Pothos With Holes Causes And Solutions A Comprehensive Guide

pothos with holes
pothos with holes

More than just an eyesore, holes in your ornamental pothos leaves are a nuisance. They might also be a sign of a more serious issue.

I will help you identify which of the typical problems results in holes in the pothos leaf today.

For holes in pothos leaves, insects are primarily to blame. Also, To eliminate the leaf-mining flies, spray your plant at night with Spinosad, neem oil, or systemic insecticide. Disease, an abundance of fertilizer, physical harm, and a lack of boron are some more probable causes.

Pothos With Holes

Hole in Pothos Leaves: Common Causes let’s dive into the details.

1 A pest problem

If your pothos is kept indoors, pest infestation is not a plausible reason. However, bugs’ feeding behavior can seriously harm your pothos.

Most pierce the leaves with spike-like mouthparts and suck the life-giving juices out.

Other bugs nibble on the leaves. In either scenario, their feeding activity stunts and pierces the leaves of your pothos.

Some feeding zones can go extinct and leave holes in the ground.

Different pests produce holes that are of various forms and sizes. Let’s look into it more.

  • Unusual Holes
  • Uneven Holes on the Leaves
  • Irregular Holes on the Leaves

You might have an infestation of the following pests if you find uneven holes in your pothos:

Melanogaster liriomyza

Liriomyza melanogaster is the most likely culprit for the holes in your pothos’ leaves. You probably won’t see the bugs because they are soil-dwelling creatures.

Only at night do they emerge to feed or lay eggs on the foliage of your pothos.

Leaf miners include Liriomyza melanogaster. In other words, they create tunnels in the leaf tissue while feeding and producing eggs.

These insects lay their eggs in tunnels that run beneath the epidermis.

The eggs are initially transparent before turning creamy white. The mature larvae emerge from the hatching eggs inside the leaf mines and drop to the ground.

The leaf-mining sites are damaged as a result of their growth and evacuation.

The yellowing and stippling of the leaves are a result of female adults. This is because they pierce the leaves when they lay eggs and when fed.

These are frequently located near the leaves’ apex and margins.

The larvae that mine leaves are the primary culprits for holes. Also, The size of the leaf mines increases as the larvae get more prominent as they age. The typical characteristics of a leaf mine include a tightly wound, erratic, and blotchy tip.

Both larval leaf-mining and adult leaf stippling can significantly reduce photosynthesis. The pothos leaves may become overly damaged and drop off too soon if the environment is too harsh.

Additionally, bacterial and fungal infections may enter through the wounds on the leaves.

Management and Control of Liriomyza Melanogaster

Consider employing the natural enemies of the leaf-mining insects and their larvae as biological controllers. I strongly advise using parasitic wasps.

Additionally, you can spray something with a Spinosad base (Check the latest price on Amazon here). This natural insecticide may swiftly and safely eradicate different stages of leaf miners.

Use neem oil or a systemic insecticide with a broad spectrum. Because Liriomyza melanogaster is a nocturnal pest, you must spray right before or at night.

Snails and slugs

Slugs and snails are frequently drawn to the irregularly shaped holes in the middle of Pothos leaves. They don’t leave behind spherical tunnels, or patches like leaf miners do.

Conversely, your pothos’ foliage is covered in small to medium-sized holes left by slugs and snails. They are brought on by gloppy insects that eat the luscious leaves.

They create Swiss cheese leaves by shaving strange-looking holes into the greenery.

Your pothos has slime trails, a sign of slugs and snails. They are both slimy, brown, or black bugs. Slugs have tiny antennas, but snails have robust round shells on their back.

Slug and snail management and prevention

Slugs and snails love infiltrating garden pothos when the weather is cool and moist. Avoid overhead irrigation and water sprinkling. Place your indoor pothos in a warm location.

Handpick and get rid of these pests at dusk. They lurk among rocks, in mulch, and under plant detritus. They typically emerge at night and on overcast days.

Install a handmade slug and snail trap. This is how:

Pour beer into shallow saucers.

Put them close to or at the pothos’ base.

Clear the pitfalls of any drowned snails and slugs.

Fill up your traps frequently.

Also available are commercial baits for snails and slugs, like iron phosphate baits (Check the latest price on Amazon here). Verify that they won’t hurt your children or pets.

Wrap your pothos in a diatomaceous earth barrier. It should be at least one inch wide and tall, if possible. Keep in mind that dried diatomaceous earth works best against these slippery insects.

Barriers made of copper and salt are also options. They usually don’t work as well against slugs and snails as diatomaceous earth does.

Wild crickets

Bush crickets are a particular species of insect that consumes the leaves of plants like pothos. These pests, such as Liriomyza melanogaster, make erratic holes in the leaves of your pothos.

Usually, twigs and leaves are used to create mines or tunnels where they lay their eggs.

Some insects lay their eggs in the ground. The bush crickets’ feeding behavior leaves behind cut marks that eventually become holes.

Bush crickets essentially attacked garden pothos in the late summer. They can be discovered resting on window ledges or even in neighboring shrubs. The evenings and nights are when they are most active.

Bush cricket management and prevention

In the presence of light, bush-cricket mating rituals usually occur at night. So it makes sense to turn off your floodlights or yard lights at night.

Before using chemical controls, it is advisable to initially support natural predators of bush crickets. These include many animals, such as cats, reptiles, and even birds.

If you’re not terrified of them, think about picking bush crickets by hand and throwing them away.

Position glued board traps on a cornmeal bed.

It is also possible to utilize insecticidal baits, such as those based on propoxur and carbaryl.

It is advisable to utilize diatomaceous earth. This typically eliminates indoor pothos because the abrasive powder kills and dehydrates the pests.

Consider using kill sprays that are neem oil-based. Until the bush cricket infestation is under control, apply every week.


The uneven holes along the outer edges of pothos leaves are most likely the fault of caterpillars. Once they hatch, caterpillars eat a lot of their host plant, as most leaf miners do.

Affected leaves may have ragged or chewed-looking margins.

The problem is that caterpillars can consume the entire one before going on to the next leaf. If unchecked, they strip your pothos bare if they are present in high numbers.

Caterpillar Control Techniques

As a gardener, I find it highly challenging to manage caterpillars. They will soon change into beneficial garden pollinators like butterflies, which is why this is the case.

However, there are several control strategies you can employ:

Simply handpick, squash, or toss them if there aren’t many.

Natural predators like birds and parasitic wasps are other options.

Use microbial sprays that are ready to use and based on biological controls like Bacillus thuringiensis. Respray every 5-7 days until the caterpillars are entirely gone.

Place drawstring or floating-row coverings over your outdoor pothos. Additionally, these plant guards will stop moths from laying their eggs on your plant.

Earwigs (Forficula auriculata) (Forficula auriculata)

Pests like aphids are often what earwigs love to eat. But the leaves of your pothos might also be consumed by these pincher bugs. They rarely fly and conceal themselves beneath mulch, moist leaves, and rocks.

Earwigs are nocturnal, like most of the other bugs I’ve mentioned. You might discover the lights in your yard, patio, or porch when the lights go on.

You likely have an earwig infestation if you notice jagged holes in your pothos leaves. They cause most of their damage at night and following heavy rains or irrigation.

They leave their hiding place to visit your pothos when there is too much moisture.

Earwig management and prevention

Set up several shallow saucer traps that are filled with something tasty. Instead, I prefer to add molasses, thick soy sauce, or corn syrup. They won’t be able to escape the suffocating liquid by crawling.

Seal any openings, cracks, or other entrance points within. I vacuum up earwigs when I detect them in my home.

Use a Spinosad-containing pesticide. It is safe and effective against earwigs.

Flying insects

Slug and snail damage can occasionally be mistaken for flea beetle damage and leaf Pothos With Holes. These insects eat the plant material that grows in the spaces between the veins of the leaves.

Also, This causes numerous little, rounded, irregular Pothos With Holes to appear between veins.

Flea beetles are tiny (approximately 1/16 to an eighth of an inch long). They come in blue, brown, bronze, metallic grey, or black colors. When these pests have extensively attacked a pothos plant, it gets stunted and wilted.

Flea Beetle Management and Control

To control a flea beetle infestation on your pothos, you can combine chemical and non-chemical remedies.

Put yellow sticky traps to use

To keep pests away from outdoor pothos, use floating cover rows.

Use natural predators to get rid of flea beetles, like braconid wasps.

Use pyrethrin-based, Spinosad-, malathion-, or cyfluthrin-based garden insecticides.

The University of Minnesota, as a source

Angular or Oval Lesions

Fungus diseases like anthracnose typically cause angular or oval lesions on your pothos. Anthracnose is a fungal leaf spot disease brought on by Colletotrichum fungus.

It typically affects pothos in the early spring when it is chilly and rainy.

Small, erratic, dark brown dead spots on the undersides are one of the disease’s initial symptoms. Over time, lesions will get black and sink, creating holes.

Other signs include large interveinal dead patches and dead leaf tips and edges.

Affected pothos leaves may get withered, twisted, and drop off too soon.

Regulatory and Therapeutic

Discard the infected pothos components. Make sure to wash your hands and gardening equipment after each use.

Eliminate pests like spider mites that can spread the fungus that causes anthracnose.

Spray pothos extensively with a fungicide that contains copper.

Rounded edges

Pothos leaves with scalloped edges have an insect infestation with gnawing mouthparts. They frequently harm weevils, caterpillars, slugs, snails, beetle, and other animal bites.

Before moving on to the remaining foliage, some bugs can chew through entire leaves.

The growth of pothos with scalloped leaves may be stunted. The leaves could turn yellow, die back, or drop off too soon.

In rare instances, these incisions could act as entry points for bacterial and fungal infections.

How to Get Rid of the Bugs That Cause Pothos’ Scalloped Edges

You can combine cultural, biological, and chemical controls to get rid of them.

Caterpillars, slugs, and other more significant, noticeable bugs are simple to handpick. Make sure you properly kill and dispose of them.

Utilize organic predators. This biological approach is frequently inexpensive and safe. You can use friendly techniques for birds, lizards, and other animals in a garden. Others are predatory beetles, parasitic worms, and parasitic wasps.

Use commercial or homemade beer, syrup, molasses, or cornmeal-based traps.

Wrap your pothos in a diatomaceous earth barrier. Most bugs, such as snails and slugs, will be deterred by it.

Apply a systemic insecticide or pesticide, but only as a last resort, per my advice.

You can also spray off the insects by taking your plant outside or into the shower. To guarantee that all bugs are driven off, direct a forceful stream of water in all directions.

2 Material Injury

Another frequent reason for holes in pothos leaves is physical harm. It might have happened accidentally while you were moving or adjusting your pothos.

Pests, youngsters playing, and mobile toys are additional sources of leaf damage.

The physical harm typically occurred when the leaves were still delicate and folded.

This is especially true if your pothos is parked in a busy space like an entrance, hallway, or restroom.

When they were young, your pothos’ leaves occasionally suffered the injury. The holes will develop in the harmed regions as your pothos age.

If the holes are too noticeable and significant, you can want to remove the problematic leaves by pruning them.

3 Illnesses Pothos With Holes

Leaf spot infections are another critical factor in developing holes in pothos leaves. The most prevalent are rust, septoria, and anthracnose. How did you establish whether a cause was caused by leaf spot illnesses or something else?

The usual septoria leaf spots are rounded with a black border. Consider whether the leaves of your pothos contain mold. The foliage will eventually develop holes, shrink, and become black.

On pothos, rust patches caused by fungi are frequent in the late summer. Also, they appear as dark rusty brown clusters on the undersides of leaves.

Small areas of skin that are black, brown, or beige are the first signs of anthracnose. The holes or dead areas in the foliage are frequently erratic.

In each of these situations, the brown spots finally result in holes in the leaves of the pothos. Common causes include inadequate airflow, moist surroundings, and a lack of light.

Regulatory and Management

Clear the area around your pothos of plant waste, debris, and dead stuff.

Trimming and spreading your plants can improve airflow around your pothos.

Avoid overwatering, overhead irrigation, and sprinkling water on leaves to regulate moisture.

Apply fungicides early to prevent the spread of the disease.

4 Deficiency in Boron

Your pothos needs boron to thrive and stay healthy. Dead Pothos With Holes and a rusty look are signs of boron shortage. Additional signs include:

fresh leaves that are crinkled, curled, or twisted

areas with dead tissue and twisted growth at leaf tips

Hollow, ragged, or ragged stems

To the touch, fresh leaves feel leathery or brittle.

unhealthy, long, thick roots

Solution for Pothos With Holes

To treat boron deficits, I favor boric acid or borax. And, to standard water-soluble houseplant fertilizer, I often add it after diluting it.

Borax can also be sprayed on leaves.

Overuse of fertilizer

If you fertilize your pothos too much, they may increase. This is especially true if you use a nitrogen-rich fertilizer.

The leaves will fracture in little areas and eventually produce Pothos With Holes because they unfurl too quickly.

Solution Pothos With Holes

Get rid of any extra fertilizer. To do this:

Put your pothos in the shower, bathtub, or sink.

To remove additional fertilizer salt accumulation, water vigorously.

3–4 more times, or as necessary

Between flushes, let your pothos drip properly.

Pothos is not a voracious eater. Apply a balanced, water-soluble houseplant fertilizer once every one to two months to avoid overfertilizing.

6 Low Humidity Pothos With Holes

A plant that does well in excessive humidity is the pothos. Therefore, low humidity is most likely to blame if you detect holes in predominantly new foliage. Typically, winter is when this takes place.

When there is a lack of humidity, the leaf ridges often become dry and crispy due to moisture loss. As a result, fresh leaf growths clump together and break as they unfold. Therefore, holes develop.

Solution Pothos With Holes

Place a pebble-filled humidity water tray close to your pothos.

Regularly mist your pothos.

When necessary, increase humidity by using a humidifier. Also, Read about pothos destroyed my aquarium.

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