Pothos plants are a popular choice for both indoor and outdoor gardeners due to their striking foliage and easy maintenance. These plants are relatively low-maintenance, but they still require a bit of care to thrive. One important aspect of caring for Pothos plants is fertilization, which can provide them with the necessary nutrients for healthy growth and vibrant foliage. In this post, we will explore the benefits of fertilizing Pothos plants and provide tips on how to choose the right fertilizer for your plant.

Whether you’re a seasoned plant lover or new to the hobby, this guide will help you take your Pothos plant care to the next level. In this post, Choosing the Best Fertilizer for Pothos Plants: A Guide, I dish on all your Pothos plant’s fertilization needs, so let’s dive in!

a black bench with a pothos plant next to it.

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The Benefits of Fertilizing Your Pothos Plant

  • Improved Growth: Fertilizing your Pothos plant can help it grow faster and healthier. Nutrients provided by fertilizers can help the plant develop stronger roots and foliage.
  • Increased Flowering: If you have a flowering Pothos plant, regular fertilization can encourage it to produce more flowers.
  • Better Resistance to Diseases and Pests: Fertilizers can boost your Pothos plant’s natural defenses, making it less susceptible to diseases and pests.
  • Nutrient Replenishment: As your Pothos plant grows, it will use up the nutrients in the soil. Fertilizing regularly can help replenish these nutrients, ensuring that your plant stays healthy.
  • Cost-Effective: Fertilizers are relatively inexpensive and can help you get the most out of your Pothos plant, saving you money in the long run.
  • Environmentally Friendly: By fertilizing your Pothos plant, you can help it thrive without the need for harsh chemicals or pesticides. This is a more environmentally friendly approach to plant care.
  • Easy to Do: Fertilizing your Pothos plant is easy and can be done in just a few simple steps. With a little bit of knowledge and some basic tools, you can keep your plant happy and healthy for years to come.
a full view of a pothos that drapes to the floor with black bench next to it.

Types of Fertilizers for Pothos Plants and N-P-K Ratio Considerations

There are many different types of fertilizers available for Pothos plants, including liquid, slow-release, granular, and water-soluble fertilizers. Synthetic fertilizers contain chemical components that are fast-acting but can cause excess nutrients and root burn if not applied correctly. On the other hand, organic fertilizers are a great option for providing necessary nutrients slowly and in smaller quantities. They also improve soil quality and provide essential elements that synthetic fertilizers lack.

When choosing the best fertilizer for your Pothos plants, pay close attention to the N-P-K ratio, which stands for the primary nutrients nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These are the essential nutrients required for plant growth, with varying ratios depending on the plant’s needs. Pothos plants are light feeders and require a balanced fertilizer with an N-P-K ratio of 20-20-20 or 10-10-10.

If you prefer organic fertilizers, there are many options to choose from. One popular choice is making your own fertilizer using natural sources such as banana peels, coffee grounds, green tea, and even aquarium water. For example, you can create a homemade Pothos plant food by mixing one cup of fresh coffee grounds with a gallon of water and leaving it to steep for 24 hours. This nutrient-rich mixture can then be used to water your plants on a regular basis. Let’s delve deeper into these topics.

Organic fertilizers are a great option for providing necessary nutrients slowly and in smaller quantities.

A photo of marble queen pothos leaves. This is a variegated variety that needs good sunlight.

Understanding the Different Types of Fertilizers: Chemical vs. Organic vs. Slow-release

There are different types of fertilizers available in the market, and it’s important to understand their differences to choose the best one for your pothos plants. Chemical fertilizers are synthetic and usually provide nutrients in higher concentrations. Organic fertilizers, on the other hand, are made from natural sources and are a good option for those who prefer a more eco-friendly approach. Slow-release fertilizers provide nutrients over an extended period of time, which means you don’t have to fertilize as often.

More on N-P-K ratio: What is it, and Why is it Important for Pothos Plants?

N-P-K ratio refers to the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium present in a fertilizer. Nitrogen helps with leaf growth, phosphorus with root development, and potassium with overall plant health. Understanding the N-P-K ratio is important because it determines the type of fertilizer your pothos plants need. For instance, if your plant has yellow leaves, it might need a fertilizer with a higher nitrogen content.

Fertilizer Options and Considerations for Pothos Plants

Fertilizer TypeProsCons
Liquid FertilizersFast-acting – Easy to apply – Provide immediate nutrients Can burn roots if overapplied – Require more frequent applications – Can build up salts in soil
Granular/Slow-releaseProvide nutrients over time – Harder to overapply – Amend soil structure Slower to show effects – Less customizable nutrient ratios
Organic sources (compost, worm castings)Improve soil health – Release nutrients slowly – Environmentally friendlySlower acting than synthetic fertilizers – Nutrient ratios less controlled
Synthetic/ChemicalCustomizable nutrient ratios – Fast-acting – Precisely measuredPotential to over-fertilize – Accumulate in soil over time – Less environmentally friendly

Key: Use balanced liquid or slow-release fertilizers. Organic sources complement synthetic fertilizers.

Fertilizing Schedule: How Often Should You Fertilize Your Pothos Plants?

Fertilizing too much or too little can harm your pothos plants. It’s best to follow a fertilizing schedule to provide the right amount of nutrients. During the growing season (spring and summer), fertilize your plants every two weeks. In the colder months (fall and winter), fertilize once a month or stop altogether. Remember, always read the label of your fertilizer for specific instructions.

A popular practice among plant enthusiasts is incorporating a small quantity of fertilizer into their regular watering routine, ensuring a consistent and healthy feeding schedule for their beloved pothos.

Signs of Over-fertilization and How to Prevent It

Over-fertilization can cause fertilizer burn and harm your pothos plants. Signs of over-fertilization include brown tips on leaves, stunted growth, and yellow leaves. To prevent over-fertilization, follow the recommended amount and frequency of fertilizer application. It’s also a good idea to use a fertilizer with a balanced N-P-K ratio and to apply fertilizer in smaller quantities.

Best Practices for Fertilizing Pothos Plants with Commercial Fertilizer

  1. Read the Instructions: Carefully read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the fertilizer packaging. Pay attention to recommended dilution ratios and application frequencies.
  2. Dilute Properly: When preparing the fertilizer solution, use the recommended amount of fertilizer per gallon of water. Avoid over-diluting or under-diluting, as this can affect nutrient delivery.
  3. Use Suitable Water: Use room-temperature water when mixing the fertilizer solution. Avoid extremes in water temperature, as it can stress the plant.
  4. Water First: Before applying the fertilizer, water your Pothos thoroughly with plain water. This helps prevent root burn by reducing the concentration of fertilizer in the soil.
  5. Apply During the Growing Season: Fertilize your Pothos plants during the active growing season, which typically occurs in spring and summer. During this period, the plant benefits most from the extra nutrients.
  6. Frequency of Application: Apply fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season. In fall and winter, reduce the frequency to once a month or suspend fertilization altogether, as the plant’s growth slows down.
  7. Avoid Fertilizing Newly Potted Plants: If you’ve recently repotted your Pothos, wait for a few months before applying fertilizer. Newly potted plants may still have nutrients in the soil.
  8. Apply Evenly: Distribute the fertilizer solution evenly across the soil surface, avoiding direct contact with the plant’s leaves. You can use a watering can or a dedicated liquid fertilizer dispenser for precision.
  9. Monitor Your Plant: Keep an eye on your Pothos for any signs of over-fertilization, such as yellowing leaves, stunted growth, or soil salt buildup. If you notice these issues, adjust your fertilization routine accordingly.
  10. Flush the Soil: Periodically, flush the soil with plain water to remove any accumulated salts or excess nutrients. This helps prevent salt buildup, which can harm the plant’s roots.
  11. Maintain a Consistent Routine: Consistency is key when it comes to fertilizing Pothos plants. Establish a routine and stick to it, adjusting as needed based on your plant’s response.

Remember that Pothos plants are relatively forgiving when it comes to fertilization, but following these best practices will help ensure that your plant receives the right nutrients in the right amounts, promoting healthy growth and vibrant foliage.

a pothos on my kitchen island with a book, plant mister and cloche.

Potting Mix and Soil Amendments

The type of potting mix and soil amendments you use can affect how your pothos plants absorb nutrients. A potting mix that is too dense can cause root rot, while a mix that is too loose might not provide enough nutrients. Adding organic material, such as compost or worm castings, can improve soil fertility and promote healthy plant growth.

The Best Time to Fertilize Pothos Plants Spring vs. Summer vs. Winter

The best time to fertilize your pothos plants depends on the season. During the growing season (spring and summer), your plants need more nutrients to support growth. In the winter months, plants are dormant and don’t require as much fertilizer. It’s important to adjust your fertilizing schedule based on the season to ensure your pothos plants are getting the necessary nutrients.

Indoor vs. Outdoor Pothos Plants

Different fertilizer requirements Indoor and outdoor pothos plants have different fertilizer requirements. Outdoor plants may need more frequent fertilization as nutrients can leach out of the soil due to rain or watering. Indoor plants, on the other hand, may need less frequent fertilization as they are not exposed to the elements as much.

Importance of Proper Care for Healthy Plant Growth

Watering, light, and humidity requirements Fertilizing is just one aspect of plant care. Proper watering, light, and humidity requirements are also essential for healthy plant growth. Overwatering can cause root rot, while underwatering can lead to a lack of nutrients. Pothos plants thrive in indirect light.

a marble queen pothos plant

About Homemade Fertilizer for your Pothos Plant

This homemade fertilizer recipe using household waste and products is a fantastic way to provide your Pothos plants with the essential nutrients they need to thrive. Banana peels and coffee grounds are rich in potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus – the primary nutrients that all plants require for healthy growth. This fertilizer is also organic, which means it contains natural sources of nutrients that are easily absorbed by the plant’s roots. The fermentation process helps to break down the organic material and release the essential elements necessary for the plant’s growth. This recipe is easy to make and an eco-friendly way to reduce household waste while providing your Pothos plants with the perfect multivitamin for optimal growth.

Organic fertilizer contains natural sources of nutrients that are easily absorbed by the plant’s roots.

Step-by-step Instructions for Making a Homemade Fertilizer for Pothos Plants using Household Wastes


  • Banana peels
  • Coffee grounds
  • Empty container with lid
  • Water


  1. Collect banana peels and coffee grounds from your household waste.
  2. Cut the banana peels into small pieces and add them to the empty container.
  3. Add the coffee grounds to the container with the banana peels.
  4. Pour water into the container, making sure the banana peels and coffee grounds are fully submerged.
  5. Close the lid and shake the container to mix the ingredients.
  6. Let the mixture sit for 2-3 days, stirring occasionally to promote fermentation.
  7. After 2-3 days, strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove any solid pieces.
  8. Dilute the liquid fertilizer with water at a ratio of 1:10 (one part fertilizer to ten parts water).
  9. Pour the diluted fertilizer onto the soil around the base of your Pothos plants.
  10. Repeat this process every two weeks during the growing season to provide your Pothos plants with essential nutrients.

Using household waste and products to make a homemade fertilizer is not only a great way to provide essential nutrients to your Pothos plants but also an eco-friendly way to reduce waste. By following these simple steps, you can create a nutrient-rich fertilizer that will promote healthy growth and thriving Pothos plants in your home or garden.

banana peels cut into pieces and and placed in a jar.

Other Plants that Would Benefit from this Homemade Fertilizer Recipe

Do you know what’s even better than making your own homemade fertilizer? Finding out that it can benefit not just one, but a whole bunch of other plants too! So, here’s a list of our green friends that can thrive with the same recipe:

  1. Money plants
  2. Roses
  3. Tomatoes
  4. Peppers

Keep in mind that this recipe contains essential nutrients and organic matter that can promote healthy growth in plants that are heavy feeders or require specific nutrients. Dilute the fertilizer appropriately and apply in smaller quantities to avoid over-fertilization and potential damage to the plant’s roots.

beautiful pink rose bush.

Epsom Salt for Pothos Plants

For Pothos enthusiasts aiming for vibrant, lush foliage, integrating Epsom salt into your care routine can be a game-changer. Epsom salt is a rich source of sulfur and magnesium, crucial elements for optimal plant growth. Sulfur plays a pivotal role in chlorophyll production, while magnesium deficiency can lead to unsightly brown spots on the leaves. To harness the benefits of Epsom salt for your Pothos, simply mix a tablespoon of it in a gallon of water. Apply this solution by spraying it onto the leaves, resulting in greener, fuller foliage that every Pothos grower desires. Alongside other household supplies used for homemade Pothos fertilizer, Epsom salt proves to be an excellent natural enhancement.

Rice Water Fertilizer Recipe for Pothos Plants

Another homemade fertilizer recipe for Pothos plants is rice water. After cooking rice, strain the water and dilute it with two cups of fresh water. The nutrient-rich water can then be used to feed your plants, providing essential nutrients for growth and aiding in nutrient uptake.

a nursery filled with plants.

The Importance of a Well-Balanced Soil Mix for Pothos Plants

While fertilizer is an important part of Pothos care, good soil is the place to start. Without a healthy soil mix, your Pothos plant won’t be able to thrive, no matter how much fertilizer you give it. In fact, using too much fertilizer can even harm your plant’s roots and stunt its growth. That’s why it’s crucial to use a well-balanced soil mix that provides your Pothos with all the nutrients it needs.

In my post, The Ultimate Pothos Soil Mix Recipe I provide a recipe for the perfect soil mix for pothos plants. It emphasizes the importance of good drainage, moisture retention, organic matter, essential nutrients, and room to breathe in the soil for the growth and health of pothos plants. I recommend a mix of coconut coir, orchid bark, sphagnum peat moss, perlite, coarse sand, horticultural charcoal, and earthworm castings for the perfect pothos soil mix. The post also discusses the benefits of pothos plants, their preferred pH level, and the advantages of making one’s own soil mix for them.

a hand full of soil mix.

Maximizing Plant Growth: The Relationship between Watering and Fertilizing

Watering and fertilizing are two important practices that are closely connected when it comes to maintaining healthy plants. Adequate watering is essential for the uptake of nutrients from the soil and the proper functioning of plant cells, while fertilizers provide essential nutrients that may not be present in sufficient quantities in the soil. Overwatering or underwatering can lead to nutrient deficiencies while over-fertilizing or under-fertilizing can cause similar problems. Therefore, it is crucial to strike the right balance between watering and fertilizing to ensure optimal plant growth and health. Regular monitoring of soil moisture and nutrient levels can help achieve this balance and ensure that plants receive the water and nutrients they need to thrive.

In my earlier blog post “How Often Should I Water a Pothos Plant,” these plants are low-maintenance and forgiving, but there are a few guidelines to keep in mind. Plan on watering your plant every 1-2 weeks with cool tap water. In general, Pothos like to dry out a bit between watering. The pot and drainage holes also play a role in how often you should water. Plants in a terracotta pot may need more watering than those in a plastic pot, and drainage holes are recommended for most plants to avoid excess water. To learn more about proper care for your pothos plant, check out my earlier blog post “How Often Should I Water a Pothos Plant.” By following these watering tips and providing proper care, you can enjoy a beautiful, healthy pothos plant.

Adequate watering is essential for the uptake of nutrients from the soil and the proper functioning of plant cells, while fertilizers provide essential nutrients that may not be present in sufficient quantities in the soil.

watering a Golden Pothos in my sink.

Sunlight and Fertilizing: The Perfect Combo for Pothos Plants

While good soil and fertilization are crucial for Pothos plant health, sunlight is just as important. Pothos plants require bright, indirect light to thrive, but too much direct sunlight can scorch their leaves. When choosing a spot for your Pothos, make sure it receives the appropriate amount of light and that you adjust the lighting based on the seasons. As a general rule, Pothos plants do best with bright, indirect light for six to eight hours per day. And don’t forget, proper sunlight also enhances the benefits of fertilizing. When combined with the right amount of light, fertilizing helps Pothos plants reach their full potential, producing lush green leaves and vibrant vines.

a pothos plant basking in the sunlight.

Frequently Asked Questions about Fertilizing Your Pothos Plant

When should I fertilize my Pothos plant?

When applying fertilizer, it is crucial to follow the recommended amount and fertilizing schedule to avoid excess nutrients and fertilizer burn. During the growing season, fertilize your Pothos plants every two weeks with a gentle plant food, and during the colder months, reduce the frequency to once a month.

What is the best fertilizer for Pothos plants?

The best fertilizer for Pothos plants is a slow-release fertilizer with a balanced NPK ratio, such as a 20-20-20 or 10-10-10. Organic fertilizers are also a good option, as they provide necessary nutrients in a gentle and natural way.

How often should I fertilize my Pothos plant?

It is recommended to fertilize Pothos plants every two weeks during the growing season and reduce fertilization during the colder months.

Can I use synthetic fertilizers on my Pothos plant?

Yes, synthetic fertilizers can be used on Pothos plants, but it is important to follow the instructions carefully and not over-fertilize, which can lead to fertilizer burn and damage the plant’s roots.

Can I make my own fertilizer for my Pothos plant?

Yes, homemade fertilizers using household waste and products are an excellent option for providing essential nutrients to Pothos plants. However, it is important to ensure that the fertilizer provides the necessary nutrients in the right quantities and does not contain too much fertilizer, which can damage the plant’s roots.

What are the signs of over-fertilization in Pothos plants?

Signs of over-fertilization in Pothos plants include yellow leaves, stunted growth, and root rot. It is important to pay close attention to the plant’s growth and adjust the fertilizer application accordingly.

a bright green pothos plant next to a black bench.

5 Key Takeaways from “Choosing the Best Fertilizer for Pothos Plants: A Guide”:

  1. Fertilization is crucial for Pothos plants to promote healthy growth, vibrant foliage, increased flowering, disease resistance, nutrient replenishment, cost-effectiveness, and environmentally friendly plant care.
  2. There are different types of fertilizers for Pothos, including liquid, slow-release, granular, and organic options, each with its pros and cons.
  3. Understanding the N-P-K ratio (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) is essential when selecting a fertilizer. Pothos plants typically thrive with a balanced N-P-K ratio of 20-20-20 or 10-10-10.
  4. Homemade fertilizers using household waste, such as banana peels and coffee grounds, offer an eco-friendly and cost-effective option for nourishing your Pothos plants.

I hope this post, Choosing the Best Fertilizer for Pothos Plants: A Guide has been helpful in providing you with useful information on how to fertilize your Pothos plants. Remember, fertilization is an important aspect of plant care that can greatly enhance the health and beauty of your Pothos. By following the tips and guidelines outlined in this post, you can ensure that your Pothos thrives and flourishes.

I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences on fertilizing Pothos plants. Do you have any tips or tricks that have worked well for you? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below. Your insights and experiences could help other plant lovers care for their Pothos plants with greater success!

For more plant inspiration and care visit my Indoor plant page!

Keep growing friends!

my signature, a drawing of me holding a coffee cup that says Create.

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