I have a neon pothos and recently noticed that occasionally there is a drop of water at the tip of the leaf or base of the leaf where it meets the stem (but usually the tip. I previously had a tropical develop honeydew so I want to make sure it is not that! Sometime is see a subtle white staining on the leaf. In the picture you may notice what looks like a bit of soil on the odd leaf and I’m not sure it it’s that or soot if this is honeydew. And if it’s not – is my plant just expelling pure water and it’s not sugar based? Many thanks – can you tell I’m a rookie?! Stephanie
Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners regarding the health of your pothos (Epipremnum aureum ‘Neon’).
Epipremnum aureum ‘Neon’, also known by the common names of golden pothos or devil’s ivy, is native to the Solomon Islands. This is a low maintenance houseplant which thrives in bright indirect light and medium moisture with reduced watering from fall though late winter.
From your photo, the most likely cause of the water drops, black spots on the leaf and the dried leaf tips can be signs of overwatering. The photo shows that the outer pot is ceramic and may not have a drainage hole. It is assumed that there is an inner pot which is not visible so it is not possible to determine the type of drainage your plant in receiving. This would be something to look into to ensure that the drainage is sufficient. To determine whether or not the droplets are water will require further investigation. If the droplets are not sticky to touch, they are likely water. The presence of water drops on the leaves is the plant’s way to adapt to stress such as a change in environmental conditions when moving plants indoors from their summer vacation or over-watering. The plant may use this mechanism, known as guttation, to regulate the excess water in its tissues.
Depending on their growing environment, houseplants vary in their need for water over the year particularly during periods of slow growth as occurs in dormancy during fall and winter and during the active growth period of spring to summer. The solution to the appearance of water drops would be to modify the plant’s watering schedule in terms of method, amount and timing while carefully observing its response. You may wish to refer to this article on watering: https://pss.uvm.edu/ppp/articles/hseplant.html
If the drops are sticky, your plant may have a common houseplant pest problem such as scale. Scale exudes honeydew, thus the stickiness of the drops. Other common houseplant pests to watch for are fungal leaf spot, botrytis, root rot in poorly drained soil, scale, mealy bugs, and mites. For information on the control of scale, please refer to: https://hortnews.extension.iastate.edu/faq/leaves-my-houseplant-are-covered-sticky-sap-there-are-also-small-bumps -stems-what-pro
For more information on general pothos care, please refer to:
We need more “rookies”! Wishing you much success in promoting the health of your Neon pothos, Epipremnum aureum ‘Neon’.