How many hours of light does pothos need? | 6-8 hours for a happy plant

Pothos grown indoors will need at least 6-8 hours of bright light. This light does not need to be direct but bright light near a window is fantastic for pothos. Over winter give pothos as much light as possible but you may need to move them away from a hot window over summer.

This article will explore all you need to know about the light needs of pothos including the type of light, what happens when pothos gets too much light and what to do about it.

How many hours of light for pothos

Pothos will grow best with around 8 hours of bright light from a window. Pothos grow fantastically well indoors in a bright position. This doesn’t mean that they need hot, direct light but bright morning light is perfect.

Pothos will actually grow with very low light if that is all you had. I had recently been growing my pothos in a very dark lounge room which only got around 6 hours of light per day. The plant still grows well in low light if you give it regular water and plant them in good quality potting soil.

Type of light for pothos

Pothos will be happy with bright indirect light from a window, direct winter light or even light from a grow bulb. I like to place my pothos near a window that gets morning bright light but lower light throughout the day.

During winter it is great to have direct light in the morning as the winter light will not burn or damage the leaves. Hot summer sun that comes through a window can become very hot very quickly. It can focus the light and heat up the leaves rapidly and burning them.

Outdoor sunlight for pothos

Pothos grow amazingly well indoors but will suffer if they are exposed to outdoor light. I had moved my pothos to the front of my house outdoors while we were moving. I had left it outside in the warm summer sun and it had burned, turned yellow and wilted in a few hours.

It is very important not to move an indoor pothos plant into direct outdoor light, even for a few hours. Pothos could live in a dappled light position in a tropical shaded garden.

What happens when pothos get too much light

Pothos can suffer quickly if it gets too much light indoors or outdoors. Their leaves are quickly damaged by direct sun and will turn yellow or brown.

The leaves will begin by wilting and this can be fixed if it is caught quickly. Solve this problem by moving the pothos into a shaded position or away from a window and water it thoroughly.

Within the next 12 hours the pothos should bounce back, the leaves will stand up and it will be fine. Any damaged leaves that have turned yellow or brown can be trimmed off using scissors or secateurs.

How to know if your pothos is getting too much light

Here are my top tips to work out if your pothos is getting too much light and what you can do about it.


It can be very easy to tell that your pothos is getting too much light during the day. The plant will start wilting during the warmer parts of the day, even with plenty of water. You may get burning on the tips of the leaves that will turn yellow or brown.

Wilting leaves can be a sign that your pothos is getting too much light, too hot and drying out quickly.

Dry soil

Pothos plants that are getting too much light during the day will end up with dry soil very quickly. Pothos may need to be watered every 2-3 days in summer but if you find that the soil is dry everyday it may be heating up too much and getting too much light.

Simply move the pot into a position further away from the window and mist it using a sprayer. Water the plant regularly but make sure you allow the excess water to drain out rather than sitting in a pot tray so the roots don’t rot.

Check that the soil is not drying out too quickly.

Leaves curling

The leaves of a pothos plant will quickly curl when it is exposed to too much light. This is what will happen before the plant starts to suffer burn, turning yellow or brown. If you catch this quickly, the plant can be watered, moved away from your window and it can quickly recover.

Brown or yellow leaves

Pothos plants that are left getting a lot of light will turn brown or yellow after they curl. This burn on the leaves is a good indicator that the plant is getting too much direct sunlight. This can happen in a few hours if they are left in direct afternoon sun.

Pothso plants that suffer burn can be saved by watering them thoroughly, moving them out of direct light and trimming off the damaged leaves.

Over the next few weeks the pothos will grow new leaves and stems to replace the old ones and will be back to looking great in no time.

Can I use artificial light for pothos?

For pothos plant that are not able to get 6 hours of bright light a grow light is an easy solution. Grow lights are a simple bulb that emits light specifically for growing plants. These are low cost solutions that can help indoor plants to thrive over a dark winter.

Check out grow lights from Amazon below.

How many hours of light does pothos need? | Summary

Pothos are a fantastic indoor plant that need between 6-8 hours of bright light for the best growth. During winter these plants will need lots of light from your window but can be moved away from direct light in the summer.

Pothos are becoming one of my favorite indoor plants because they are so hardy, easy to grow and forgiving if you make a mistake. Don’t worry if you burn your plant with too much light (most of us have) and just water it well and trim off the damage.

Pothos are a great plant for your kitchen, lounge or bedroom. Have fun with this great plant.

Happy growing.