Do Golden Pothos Go Dormant?

Golden Pothos is one of the easiest houseplants to care for and commonly resides in the homes of many plant lovers. When fall transitions to winter, most of your houseplants begin going into dormancy. But what about the golden pothos?

Golden Pothos are among the houseplants that experience dormancy in winter. This attractive plant may not go fully dormant, but it rests and conserves energy while awaiting sunnier days and warmer months. Typically, golden pothos will rest until spring, when sunlight and humidity improve.

This article will explore golden pothos and their dormancy, as well as how to get them to grow year-round.

Golden Pothos and Dormancy

Like many of your other houseplants, the fall and winter months will stimulate a resting phase for your golden pothos. Those big, beautiful trailing leaves will stop growing to save energy for surviving these less than ideal months of cold weather. But don’t worry, they’ll come out of dormancy as more sunlight and warmer temperatures approach.

Golden pothos is easy to care for because it adapts very well to different levels of light and the conditions surrounding it when gradual change occurs. 

Golden pothos (also called Devil’s Ivy or Money Plant) come from southeastern Asia. The ideal conditions are temperatures between 70 and 90 °F (21 to 32 °C) for pothos to remain happy. This houseplant can survive in a low-lit area but will flourish when positioned in bright, indirect sunlight and receive 12 to 14 hours of sunlight daily. 

Those big, glossy leaves provide golden pothos with larger surfaces and more pores to breathe, absorb sunlight and moisture, and release oxygen and water back into the air by transpiration

When it comes to sunlight, less-than-ideal conditions can cause the leaves to lose their vibrant color, and they won’t grow as big. If your golden pothos is exposed to intense sunlight, you risk burning these big beautiful leaves. 

Keep this in mind if you move them around during season changes. Even though they’re versatile and can grow well in low-lit to bright conditions, they must be in indirect sunlight.

Fun Fact: The golden pothos plant can grow leaves over a foot (30 cm) in length in their natural habitat! In your home, they typically only grow to about 4 – 8 inches (10 – 20 cm) in length, with vines up to 24 feet (7 m) under ideal conditions. They also only produce flowers in the mature phase, which is unfortunate because they only reach the juvenile stage as a houseplant.

Why They Go Dormant

The fall and winter months are colder, dryer, and lack the proper amount of sunlight. The humidity levels in your home may also decrease lower than your golden pothos would like as you use the heating system to warm your home. This triggers your golden pothos into a resting period with little to no growth. 

In order to complete a healthy cycle of photosynthesis, your houseplants need to absorb enough sunlight to convert macronutrients into food energy. And your plants cannot convert enough energy with the little amount of sunlight the winter provides. So, your golden pothos is among the many plants that will go into survival mode and conserve energy to wait out the unfavorable conditions.

Don’t be alarmed if you notice your pothos begin to look a little rough while dormant. Just keep up with discarding dead leaves and rotating for even sun exposure. Taking care of your plants when resting will help them flourish when they become active again. 

How To Care for a Dormant Golden Pothos

As mentioned above, golden pothos are very tolerant of their surroundings but to keep your plant happy, you should provide routine care.

Winter may provide your plants with less than ideal conditions, but you can create a better environment for them until brighter days come. 


Since the water uptake from the root system has slowed, you’ll water your pothos plant less often than you would while it’s actively growing. Watering when the top 50% of the soil is dry should be sufficient. Try not to let the soil dry out too much and put stress on your plant while it’s dormant.


Keep the leaves clean of debris and dust using a wet cloth or paper towel to wipe both sides of each leaf gently. You can also use a shower head with a hose to gently spray the leaves off but be careful not to drench the soil in the process. Clean leaves will allow your pothos to breathe and absorb the sunlight more easily without dust clogging the pores.

Dirty, dusty leaves also invite pests and diseases, so it’s essential to keep up with routine dusting.


Golden pothos should be placed in an area without frequent drafts. They don’t fare well with cold temperatures, which could cause a decline in health from the sudden shock. And since they are running on energy fumes until the warmer months, it’ll be difficult for them to repair any damage from the cold weather drafts.

So, keep them away from doors and other drafty areas during the colder months.


Since your golden pothos love humidity levels staying between 50% – 70%, you can help them in the winter by creating more humidity in their environment. To do this, you can purchase a humidifier and place it close to where you have your golden pothos located. 

You can also group houseplants close together because plants naturally release moisture, and a group of plants will increase the humidity level around them.


Fertilizing is unnecessary during the winter since your pothos isn’t active and growing. You could risk nutrients building up in the soil, which will burn the root system. When the root system suffers damage, the leaves will send stored water to cool the roots and, in turn, will cause the leaves to burn with no ability to cool themselves. 

When Golden Pothos Comes Out of Dormancy

Once we’re over the hurdle of the winter solstice, brighter days will be coming. Do you know what that means? Your golden pothos will once again be active and produce beautiful, lush growth! 

As the days grow longer, providing more sunlight for your pothos to enjoy, you’ll notice growth picking back up.

Your houseplants will fully awaken from dormancy closer to spring, around the end of March or early April. Be sure to move your golden pothos to the best location for bright but indirect light. 

Caring for Golden Pothos in the Spring

You may be excited for your pothos to come to life again, but you can’t kick your feet back and watch them grow just yet. There are spring chores to be done when your houseplants come out of dormancy. And this is an excellent time to assess the overall health of your golden pothos. 

Follow these suggestions to keep your pothos happy. 

  • Keeping your golden pothos’ leaves dust-free is vital for its health. As mentioned earlier, removing dust and debris from the leaves can help the plant perform respiratory and photosynthetic functions better.
  • Repotting your golden pothos will provide a fresh supply of nutrients to help jumpstart growth. If you notice the roots are outgrowing the current pot, move your pothos to a bigger one. Gently loosen the root system to encourage new growth before putting it in a bigger pot. 
  • Water uptake will begin to increase. As the need for food increases from new growth, tweak your watering frequency as needed.
  • Pruning and reshaping will allow more room for new leaves and vines to grow fuller and evenly. Pick off all the dead and yellow leaves. Cut back any vines that appear leggy (you can save those for easy propagating). 
  • Fertilize your pothos only if you choose to skip repotting. It can help your plant get the boost of nutrients needed during spring growth.

Is It Possible for Golden Pothos To Grow Year-Round?

Golden pothos can continue to grow throughout the typical months of dormancy. However, you’ll need to provide ideal growing conditions for this to happen. To do this, you’ll need a grow light and humidifier or another way to add humidity to the air. 

As with most of your houseplants, when you provide a favorable environment, they will continue to thrive, even through winter.

Here are some suggestions to encourage growth during the winter months. 

  • Grow lights can be set to turn off and on, giving your pothos the proper amount of light needed for continued growth. 
  • You can add fertilizers to boost nutrition for growth, or you can repot them in the fall with nutrient-rich soil
  • A humidifier is the easiest way to put moisture back in the air for those big leaves to absorb. 

If you’d rather not purchase a humidifier, try these suggestions to increase the humidity.

  • Group other plants with your pothos to increase the rate of transpiration, which increases humidity around your plants. 
  • Use a drip tray larger than your plant’s pot and fill the bottom of the tray with pebbles. Fill the tray with water until the water level is just below the top of the stones. Place your pot on the stones without the bottom of the pot being submerged, or your plant will end up bottom watering itself.
  • Use the ‘two pot method’ by placing your pothos pot in another pot about 2 inches (5 cm) larger in diameter. Fill the space between with sphagnum moss that’s been soaked with water. Over a few days, the water evaporates and creates more moisture in the air. 

Keep in mind that standing water around your plants can encourage fungal and bacterial growth and attract unwanted pests.


Golden pothos are amazing plants to add appeal and create a relaxing environment inside your home. Most houseplants, including the golden pothos plant, go through a dormancy phase during winter. These beautiful plants are easy to care for, even through the winter months when they are dormant. 

Dormancy will typically last from late fall to spring. You’ll notice your pothos slowing growth as daylight lessens and the indoor environment becomes dryer. As with many of your other houseplants, golden pothos will awaken from dormancy when there is more sunlight, warmer temperatures, and more moisture in the air.

Alexander Picot

Alexander Picot is the principal creator of, a website dedicated to gardening tips. Inspired by his mother’s love of gardening, Alex has a passion for taking care of plants and turning backyards into feel-good places and loves to share his experience with the rest of the world.

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