You better evaluate your treatment if you wonder why your pothos are not growing well. Despite being a low-maintenance houseplant, disrupted growth can indicate that it needs additional nutrients. Hence, it’s time to feed them with pothos fertilizer to ensure your plant thrives. Fertilizers also boost growth faster; thus, you’ll have dense, strong, and healthy plants.
Furthermore, you can offer them natural fertilizer or chemical ones. Each of them has advantages and disadvantages that you should consider according to your plant’s growing conditions. But which one is better? How do you fertilize it? Find out all the details below!
Table of Contents
- Should You Use Fertilizer for Pothos?
- What Pothos Fertilizer Should You Use?
- Best Pothos Fertilizer Types
- Best Fertilizer for Pothos In Water
Should You Use Fertilizer for Pothos?
Like other vining houseplants, pothos is not a heavy feeder. It can thrive in the regular potting mix without fertilizer for around 60 days. After that period, fertilizer is needed to replace nutrients that are completely absorbed by plants. However, it only applies provided that the mix already contains compost. Otherwise, fertilization is crucial to stimulate faster growth and lush foliage.
Fertilization is also essential when you have pothos that haven’t been repotted for years. It will offer a fresh start with loaded nutrients necessary to ensure they flourish and grow faster. In addition, the ideal season to fertilize your photos is within their actively growing stage from spring to summer. Feed them once or twice per month for the best results.
What Pothos Fertilizer Should You Use?
Pothos is not picky about its fertilizer. However, our expertise suggests feeding water-soluble, liquid fertilizer for quick absorption. In addition, it saves time for dilution compared to the granular or powder one. Also, choose one with balanced nutrition to optimize its growth. We recommend the multi-purpose NPK fertilizer with a ratio of 10-10-10, 15-15-15, or 20-20-20. Don’t worry if one of the compositions is too high. You only need to reduce the frequency and amount when you want to fertilize your plants.
1. Why Fertilizing Pothos Is Important?
Plants, like humans, need food to survive and support their growth. Pothos is no exception. They generally grow in pots with limited spaces; thus, the opportunity to find sources of nourishment is limited as the roots can’t develop further as they grow.
And for that reason, fertilizing is important to replenish nutrients. You can also provide a potting mix with compost that serves as a slow-release fertilizer. It will benefit your plant as it ensures a steady food supply. In addition, the slow-release one also lowers the risk of fertilizer burn that may harm the roots.
2. General Guideline Choosing Pothos Fertilizer
Having 15 species worldwide, the need for pothos plants depends on the varieties. However, there are some simple ways to choose the right pothos fertilizer, so your plants thrive happily.
- Choose balanced fertilizers for portraits. Unlike fruit-bearing plants that require low nitrogen, pothos need it in balanced amounts to grow lavish green leaves. So, buying NPK fertilizer with balanced nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus ratio is better.
- In our opinion, liquid fertilizer works perfectly for photos. It delivers nutrients better to the roots and is also fast-acting. You can water your plant after fertilization to encourage proper dilution.
Best Pothos Fertilizer Types
Some pothos lovers prefer to add chemical fertilizers, which are widely available at the market and local nurseries. Meanwhile, others choose to feed organic or natural fertilizer as it is affordable since they can formulate it at home. Which one can you give your plants from these two types of fertilizers?
1. Organic Pothos Fertilizer
Compared to chemical fertilizers, organic pothos fertilizers may work slower. However, it doesn’t harm the plants as they are slow-release, low in nutrients contained in NPK fertilizers, and made of natural ingredients. They utilize natural microbes to break down nutrients. Thus, your plants can quickly absorb them. Also, these natural fertilizers will suit all photos plants. So, what kind of organic fertilizers are best for pothos?
This is the most popular organic fertilizer you can always rely on to replace the chemical one. It is slow-release; thus, ensuring your plant doesn’t stress out because of fertilizer burn. Moreover, organic matter in compost enhances air circulation and loosen the soil. It also provides good drainage. So, no more waterlogging. You can add the compost to the soil and mix it well. However, compost alone may not be enough for your pothos because the strength highly depends on the organic matter.
- Coffee Grounds
Considering pothos love acidic soils, adding coffee grounds as natural fertilizers is beneficial to lower the pH. They are also rich in nitrogen to boost the leaves’ growth. You can add a thin layer of the coffee ground around half an inch and cover it with 4 inches of mulch for the best outcome.
However, you need to know that coffee grounds don’t have the balance of potassium and phosphorus necessary to balance the overall development. Hence, you must add compost or liquid fertilizer to meet other mineral needs.
- Banana Peels
Contrary to coffee grounds, banana peels are rich in potassium. Potassium benefits your plant by preventing stunt growth and regulating the opening and closing of stomata. But don’t dump them on the soil.
Instead, cut them into pieces, then put them on the surface around your pothos. You can let them be or cover them with a few inches of soil, which is highly recommended by our experts. Unfortunately, they decompose slowly, which requires time for your plant to absorb the nutrients.
- Green Tea
People consume green tea to get its many health benefits. So do pothos. Green tea is loaded with balanced essential minerals, such as potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium, that offer excellent quality natural pothos fertilizer.
Similar to coffee grounds, it can help lower the soil pH. However, you must check on the soil pH as the acidity that is too high can kill your plants. To apply it to the soil, just pour the freshly brewed tea into your plant. But make sure to cool it down.
2. Chemical Pothos Fertilizer
Unlike organic ones, chemical fertilizers generally produce high-growth pothos plants in a short period. They are also accessible, making it easier for gardeners to buy. On the other hand, this fertilizer has several pros and cons, such as the potential to pollute the land and kill natural soil microbes if used for a long time. But there’s nothing wrong with using chemicals as long as you don’t overuse them for your plants. So, what can you use for pothos?
- Liquid NPK Fertilizer
Many choose liquid fertilizers because they are versatile and easy to handle, and your plants utilize them better. Even if it is a liquid, you should dilute it to the strength of the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid chemical burns on your plant. Some examples of liquid pothos fertilizers you may try are Jack’s Classic All-Purpose Fertilizer (20-20-20) and Triple 10 All-Purpose Liquid Fertilizer (10-10-10).
However, it may not fit those who want to save budget as it is more expensive than the granular ones. Sometimes, you also have to deal with volatilization that, of course, reduces your fertilizer volume.
- Granules or Powders
You will love granules of NPK fertilizer more than liquid if you plant new pothos. While preparing the soil, you can add the fertilizer and mix it with the potting soil. It also ensures slow release. So, it doesn’t shock your plants. And most importantly, granular fertilizers are affordable as you can buy them in bulk. If you are interested, we recommend Burpee Natural Purpose Granular Fertilizer and Miracle-Gro Shake ‘N Feed All Purpose Fertilizer.
However, nutrient distributions are lacking in this type of fertilizer due to its solid form. In addition, they are generally high in salt content which can be detrimental to the roots if you add too much.
Best Fertilizer for Pothos In Water
Despite not being an aquatic plant, pothos can thrive just fine in the water forever. But, it must be taken into account that you must change the water every 2-3 weeks or so. Besides, bright indirect light is necessary to keep the plant healthy. And just like those that grow in the soil, you also need to fertilize your plant. What fertilizer works best to fertilize pothos in the water? How to do it?
1. Do Pothos in Water Need Fertilizer?
Like plants that grow in soil, those that thrive in the water also need fertilizer. It is crucial since water can’t provide nutrients like soil. Thus, your pothos will be very dependent on fertilizer. Without fertilizers, it can grow super slowly. You can fertilize your pothos at least once a month and change the water. However, weekly fertilization is much better for fast growth.
2. What Fertilizer to Use for Pothos in Water?
Because it lives in water, the best fertilizer for pothos in water is 10-10-10 all-purpose liquid fertilizer. Even though it is costly, this fertilizer is much easier to dilute and absorb immediately by your plants.
Also, make sure to choose a fertilizer designed for aquatic plants because their habit is slightly different from that of soil-growing pothos. Two of the best fertilizers for pothos our experts recommend is Dyna-Gro Liquid Grow Quart or Miracle-Gro Indoor Plant Food. Use according to the instructions on the label. However, we recommend always diluting it first so as not to stress the roots. Or worse, fertilizer burn.
Pothos are not fussy about the fertilizer. But, our expertise recommends the organic fertilizers as they can ensure steady nutrient supply without harming your plant’s roots. However, if you prefer to grow them thick faster, then the NPK fertilizer will be your favorite. But please remember not to over fertilize to prevent stress and root burn.
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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Do You Fertilize Pothos In Water?
Even though they grow in water, you still have to fertilize pothos to encourage growth and keep them healthy. You can do it every 4 to 6 weeks using water-soluble fertilizer. Thus, the nutrients will be quickly absorbed. But if you can’t find one, granular or powdered fertilizers are OK.
What Should You Feed Your Pothos In Water?
Liquid fertilizer is one of the best options you can choose to feed your pothos. Its liquid form allows your plant to have a better nutrient absorption. Also, choose the all-purpose NPK fertilizer with a composition of balanced nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. Particularly with the pothos fertilizer ratio of 10-10-10, 15-15-15, or 20-20-20.
Can You Use Orchid Fertilizer On Pothos?
If you have orchid fertilizers, you can use them for your pothos with no harm. It works great to help their growth and is also cost-efficient. However, you may need to dilute the fertilizer as most houseplants require lower nutrients than orchids.
Do Pothos Need Nitrogen?
Like all plants, nitrogen is one of the most crucial chemical elements pothos needs. It helps your plant to perform photosynthesis, a process in which they produce foods to thrive. In addition, it also encourages leaves and stems growth. Hence, your pothos can grow dense foliage with solid stem structures.
Is Epsom Salt Good for Pothos?
In addition to nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, pothos need sulfur to produce chlorophyll and grow thick leaves. You can get the additional sulfur supply from Epsom salt. Besides, the salt also helps to prevent dead and brown spots on their brown as it is rich in magnesium.
Are Eggshells Good for Pothos?
Eggshells are a kind of natural fertilizer that offers additional calcium supply for your pothos. Calcium is important to ensure strong roots. It also prevents disrupted stems and leaves growth. However, you can’t just leave the shells on the soil surface. They must be washed, crushed, dried, and then you can ground them.