Best Fertilizer for Pothos: Key to its Thriving Beauty

Jess Simpson
Jess Simpson
Founder of Plant Care Simplified

Jess is a true horticulturist whose passion for plants has led her to become an expert in tropical houseplants. Jess was born and raised in...

Pothos plants are known for their gorgeous appearance and hardiness, making them a popular choice among indoor gardeners. However, proper care and maintenance are crucial to keeping these plants healthy and vibrant, including the best fertilizer for pothos and correct application.

Fertilization is a crucial aspect of proper care and maintenance for pothos plants and essential for their growth, health, and vibrancy. Below, we will discuss the importance of timing when it comes to fertilizing, the specific nutrient requirements of pothos plants, and the importance of choosing the right NPK ratio for optimal growth.

By the end of this article, you will be equipped with all the information you need to take care of your pothos plant like a pro, resulting in a thriving and beautiful plant.

Why Fertilize Pothos Plants?

Best Fertilizer for Pothos Plant
Best Fertilizer for Pothos Plants

Fertilization plays a crucial role in the growth and health of pothos plants. You can support your plant's growth, prevent deficiencies, and maintain its beauty by providing the right nutrients. Without fertilization, pothos plants may become stunted, yellow, or even die.

The Importance of Timing

Timing is key when it comes to fertilizing your pothos plant. Overfertilizing can cause damage to the plant, while under-fertilizing can result in slow growth and a lack of vibrancy. By understanding the proper timing and frequency of fertilization, you can ensure that your pothos plant receives the nutrients it needs to thrive.

Stay Focused on Your Goal: A Beautiful, Thriving Pothos Plant

By following the guidelines in this article, you can take your pothos plant care to the next level and achieve a thriving, beautiful plant that will be the envy of all your friends. Get ready to learn all about fertilizing pothos plants and start taking care of your plant like a pro!

Understanding Pothos Plant Nutrient Requirements

While they are low maintenance, understanding their nutrient requirements will go a long way to keeping them healthy and thriving. Below, we will delve into the specific nutrients that pothos plants need and why they are essential.

Understanding Pothos Plant Nutrient Requirements

When it comes to fertilizing your pothos plant, choosing the right NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) ratio is essential. Understanding the purpose of each nutrient and how they contribute to the overall health of your plant can help you choose the best fertilizer for your needs.

Macronutrients: Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium

Macronutrients are the primary nutrients that pothos plants need in large quantities for healthy growth. 

Nitrogen (N) - best fertilizer for pothos

Nitrogen is a vital nutrient for pothos plants, as it is crucial in promoting leaf growth and chlorophyll production. A nitrogen-rich fertilizer will help your pothos grow lush green leaves.

Phosphorus (P)

Phosphorus is essential for root development, flower production, and overall plant health. A fertilizer with a high phosphorus content will encourage your pothos plant to develop a robust root system, which is crucial for its growth and survival.

Potassium (K)

Potassium is an essential nutrient that helps regulate water uptake and the overall health of your pothos plant. It also plays a role in promoting healthy stems and leaves and enhancing general stress tolerance.

NPK Ratio: Best Fertilizer for Pothos for Optimal Growth

NPK Ratio - Best Fertilizer for Pothos for Optimal Growth
NPK Ratio - Best Fertilizer for Pothos for Optimal Growth background

When choosing a fertilizer for your pothos plant, choose a fertilizer with the correct NPK ratio. Generally, a balanced NPK fertilizer with equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. As Pothos is a fast-growing plant fertilizer with an NPK of 10:10:10, which will provide your plant with the right balance of nutrients it needs to grow healthy and strong. You can use fertilizers with a lower percentage of nutrients, such as 5:5:5, but you will find that you need to use much more to provide adequate levels of nutrients.

However, the plant's growth stage can change this ratio. If you have a young pothos plant still in its seedling stage, consider choosing a fertilizer with a higher nitrogen content (NPK 24-8-16 ) to encourage lush leaf growth. 

On the other hand, if your pothos is starting to flower or produce fruit, the best fertilizer for pothos will have a higher phosphorus content, such as fertilizer with an NPK of 10:15:10, will help promote healthy blooms and fruit production.

What is certain is that choosing the right NPK ratio is crucial for the health and growth of your pothos plant, and when selecting a fertilizer, consider your plant's growth stage and adjust the NPK ratio accordingly.

Micronutrients: Iron, Manganese, and Zinc

Micronutrients are needed in smaller quantities but are still crucial for a pothos plant's health. Iron helps the plant produce chlorophyll, which is essential for photosynthesis. Manganese is needed to develop healthy roots, stems, and leaves. Zinc is essential for the plant's growth and the formation of new shoots.

Soil Requirements

In addition to the proper balance of nutrients,having the right soil for your pothos plant makes a big difference. The soil/potting mix should be well-draining to prevent root rot while retaining enough moisture to keep the plant hydrated. A general-purpose potting mix or a mix formulated explicitly for foliage plants is a good choice.

With a basic understanding of the nutrients that pothos plants need, you can now determine the best way to fertilize your plant.

What is the Right Type of Fertilizer for Pothos Plants

A golden pothos plant - best fertilizer for pothos
Best fertilizer for pothos

With a basic understanding of the nutrients that pothos plants need, you can now determine the best way to fertilize your plant. Choosing the correct type of fertilizer ensures that your plant will get the necessary nutrients for optimal growth and health.

Types of Fertilizers

  • Water-Soluble Fertilizers
  • Slow-Release Fertilizers
  • Organic Fertilizers

Water-Soluble Fertilizers 

Water-soluble fertilizers are easy to use and provide quick results. They are mixed with water and applied directly to the soil, giving the plant a quick boost of nutrients. This type of fertilizer is ideal for young or fast-growing plants that require frequent feedings.

Slow-Release Fertilizers 

Slow-release fertilizers are an excellent option for mature pothos plants, as they provide a steady release of nutrients over a long period. They are formulated to gradually release small amounts of nutrients into the soil, so your plant will receive a consistent supply of nutrition.

Organic Fertilizers 

Organic fertilizers are made from natural materials, such as compost or animal manure. They are slow-release and provide a gentle, balanced supply of nutrients to your pothos plant. Organic fertilizers are great for those looking for an eco-friendly and sustainable option for their plants.

Choosing the Right Fertilizer for Your Pothos Plant 

When selecting the best fertilizer for pothos plants, consider the growth stage and the type of fertilizer that best suits its needs. You should always read and follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully and avoid over-fertilizing, as this can harm your plant.

Having said that, considering the nutrient requirements of your pothos plant and selecting the correct type of fertilizer, you can provide the ideal growing conditions and promote healthy, lush growth.

Synthetic Fertilizer for Pothos Plants

Fertilizing pothos plants can be done through both synthetic and organic methods. Synthetic fertilizers are formulated chemicals that provide specific nutrients required for growth. These fertilizers can be a convenient and effective way to care for pothos plants, but it's good to grasp the pros and cons before making a choice.

Pros of Synthetic Fertilizer for Pothos Plants

  • Convenient: Synthetic fertilizers are easy to find and purchase, making them a suitable option for pothos plant owners. They also come in various formulas to choose the right one for your plant's specific nutrient needs.
  • Fast-acting: Synthetic fertilizers are fast-acting, so you can see results quickly. This is especially useful for plants that require an immediate boost in nutrition.
  • Precise application: Synthetic fertilizers come in measured amounts, allowing for specific application. This is especially important for pothos plants, which can be sensitive to over-fertilization.

Cons of Synthetic Fertilizer for Pothos Plants

  • Artificial ingredients: Synthetic fertilizers contain artificial ingredients that can harm the environment and wildlife. They also don't provide the same range of nutrients as natural fertilizers.
  • Can cause salt buildup: Synthetic fertilizers can cause salt buildup in the soil, harming pothos plants. Over time, the salt can damage the plant's roots and prevent it from absorbing water and nutrients.
  • Maybe short-lasting: Synthetic fertilizers often have a shorter lifespan than natural fertilizers, meaning you may need to reapply them more frequently to keep your pothos plant healthy.

While synthetic fertilizers have many advantages, it is clear that there are also some significant drawbacks that you need to consider before applying them to your pothos plant

Organic Fertilizer for Pothos

Organic fertilizers are derived from natural sources such as animal manure, bone meal, or seaweed extract. They offer several benefits for pothos plants, but, again, there are also some downsides.

Pros of Organic Fertilizer for Pothos:

  • Long-term soil improvement: Organic fertilizers improve soil structure and fertility, providing long-term benefits for pothos plants. They help increase plant nutrient availability while improving soil texture and water-holding capacity.
  • Environmentally friendly: Organic fertilizers are biodegradable and do not harm the environment or contribute to water pollution, making them a good choice for environmentally conscious gardeners.
  • No chemical residue: Unlike synthetic fertilizers, organic fertilizers do not leave chemical residues in the soil that can harm beneficial insects and microorganisms.

Cons of Organic Fertilizer for Pothos:

  • Slow release of nutrients: Organic fertilizers release their nutrients slowly over time, which means that pothos plants may need more time to get the quick boost of nutrients they need to grow quickly.
  • Requires regular application: Organic fertilizers need to be applied more frequently than synthetic fertilizers, which can be time-consuming for gardeners.
  • May attract pests: The organic matter in some organic fertilizers, such as manure, can attract pests like rodents or insects.

Choosing to use organic fertilizers for pothos plants.will often come down to individual circumstances and priorities and, ultimately, any specific needs the pothos plants in question has and to adjust the type and frequency of fertilizing accordingly.

How to Fertilize Pothos Plants

To keep your pothos plant healthy and thriving, it is essential to provide it with the proper nutrients at the right time. Following is a list of the steps you need to take to fertilize your pothos plant correctly.


Before fertilizing your pothos plant, you must prepare the right tools and materials. Here's what you'll need:

  • Water-soluble fertilizer
  • Water
  • Measuring cup
  • Spray bottle
  • Gloves (optional)

Step 1: Mix Fertilizer and Water

Mix the water-soluble fertilizer with water according to the manufacturer's instructions. Be careful not to over-fertilize your plant, so measure the fertilizer precisely.

Step 2: Apply the Solution

Once you have mixed the fertilizer and water, transfer the solution to a spray bottle. Using a watering can or spray bottle apply the solution evenly onto the soil/potting mix. 

Step 3: Water Thoroughly

After you have applied the fertilizer, water the soil thoroughly to help the nutrients reach the roots. Make sure not to wet the leaves, as this can cause damage.


It's recommended to fertilize your pothos plant every 4-6 weeks during the growing season. During the winter, when the plant is dormant, you can reduce the frequency of fertilization or stop it altogether.

Tips: Fertilizing Pothos Plants

Fertilizing your pothos plant is an essential part of its care regimen. Proper fertilization can help your plant grow healthy and vibrant, but there are a few key things to keep in mind to get the best results. In this section, we'll cover tips to help you make the most of your pothos plant's fertilization process.

Having covered the basics of fertilizing pothos plants, it's time to delve into some tips to help maximize your efforts' benefits. Read on to learn more.

Frequency of Fertilization

When it comes to fertilizing your pothos plant, you should balance providing enough nutrients to support growth against not overloading the plant with too much fertilizer. As a general rule, you should fertilize your pothos plant every 4 to 6 weeks, depending on the growth stage ( more often when flowering) and the conditions in your home.

Avoid Overfertilization

One of the most significant risks of fertilizing your pothos plant is overfertilization, which can lead to a buildup of excess nutrients in the soil and cause harm to the plant. To avoid this, follow the manufacturer's instructions for the fertilizer you're using and avoid applying more than the recommended amount.

Monitor Plant Health

Regularly monitoring the health of your pothos plant should be part of fertilizing program. If you notice any signs of stress or ill health, such as yellowing leaves, stunted growth, or a lack of blooms, it may be time to adjust your fertilization regimen.

Seasonal Adjustments

One aspect sometimes forgotten is the need to consider seasonal changes when fertilizing your pothos plant. During the growing season, you may need to fertilize more frequently, while in the winter, you may want to reduce the frequency or use a fertilizer with a lower concentration of nutrients.

Background Info - Best Fertilizer for Pothos

fertilizing pothos plant
Fertilizing pothos plant

The Pothos plant is sometimes called a Money Plant or devil's ivy. One of the most common varieties kept as a houseplant is the golden pothos ( Epipremnum aureum).

Jess Simpson
Jess SimpsonFounder of Plant Care Simplified

Jess is a true horticulturist whose passion for plants has led her to become an expert in tropical houseplants. Jess was born and raised in South East Asia surrounded by lush jungles and lush botanical gardens. This environment prompted her to develop a love for all things green and growing. A move to the UK helped her plant care skills and improved her knowledge Her commitment to her craft and her dedication to her customers has earned her a reputation as one of the best in the business. She continues to inspire others with her love for nature and the environment.Bio Page

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