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Common Fishbone Plant Diseases:
How to Identify and Treat

Updated: August 5, 2022

Fishbone plants, also known as the Epipremnum aureum or Devil’s Ivy, are one of the most popular houseplants because of their easy maintenance and attractive appearance. However, they are still susceptible to various diseases that can affect their growth and appearance. In this article, we will discuss some common fishbone plant diseases and how to identify and treat them.

Root Rot

Root rot is a common disease that affects many types of plants, including fishbone plants. It occurs when the plant’s roots are overwatered and become waterlogged, leading to decay and damage. The symptoms of root rot include yellowing leaves, wilting, and a foul odor coming from the soil.

To treat root rot, you should first remove the affected parts of the plant, including any yellowing or dead leaves. Then, carefully remove the plant from its pot and inspect the roots for signs of decay. If you find any damaged roots, prune them back to healthy tissue using sterile scissors.

Next, repot the plant in fresh soil that drains well and ensure that it is not overwatered in the future. You can also add a fungicide to the soil to prevent any further spread of the disease.

Leaf Spot

Leaf spot is another common disease that affects fishbone plants. It is caused by a fungus that thrives in humid conditions and can spread quickly if left untreated. The symptoms of leaf spot include brown or black spots on the leaves, which can eventually lead to leaf drop.

To treat leaf spot, you should first remove any infected leaves from the plant and dispose of them in a sealed bag. Then, ensure that the plant is not overcrowded or receiving too much humidity, as this can promote fungal growth.

You can also apply a fungicide to the plant’s leaves and soil to prevent any further spread of the disease. Ensure that you follow the instructions on the fungicide label carefully and avoid over-application.


Mealybugs are small, white, fluffy insects that can infest fishbone plants and cause significant damage. They feed on the plant’s sap, leading to weakened growth and yellowing leaves. They can also attract ants and other pests.

To treat mealybugs, you should first isolate the affected plant to prevent any further spread of the insects. Then, you can remove them manually using a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol or a mixture of water and dish soap.

You can also apply an insecticide to the plant to kill any remaining mealybugs. However, ensure that you follow the instructions carefully and avoid over-application, as this can harm the plant.


In conclusion, fishbone plants are susceptible to several diseases that can affect their growth and appearance. However, with proper care and prompt treatment, you can keep your plant healthy and thriving. Remember to monitor your plant regularly for any signs of disease, such as yellowing leaves or spots, and take appropriate action immediately.


How often should I water my fishbone plant?

Fishbone plants prefer slightly moist soil but do not like to be overwatered. Water your plant when the top inch of soil is dry to the touch, but ensure that it drains well and does not sit in standing water.

Can I use neem oil to treat my fishbone plant for pests?

Yes, neem oil is a natural pest control option that can be effective against many types of insects, including mealybugs. However, ensure that you follow the instructions carefully and avoid over-application.

Should I fertilize my fishbone plant?

Yes, fishbone plants benefit from regular fertilization during their growing season (spring and summer). Use a balanced fertilizer every 2-4 weeks to promote healthy growth.