The Ultimate Guide to Fertilizing Your Pothos Plant

healthy pothos after receiving the best pothos fertilizer to help it thrive

Pothos plants are beautiful and vibrant additions to any home. But, like any other plant, they require proper care and nourishment to thrive. One of the essential aspects of pothos plant care is fertilization. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore everything you need to know about fertilizing your pothos plant, from the best fertilizer options to the frequency of application and much more!

Can Your Pothos Benefit from Fertilizer?

Pothos plants are known for their rapid growth, which means they require regular fertilization to support their development. During the growing season, it is best to fertilize your pothos more frequently. However, during the dormant months, you can reduce the frequency to give your plant a chance to rest. This will provide your pothos with a fresh supply of nutrients and help it thrive.

Unlike outdoor plants, houseplants like pothos do not receive nutrients naturally. They exhaust the available nutrients in the soil within just a few months after being potted. To ensure their healthy growth, it is crucial to use fertilizers that contain all the essential nutrients required by pothos plants.

Choosing the Best Fertilizer for Pothos

Your pothos will flourish with a well-balanced, all-purpose fertilizer that contains nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Look for a product with an NPK ratio of 10-10-10, 15-15-15, or 20-20-20. These ratios indicate an even distribution of these nutrients, providing your pothos with the optimal nourishment it needs.

healthy pothos having received the best pothos fertilizer to help it thrive
cutting of a pothos in water getting fertilizer

If your fertilizer has an imbalanced NPK ratio, that’s not a major concern. Simply adjust the amount of fertilizer you use accordingly. For instance, if your fertilizer has a higher nitrogen ratio, use a smaller amount.

Remember, pothos plants are resilient and forgiving. Even if you make a mistake with fertilization, your plant is likely to recover. Just ensure that you carefully follow the instructions on the fertilizer packaging.

Here are a couple of my favorite pothos fertilizers that come in liquid or water-soluble versions:

1. Jack’s Classic All Purpose Fertilizer (20-20-20)

healthy pothos having received the best pothos fertilizer to help it thrive

2. Triple 10 All Purpose Liquid Fertilizer (10-10-10)

person using coffee grounds as pothos fertilizer
person using eggshells as pothos fertilizer

When is the Ideal Time to Fertilize Pothos?

To achieve optimal growth, fertilize your pothos every two to four weeks during the growing season, which generally spans from late spring to early fall. During the winter months, when your plant is dormant, you can skip fertilization as it won’t require additional nutrients.

Remember, it’s better to under-fertilize than over-fertilize. Overdoing it can harm your pothos plant or even lead to its demise. Thus, it is essential to carefully follow the package instructions and apply the correct amount. Diluting the fertilizer will protect your pothos from root burn caused by excessive nutrients.

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Additionally, avoid overwatering your plant when fertilizing. Pothos plants prefer to dry out between waterings to prevent root rot.

How Do You Know When Your Pothos Needs Fertilizer?

There are several signs that indicate your pothos plant is in need of fertilizer. If you notice your plant becoming vulnerable to diseases and pests, experiencing faded yellowing leaves or browning on the leaf edges, or exhibiting a significantly slower growth rate, it’s time to start fertilizing.

Providing your pothos plant with a small and consistent preventative dose of fertilizer throughout the growing season can help maintain its health and prevent nutrient deficiencies. However, if you haven’t been regularly fertilizing your plant, these signs may indicate that it’s time to start a fertilization routine.

If the signs persist after several months of fertilization, consider repotting your pothos with fresh soil. This will provide a nutrient boost and aid in its recovery.

How Much Fertilizer Does a Pothos Plant Need?

In general, a proper dilution for liquid fertilizer is mixing one teaspoon of fertilizer with two cups of water. However, the recommended amount may vary depending on the type and strength of the fertilizer you’re using. Always refer to the instructions on the fertilizer packaging for accurate measurements.

As mentioned earlier, it’s crucial to provide your pothos plant with the right amount of fertilizer to avoid root burn. After mixing the fertilizer and water, pour the solution slowly over the soil around your pothos plant, ensuring the roots are thoroughly soaked. This allows the plant to absorb all the necessary nutrients. Take your time pouring the solution to allow it to seep into the soil and reach the roots gradually.

Now that you have all the information you need to fertilize your pothos plant, remember to be cautious with the amount of fertilizer you use. Too much can be just as harmful as too little. Happy fertilizing!

For more tips on how to care for your pothos plant and make it fuller and bushier, check out Ames Farm Center.

Natural Fertilizer Alternatives for Pothos Plants

Sometimes store-bought fertilizers may not be readily available or within your budget. Don’t worry! There are plenty of excellent DIY fertilizer options that can help keep your pothos plant healthy. Here are some great natural fertilizer alternatives:

  • Compost: Compost is an excellent fertilizer rich in nutrients. It not only provides nourishment but also improves drainage and aeration in the soil.

  • Banana peels: Banana peels are a fantastic source of potassium, which is vital for pothos plants. Burying banana peels a few inches in the soil around your plant will naturally release the nutrients.

  • Aquarium water: If you have an aquarium, the water can serve as a great natural fertilizer for your pothos plant. Use the water from the tank right before changing it to provide your plant with a high-nutrient density solution.

  • Rice or potato cooking water: Instead of pouring water down the drain after cooking rice or potatoes, save it for your pothos plant. The water contains beneficial minerals like calcium and potassium, which your plant will appreciate. Ensure the water has cooled before using it.

  • Gelatin: Gelatin is an excellent source of nitrogen, an essential nutrient for pothos plants. Mix a packet of gelatin with water and pour it over your plant for a nutrient boost.

  • Green tea: Green tea is a fantastic natural fertilizer option. It contains phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and calcium, providing a well-balanced solution for your pothos. Brew a cup of tea and let it cool before pouring it over your plant.

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As you can see, there are plenty of natural fertilizer alternatives for your pothos plant. Ensure proper dilution before applying them to your plant.

The Best Homemade Fertilizer for Pothos Plants

The best homemade fertilizer for pothos plants is one that is well-balanced and contains all the essential nutrients necessary for their optimal growth. A great homemade fertilizer option is to mix equal parts compost, green tea, and aquarium water. This combination provides a balanced blend of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and calcium for your pothos.

While there are numerous homemade fertilizer options available, the actual choice becomes less critical since all of these alternatives can help your pothos thrive. It may require a little trial and error to find the ideal fertilizer ratio for your plant, but it will be worth it in the end!

Fertilizing Pothos Plants in Water

Pothos plants grown in water still require regular fertilization to thrive. Although they can grow without soil, they still need essential nutrients. Fertilizing pothos in water is simple. Follow the instructions on your fertilizer packaging and add the recommended amount to the water. Be cautious not to over-fertilize, as the concentrated solution may harm your plant.

person using coffee grounds as pothos fertilizer

The best fertilizer for pothos plants growing in water is an all-purpose indoor houseplant blend. Choose a liquid version over a granular one for easy dilution and absorption. Remember to consider the seasons; allow for dormancy during cold months and cease fertilization.

You can find all-purpose indoor houseplant fertilizer at your local gardening center or online. One recommended option is the Triple 10 All Purpose Liquid Fertilizer (10-10-10).

The Importance of Nitrogen for Pothos Plants

Nitrogen is a crucial nutrient for pothos plants. It plays a vital role in photosynthesis, food creation, leaf and stem growth, and overall plant development. Thus, any fertilizer you use for your pothos should contain nitrogen to ensure their healthy growth.

If your plant exhibits signs of yellowing leaves or stunted growth, it may indicate a nitrogen deficiency. However, keep in mind that excessive nitrogen can also be harmful. Always follow the instructions on your fertilizer packaging and apply the recommended amount.

Exploring the Benefits of Coffee Grounds and Eggshells

Coffee grounds and eggshells can be beneficial for pothos plants, but they should not be used as the sole sources of fertilizer. Coffee grounds are high in nitrogen and can potentially burn the roots if applied in concentrated amounts. Meanwhile, eggshells are a rich source of calcium that can build up in the soil, hindering the plant’s ability to absorb other essential nutrients.

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If you have leftover coffee grounds, they can be a useful addition to balance nitrogen deficiencies in your pothos plant. However, always dilute them properly before applying them to your plant.

To use coffee grounds as a fertilizer, you can directly add them to the soil or make a compost tea by steeping them in water for 24 hours. Ensure the soil pH level is suitable for your pothos plant by conducting a pH test. A pH level between six and seven is ideal for pothos plants.

Eggshells are a fantastic source of calcium and can improve soil drainage, aeration, and leaf strength. To use eggshells as a fertilizer, grind them into a powder and add them to the soil or mix them into your potting mix. You can also make an eggshell tea by steeping them in water for 24 hours.

Remember to test your soil’s pH level before adding eggshells and clean any remaining egg from the shells before use.

Exploring Epsom Salt for Pothos Plants

Epsom salt is an excellent choice for pothos plants as it contains sulfur and magnesium, which promote growth, reduce brown spots, prevent leaf yellowing, and encourage root development. It improves nutrient absorption and strengthens cell walls in plants.

To use Epsom salt, add it to the soil around your pothos plant or mix it into the potting mix. You can also dissolve Epsom salt in water and use the solution to water your plant. Applying a solution directly to the leaves can prevent brown spots. Be sure to use Epsom salt in moderation, as excessive amounts may be detrimental to your plant.

Is Osmocote Suitable for Pothos?

Osmocote is an excellent option for pothos plants as it simplifies the fertilization process. You only need to apply it once during the growing season, and it will continuously release nutrients for several months. Osmocote is a blend of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, providing your plants with the necessary nutrients for healthy growth.

Keep in mind that slow-release fertilizers like Osmocote can make it challenging to measure the exact nutrient amounts your plant is receiving. It’s advisable to err on the side of caution and use a smaller quantity to avoid root burn.

Now that you have a comprehensive guide to fertilizing your pothos plant, you are well-equipped to support its growth and keep it thriving. Remember to exercise caution with the amount of fertilizer you use and provide your plant with the love and care it deserves!

For more information and gardening supplies, visit Ames Farm Center. Happy gardening!