an exact match in these conditions. They are very adaptable plants, happy in a slightly wider temperature range and much lower humidity if their other needs are consistently met.
As long as the temperature does not dip below 60F very often and the humidity is above 40%, your Pothos should stay healthy.
Signs Your Pothos Plants Are Exposed to the Wrong Temperature and Humidity
Temperature and humidity can be difficult conditions to manage. When it is in the wrong range, it can negatively impact your plants. Your Pothos will typically display these signs of struggle, indicating a problem you can fix.
If the leaves of your Pothos suddenly turn yellow (or worse, black) during a cold spell, the temperature is too low. Freezing temperatures can permanently damage the cells in the leaves, causing the parts of the plant exposed to the cold to die off. The leaves may also drop off in response to environmental stress as a survival mechanism.
Just one day of cold exposure can do a lot of damage. Temperatures below 50F will likely kill off whole parts of the plant, if not the entire plant. Make sure you keep your Pothos in a warm spot and move it away from windows during winter where cold air collects.
Stunted growth is another sign of a temperature problem. Pothos plants will stop growing in temperatures below 65F, as they are not accustomed to anything lower in their natural habitats.
They will also stop growing in temperatures above 90F to conserve their energy and water for survival during heat waves.
If you notice your plant stops growing in conjunction with a sudden temperature change, that is likely the cause of the issue. Move the plant to a room with more moderate temperatures with fewer fluctuations throughout the seasons. This is a key consideration as well when propagating pothos plants.
If temperatures are too high for long periods, the leaves may begin to wilt. This occurs due to a lack of water in the stems and leaves from the high heat and evaporation.
Keep your Pothos well-watered during the peak of summer, and make sure it is not exposed to direct sun during this time to avoid leaf scorch. For past prime foliage, consider pruning your pothos plant.
Dried Leaf Tips
The tips of your Pothos leaves turning dry, and brown indicates a humidity problem. While they can manage lower humidity levels than what they may encounter in their natural habitats, excessively low humidity can dry out the plant and cause the leaves to crisp up.
Humidity is an essential component in the processes of transpiration and photosynthesis. When the humidity is low, the plant tries to conserve water by limiting evaporation through the leaves. While this does conserve moisture in the short term, it stops the plant from cooling itself, increasing the temperature and ultimately drying out the leaves.
Lack of humidity also inhibits photosynthesis, which directly impacts plant growth. Humidity should remain above 40% to keep the Pothos in optimal conditions.
Humidity on the higher end of the spectrum can also have problematic consequences. While humidity above 80% is not common indoors, placing your Pothos too close to a humidifier or in areas without adequate airflow can result in mold growth due to the higher levels of moisture in the air.
You may see this mold growth on the leaves or on top of the soil. If this is the case, move your plant to another part of your home with lower humidity levels.
While overwatering or poor soil structure is usually the leading cause of root rot, high humidity can also be part of the problem. When humidity is high, less evaporation occurs due to the higher moisture content in the air.
Less evaporation means the moisture remains in the soil for more extended periods than the plant is used to, resulting in root rot. When dealing with root rot you’ll want to consider repotting your pothos plant afresh.
Ideal Temperature and Humidity Considerations for Pothos Plants
To make your Pothos as happy as possible, keep indoor temperatures between 65F and 85F throughout the year. They will manage in temperatures as high as 90F but will stop growing in any temperatures more elevated than that.
60F is the lower limit for your Pothos plants. They may survive when exposed to lower temperatures for a day or two but will stop growing entirely and may take a while to recover. Any temperatures below 50F will likely kill your plant, so it’s vital to ensure your indoor temperatures remain in a comfortably warm range.
When it comes to humidity, around 60% – 70% is ideal for optimal growth. However, they will still grow well in any humidity levels above 40%. Keep this consistent, as dry seasons can have long-term negative impacts on your plant.
To keep temperature and humidity within this range, invest in a meter that can consistently monitor the conditions around your plants. These affordable devices can be placed right next to your Pothos to tell you precisely what the plant is experiencing. Keep a few around each of your houseplants, and keep an eye out for any changes.
Where To Place Your Pothos
South or west-facing windows are suitable if shaded by a sheer curtain. In summer, south-facing windows may build up too much heat, so it’s best to move your Pothos away from the window during hotter periods.
When it comes to light, Pothos plants can handle north-facing windows, but they should be moved to a different spot in winter. Cold air intensifies near glass windows, especially north-facing windows that receive no sunlight in winter.
Managing Changes In Temperature
Several things can influence the temperature and humidity inside your home (apart from the outside temperature, of course).
Open windows or air conditioners can produce dry or cold air that negatively impacts your Pothos if they are in the path of the draft. These drafts will dry out the soil incredibly quickly and stress the plants.
Ensure there is some airflow by giving your Pothos space, but not so much artificial airflow that it does damage.
In winter, heaters also have a negative impact on your plants. They may make you more comfortable, but the dry, hot air they produce can quickly damage your Pothos. Make sure your heater does not make humidity dip too low or move your Pothos to another room instead.
How to Boost Humidity in Your Home
Low humidity can make growing any houseplants an uphill battle in drier climates. Luckily, there are a few ways to increase the humidity around your plants to give them the conditions they prefer.
Misting is often recommended for improving humidity. While this does have some benefits, it doesn’t improve conditions long-term. Unless you want to spend your time misting your houseplants several times a day, you’re better off with one of the other methods.
Placing your houseplants on a tray filled with pebbles and water is another recommendation. This does improve humidity in the right room, but only by a tiny bit. If you’re well below the required levels, it may not make the impact you’re hoping for.
One of the best ways to increase humidity without any cost is to group your houseplants together. Placing several plants next to each other raises the humidity in that area, improving the conditions for all of the plants. As long as there is enough airflow between them, you shouldn’t have any issues with pests or diseases.
Finally, the best and most reliable way to improve humidity is to invest in a humidifier. While they can be pricey, humidifiers are a game-changer for houseplant growth. They dramatically improve conditions and create the right environments for optimal growth, giving you the happiest plants possible.
Caring for Pothos Plants in Spring and Summer
Pothos peak growing season occurs during spring and summer, so the right conditions are paramount. Monitor temperatures throughout the seasons, especially if you live in a region with frequent spells above 90F.
If temperatures increase, move the plant to a cooler room for a few days to avoid stunting growth. Keep your Pothos away from any running air conditioners in summer too.
You may have a more humid warm season or a drier warm season, depending on your region. Consistently monitor the humidity in your home and adjust the conditions accordingly.
Your pothos plants will also benefit from light fertilizing during the spring and summer months.
Caring for Pothos Plants Over Winter
As temperatures drop, it’s essential to keep your Pothos protected. Keep indoor temperatures above 60F and move your Pothos away from cold windows to prevent damage to the foliage.
If you run a heater over winter, make sure it doesn’t have too much of an impact on indoor humidity levels. If so, raise the humidity around your Pothos to avoid drying out the leaves. Ensure the plant gets enough light during this time to avoid stunting growth.
These tropical plants are ideal for indoor growth, thriving in temperatures we’re used to in our homes. They are also quite adaptable in comparison to other houseplants, making meeting their temperature and humidity requirements an easy task.
For more, see our in-depth guide on whether pothos plants are pet friendly.