Like many houseplants, pothos can often suffer from root rot. Untreated, root rot is almost always deadly.
Pothos can develop root rot from one of two causes: overwatering or fungal infection.
Root rot affects more than just roots. To diagnose whether or not your pothos has root rot, look at the leaves.
Overwatering reduces the availability of oxygen. And without oxygen, roots will accumulate toxins, weaken, and eventually die.
Overly moist or waterlogged soil also creates the perfect habitat for soil fungus. Brown and black leaves typically indicate a pathogenic infection.
Rotted roots are delicate; use care when removing the afflicted pothos from its container. Once removed, proceed to step 2.