Nowadays, it is hard to find a houseplant collector that does not own a Pothos, otherwise known as ‘Devil’s Ivy.’ Many people love these indoor plants because they are low maintenance, grow rapidly, and look good just about anywhere.
If you own a Pothos, chances are you’ve little drops of water on the floor beneath your plant. After searching for a leak, you’ve found that the water is coming out of your Pothos! Have you ever wondered why this happens and what it means?
The real reason your Pothos is dripping water might surprise you.
Is Your Pothos Crying or Sweating?
While it may seem like it, the water droplets from your Pothos’ leaves are not sweat or tears. Golden Pothos (Epipremnum Aureum) will shed moisture through tiny pores (hydathodes) in its foliage, in a process called guttation, which is a type of transpiration for plants.
The liquid that comes from your plant consists primarily of water, along with some traces of sap and excess nutrients.
Guttation does not happen at night because the plant’s stomata (pores inside the leaf cells that transmit gas and moisture through the plant) close up at night. But, the roots continue to absorb moisture throughout the night.
This causes stress and pressure on the roots, as they take up more moisture than they can comfortably hold. The hydathodes will excrete excess moisture to relieve some of the pressure, which is why you will often see guttation drops in the mornings.
People often compare guttation to sweating, but they are not entirely similar. Where humans sweat to excrete moisture, warmth, minerals, fat, toxins, and salts, plants mainly ‘sweat’ to rid themselves of moisture and heat.
Pothos are not the only plants participating in this process; many tropical plants, including Monstera, Banana Plants, and even grass, portray guttation.
3 Reasons Why Your Pothos Is Dripping Water
1. High Humidity
A widespread cause for Pothos’ leaves sweating is high humidity. Guttation most often occurs when there is a sudden drop or rise in moisture levels in the air.
When the humidity around your plant becomes too high, it will try to compromise the high moisture levels by excreting excess moisture from its leaves. This helps prevent issues like rot due to the high moisture levels.
When you overwater your plant, you give it more moisture than it can absorb. The roots will try to deliver the water to the foliage, which creates pressure on the leaves and roots. To release some of that pressure, the leaves will let out some moisture through their pores to lower the moisture levels inside the plant.
This is part of what makes Pothos so resilient. They can handle too much water better than plants that do not partake in guttation. However, there is a limit to its effectiveness, and frequent overwatering will inevitably result in yellow leaves and, eventually, root rot.
If you need clarification about the humidity levels in your home, you may purchase a hygrometer.
3. Warm Environments
Like humans, Pothos will increase its moisture excretion in response to high temperatures. They do this to cool down.
Because of this process, plants require more moisture during the summer. When the temperatures are high, the level at which plants lose moisture significantly increases. Make sure to keep your Pothos well-hydrated during the warmer months.
Is Pothos Guttation Harmful?
Guttation in itself does not cause any harm to your Pothos. It is how the plant adapts to its environment to survive and remain healthy.
If the dripping is annoying, consider placing a waterproof mat under your Pothos to protect your flooring and furniture. The Pothos’ sweat is mostly made up of water, so it will not be toxic.
However, the causes of guttation can lead to issues in the long run. Please consider your care regime and environmental factors in determining what’s causing the guttation of your houseplant, and make adjustments as needed.
How To Stop Your Pothos From Dripping: 3 Steps
1. Avoid Overwatering
Pothos plants don’t require water very often. You risk overwatering when you water them while the soil still feels wet.
When you overwater your Pothos too frequently, it will develop root rot, killing your plant. If your Pothos sweats often, consider changing up your watering schedule.
Guttation also occurs frequently due to improper drainage in the potting situation of your plant. Ensure you use a well-draining mix of potting soil, perlite, and orchid bark.
These amendments help to enhance drainage and airflow through the soil, which will help to prevent the soil from remaining overly moist for too long and suffocating the roots.
Choosing the correct type of pot is also helpful. Opt for a planter that has drainage holes in the bottom. These holes allow excess water to escape from the pot rather than collecting in the bottom.
2. Reduce Humidity
These plants like humid environments to grow, but excess humidity can cause issues. Lowering the humidity and enhancing the airflow around your plant will not only help to prevent your Pothos leaves from dropping water, but too much moisture will also invite pests, fungal spores, and rot into your plant’s environment.
Avoid placing your houseplant near the water vapor of a humidifier, and try to keep the leaves of your plant dry. Avoid misting your plants too much. Increase airflow around your plants with open windows and proper ventilation, especially during the summer.
3. Protect Your Pothos From The Summer Heat
Even though Pothos is a tropical plant, and it likes humid and warm conditions, too much heat or moisture in the air will cause issues in the long run.
Keep the temperature around your plant below 90F and protect the foliage from direct sunlight. Your plant will appreciate bright indirect light conditions.
Guttation or Dew?
If your Pothos is living outdoors, the dripping may not be from guttation but rather from dew.
Dew is a natural process of condensation that occurs mainly in the morning. If you’ve ever owned a house with a lawn, you will likely have seen tiny drops of water on the grass in the morning; this is dew.
To determine whether your outdoor Pothos plants dripping water is due to guttation or dew, you can look for:
- Is the whole leaf moist, or is it just the leaf margins? If the whole leaf appears wet, it is likely from dew. Guttation will mainly appear as drops along the edges of the leaf.
- Dew will often dry up as the sun rises and temperatures go up. Guttation will remain on the leaf longer. Check your foliage after sunrise to see if your Pothos still drips moisture.