Fertilizing Pothos

Potting soil can become depleted of nutrients over time since plants absorb nutrients from the soil, and repetitive watering flushes the nutrients out of the soil. In native habitats, regular cycles of decay replenish soils with nutrients and organic materials. Container plants and houseplants should be fertilized to replenish the nutrients in the soil and support continued plant growth.


Why Fertilize Pothos

There are many beneficial reasons for fertilizing your Pothos houseplant. Fertilizer will help the overall health and vitality of the plant by replenishing much needed nutrients in the soil. Fertilizer will help your Pothos produce vigorous and strong growth. Along with increasing the growth rate of Pothos, fertilizer can improve the vibrancy and appearance of Pothos foliage. Fertilize your Pothos during the active growing season in spring and summer, and hold off on feeding during the dormant winter months. 

How Often To Fertilize Pothos

Pothos plants are not heavy feeders and therefore do not require frequent fertilizer applications. During the active growing season of spring and summer, plan to fertilize your pothos about once a month. Fertilizing more frequently than once a month can be harmful to the plant. 

How To Tell If Pothos Needs Fertilizer

Pothos plants will give you signs that it is underfed. If your Pothos plant has slowed its growth and is not pushing out fresh new leaves during the active growing season, it could likely benefit from some fertilizer. Slower growth is perfectly normal during the off seasons of late fall and winter and is not an indication for fertilizer. Chlorosis or an overall yellowing and or pale color development is another sign that Pothos could benefit from a feeding.

Best Fertilizer For Pothos

Pothos will benefit from fertilizer with a NPK ratio around 3-1-2, with 3 parts nitrogen, 1 part phosphorus, and 2 parts potassium, or a balanced 2-2-2 ratio. You can choose between granular or liquid fertilizer. Granular fertilizer tends to last longer while liquid fertilizer can be more easily diluted and applied more frequently. The beauty of liquid fertilizer is in the ability to control the strength of your application. For a plant like pothos that does not like to be overly fed, a liquid fertilizer might be the best choice. A high-quality, balanced liquid fertilizer is the Espoma Organic Indoor Houseplant Food, which should be diluted at 2 teaspoons of fertilizer per quart of water. 

Pothos Fertilizing Tips

Pothos houseplants benefit from regular fertilizer applications to replenish the nutrients in potting soil over time. Fertilizer will promote a healthy plant with lush vibrant foliage and vigorous growth. Signs that your Pothos could benefit from fertilizer include slow or stunted growth and pale yellowing leaves. 

  • Fertilize during spring and summer
  • Do not over-fertilize and follow the package directions 
  • Use a 3-1-2 or 2-2-2 NPK granular or liquid fertilizer
  • Slow growth and yellowing leaves are signs your plant needs additional nutrition
  • Fertilizer promotes vigorous growth and lush foliage


-Always wear protective gloves and a face mask when handling chemical fertilizers.

-Closely follow all directions and storage guidelines that are on the fertilizer label.

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Author Katie Endicott - Published 6-29-2023