Though pothos plants are one of the easiest houseplants to care for, they still need the right care to grow all those beautiful leaves and long, healthy vines. One of the most common pothos questions we hear is “How often should you fertilize a pothos plant?” Let’s break this down and look at why pothos plants need fertilizer, which fertilizer you should be using, and how often to fertilize.
Why Pothos Plants Need Fertilizer
Pothos plants need a certain balance of minerals in order to be healthy, such as potassium, nitrogen, phosphorus, copper, etc. This allows them to grow robust root structures, strong stems, and healthy leaves, as well as carry out essential processes like respiration and photosynthesis. Just as you need nutrients to function, so do plants.
In nature, pothos plants get all the nutrients they need from the soil they live in, which receives a steady supply of organic material in the form of broken-down plant and animal matter. These substances are rich in nutrients, so the plant gets all the minerals they need.
Pothos plants get their energy from sunlight, but they must absorb essential nutrients from the soil, whether those nutrients come from the natural breakdown of organic matter or from fertilizer. Think of fertilizer as a vitamin supplement for your pothos!
Potted pothos plants don’t have access to the natural breakdown of organic matter, so they must receive nutrients in supplement form. Most potting soils have pellet-form fertilizer mixed right in, but most plants will use up all available nutrients within a few months and need fertilizer to stay healthy.
Learn more about why plants need fertilizer here:
Why Do Houseplants Need Fertilizer?
7 Signs You’re Overfertilizing Your Houseplant and How to Fix It
6 Reasons Your Plant May Be Getting Too Much Fertilizer
7 Ways to Ensure Your Plant Gets the Right Amount of Fertilizer
How Often Should You Fertilize a Pothos Plant?
As a fairly fast-growing plant, pothos plants need regular fertilization, especially in the spring and summer, which is their typical growing season.
You can buy fertilizer in two forms: pellets/slow-release fertilizer and liquid fertilizer.
We suggest using a liquid fertilizer because this makes it easier to control how much your plant is actually getting, because you can’t control how fast a pellet fertilizer will break down and how much your plant will absorb.
So look for a liquid fertilizer that you can dilute when you water your plants. You’ll also want to make sure your fertilizer has a 3-1-2 NPK ratio, which is the ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium contained in the fertilizer (this should be clearly displayed on the bottle). But how often should you fertilize a pothos plant?
Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer! Liquid fertilizers come in different strengths, so you’ll need to follow the instructions on the bottle to know how often to fertilize your pothos plant with that particular fertilizer.
But if you want to make things easy on yourself (and your plant), I suggest using Pothos Plant Food because it contains the perfect balance of nutrients for pothos plants (and most of your other houseplants too!) and is gentle enough to use with each watering. So you don’t need to remember a fertilization schedule!
I just add a little to my watering can each week during the spring and summer, and every other week during the fall and winter. All my plants love it and my pothos have never looked better!
This is by far the easiest way to make sure your pothos plants are getting the right nutrients. You can buy Pothos Plant Food on Amazon.
Learn more about caring for pothos plants with our handy guides:
The Ultimate Guide to Pothos Varieties
The Complete Golden Pothos Care Guide
How Often You Should Water Pothos Plants?
What’s Wrong with My Pothos? Pothos Troubleshooting Guide