How Much Sun Does Pothos Need?

The Pothos plant is popular as one of the most common houseplants and for an excellent reason. Its simplicity to grow, incredible low-maintenance nature, and ability to flourish in sub-optimal light conditions make it a favored choice among homeowners.

Like any other plant, the pothos requires sunlight; however, maintaining its health and green hue necessitates a precise understanding of how much sun it needs.

How Much Sun Does Pothos Need?

Native to the tropical regions of Asia and Africa, Pothos plants do not demand direct sunlight; in fact, excessive sun can scorch their leaves. These plants—rather than basking in full sunbeams—prefer a combination of indirect sunlight and partial shade. They’ll thrive optimally in a room abundant with windows; particularly, they should be placed near an east-facing window.

Therefore, pothos thrive upon receiving 8 hours or more of indirect sunlight each day; thus, their nourishment depends largely on this factor.

Does Pothos Prefer Full Sun?

Pothos, despite thriving in bright light, it performs optimally when placed within a shady area. These plants can indeed grow under direct sunlight; however, their health and color might deteriorate–not to mention the leaves shrinking in size.

For optimal light exposure without compromising health, keep your pothos in a window facing either south or west.

To maintain the vibrancy of your plant’s leaf colors, ensure it receives ample light; this will promote the growth and production of new leaves from its center, not edges.

If your pothos struggle with sprouting central leaves, consider a position closer to an east-facing window. Alternatively, increase existing brightness by supplementing artificial lighting or moving proximity to a naturally bright source such as a skylight or a large unshaded window.

Signs Your Pothos Is Getting Too Much Sun

Pothos flourishes in low light; however, it thrives even better under bright luminosity–the plant can also withstand full sun exposure for a few hours each day. Just ensure to relocate it to a more shaded area during the peak heat of the day.

Should your pothos receive excessive sun, they may become discolored or suffer damage. Observe the following indicators that suggest an overexposure to sunlight for your pothos:

  • Leaves, ultimately, shrivel up; then they fall off
  • Leaves of dark brown
  • Leaves turning yellow or pale green
  • Open-splitting stems

Should you observe any of these symptoms; indeed, even one, it’s time without delay to relocate your plant to a location with more shade.

Where Does Pothos Grow Best?

Pothos thrives in high humidity, optimal for areas such as the bathroom or kitchen: locations with constant air circulation within your home.

In addition to indoor cultivation, pothos can grow outdoors, specifically in shady sites receiving dappled sunlight.

Should you reside in a region receiving less than 10 hours of daily sunlight, your strategy for pothos care should be as follows: plant them outdoors during the balmy summer months; then – prior to fall’s initial frost – transport them indoors.

What Happens if Pothos Doesn’t Get Enough Sun?

Should your pothos plant suffer from insufficient sunlight, it may exhibit certain characteristics: the growth will be tall and lanky. Furthermore, its root system will weaken.

Symptoms of browning or yellowing leaves could also surface, which is a clear indication of inadequate light. If such symptoms prevail in your pothos, you might need to implement changes. Consider relocating it to a spot with more access to sunlight; alternatively, switch the pot size for one comprising more drainage holes – this ensures improved water drainage.

Should you possess a pothos residing in a section of your home that experiences insufficient natural light, it may manifest an observable inclination to stretch out, a desperate endeavor for augmented illumination. Such stretching might result in the plant assuming a leggy appearance and thinning out; this particular phenomenon occurs as it instinctively gravitates towards sources of light: windows or skylights.

As climbers, Pothos plants take advantage of every opportunity to ascend; yet, they also exhibit an innate adaptability in serving as ground covers when required. These resilient plants flourish despite neglect since their minimal requirements are largely reduced to adequate sunlight. This capability allows them to thrive in environments where other vegetation might succumb either due to excessive moisture or its stark absence.


Pothos, a superb houseplant to have in possession, it’s not only easy to grow but also boasts an appealing aesthetic and pleasant fragrance. To thrive—either indoors or outdoors—the Pothos require bright light; direct sunlight, however, is unnecessary. For optimal growth and health of leaves and stems, the pothos should be positioned in an area where they will receive at least some sunlight throughout the day. In terms of light exposure: this plant needs 8 hours or more indirect light each day.

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