Pothos are known to be the most popular and easy to grow houseplants amongst others, and definitely, for a reason. You can hardly find a house garden without adequate samples of pothos. Not only do they add beauty and greenery to your backyard, but they do it without demanding anything much.
However, one should remember that they are still living beings and therefore need basic care and food to not only survive, but also thrive. What can be a better source of food than fertilizers for pothos? Nothing, right?
Unfortunately, many people find it hard to select the right fertilizer type for their growing pothos plants. Since this is a common problem, we decided to bring to your screen some viable solutions for that.
In the preceding article, you would be well-versed with the importance of giving regular amounts of fertilizer to your pothos plant, a short comparison between some of the best fertilizer options for pothos, and what is the ideal quantity of fertilizer that the pothos needs.
Towards the end, you will also find some quick bonus tips to give your pothos plant extra care and nourishment.
Also Read: Pothos Cuttings Not Rooting
Importance of Fertilizing Pothos
Let us start by telling you how significant it is to fertilize your pothos plant. Pothos do not usually expect you to feed them abundantly, but they do need an optimum amount to get them going.
To understand it with an empathetic tone, think about the time when you were deprived of food for a long time. We are always told that we would get sick if we don’t need it regularly. Same goes for the pothos plant.
If not fed for a long time, they would make home for pests, diseases, and other microorganisms, which would be harmful to their own health. Soon, they would die of losing their vigor and inadequacy of nutrients.
Although the instant yellowing of leaves would warn you of a possible threat, chances are that things might not remain all good after that.
Further, your pothos requires an appropriate blend of nutrients to thrive and protect itself from falling or drooping. This is only possible by selecting a fertilizer rich in nutrients required by pothos and spraying it regularly.
In addition, you can always keep checking for signs that your pothos conveys to you when it lacks nutrients. Stunted growth, brownish edges, drooping leaves, leggy growth, and weak roots are some of them.
But, there are a variety of fertilizers present in the commercial market. How can we choose the best out of them? Checkout the following section as it gives you some foundational guidelines to choose the best fertilizer for pothos.
Also Read: Do Pothos Need Sunlight?
Choosing the best pothos fertilizer
No matter what type of pothos you choose to grow, there are certain guidelines that lay the foundation for maintaining the perfect health for each of them. These guidelines will help you segregate between the basic fertilizer kinds.
If you feel overwhelmed by the options of fertilizers available in the market, remember to go for something that says “balanced fertilizers”. A balanced fertilizer will give you the adequate blend of frequency and dilution.
In case of pothos plants, a balanced fertilizer will have the proposition NPK ratio 10/10/10. Also, you would want to keep away from the purchase of fertilizers when winters set in. This is because pothos hardly require fertilizer during the time.
And that’s it! Use the guidelines to segregate between fertilizers present in the market.
Best Fertilizers for Pothos
When you locate fertilizers with the NPK ratio of 10/10/10, you would see a number of options listed. This would create further confusion. But, if you read what we have to say, you would be able to make an informed decision way before time.
We will look at five of these commonly available fertilizer kinds and analyse them to select the best one for you. Also, see what we have to say about homemade fertilizers for pothos, and how you can make them.
Also Read: Best Potting Mix for Pothos
Liquid fertilizer for pothos
Chances are that you would be able to see the liquid fertilizer for pothos more frequently than any other kind. Contrary to its name, sometimes liquid fertilizers are also available in a powdered form, but you can later dilute it as per the given instructions to achieve the ideal consistency.
This is also a very effective fertilizer solution for your pothos plants, so if you find it, there is definitely no harm in keeping it. However, while diluting, do not keep the dosage very strong, or it may cause damage to your plant.
The recommended dosage of liquid fertilizers is once per month.
If you are planning to keep your pothos plants indoors for most part of the day, then this might be the right choice for you. Something that makes it the least preferable option is the unbalanced NPK ratio.
This makes us doubt our choice of a perfect fertilizer. As is evident by its name, these fertilizers work by steadily releasing nutrients after each watering session and helps the plant to remain sturdy for long periods of time.
If you cannot find anything else apart from slow-release fertilizers, we recommend you to go making your own fertilizer. Slow-release can be a poor choice for many reasons.
Compost based fertilizers
Compost-based fertilizers are a natural way to keep your plants healthy for long. These organic fertilizers deliver the goodness of natural waste and rich organic material to your plant and make them thrive.
All you have to do is spread a handful of compost evenly amongst your plants. Be mindful of mixing the compost thoroughly so that the nutrients are mixed thoroughly.
The only problem is the foul smell produced by these fertilizers. This should not be a hassle as long as it gives amazing quality to your plants.
Granular fertilizers are the outdoor version of slow-release fertilizers. As you can identify by its name, granular fertilizers are made up of granules or pellets that are mixed with a potting mixture.
These fertilizers are okayish and might not qualify as the best fertilizer type for your soil. One of the many reasons why this is the case is that it acts to release abundant nutrients in your plant only in one go.
Plants are not ready for this nutrient-rush and this may damage them.
Also Read: Why Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow?
Coffee Grounds: do pothos like them?
Coffee grounds, as fertilizers, are a controversial topic for growing pothos. Long answer short, coffee grounds are fine for growing pothos, but the problem lies in spreading them directly. The concentration of acid in coffee grounds is high, and using it directly can burn the pothos plant.
Instead, you should consider diluting it with some compost or a liquid fertilizer to neutralise the effect. This way, you can provide benefit to your pothos plant using coffee grounds and without causing any harm to them.
Homemade fertilizer for pothos
If you are looking for an easy and quick way to turn your pothos green, lushy, and bushy, nothing can be better than homemade fertilizers. This organic method can be implemented through a lot of ways.
Fortunately, there are about 15 ways in which you can create a brilliant homemade fertilizer for your pothos. All you need is a little energy and time to spare.
Quantity of fertilizer needed by pothos
The quantity of fertilizer that your pothos requires is completely dependent on the type of fertilizer that you are using. If you opt for a liquid fertilizer, start by giving half of what is recommended on the packet.
Compost based fertilizers are rich and about a handful of them should go for making things right. You can also complement fertilization with thorough watering methods to let the nutrients seep in thoroughly.
Additionally seasons also determine how often we should fertilize our pothos plants. In the spring, fertilizing once in 5 weeks is considered appropriate. Do not fertilize the plant during winters. It might backfire.
Remember that overfertilization is not a good practice and does more harm to plants than any good.
Bonus Care Tips for Pothos
It is always important to abide by certain ground rules to keep your plant healthy. Whether or not you fertilize your pothos, it is recommended to take care of some small details while doing anything. Some of the care tips are:
Check out for burnt, brown, or discoloured leaves and do not let them stay on the plant for long. Prick them out immediately in a way that only green foliage is left behind.
Root root and plant damage should not occur. If anything happens, try repotting your plant to a pot of bigger size than before.
Check for the top layer of soil. You can easily identify if fertilizer is visible or not. Note that if you can see the fertilizer, then it is a sign of over-fertilizing. This is not good for the plant. Under such conditions equip yourself to remove excess fertilizer as soon as possible.
After you have fertilized your pothos plant, make sure to let it sit undisturbed for a few minutes. Then, water the plant in a way that excess fertilizer gets washed off easily.
Use soil that has good drainage characteristics and does not seem to be of a low quality.
Do not overwater. If you feel that the top layer of the soil is soggy and heavy, make holes in the pot for excess water to drain away.
To keep the leaves from looking dull, take a muslin cloth, soak it in water and gently clean the leaves. That’s all.
If you see your leaves turning yellow or pale in the summer, move them to a place of shade. This would keep them away from experiencing direct, bright sunlight.
If you suspect the presence of pests, apply insecticidal soap with the help of cotton on the affected areas. This would drive away the bugs, pests and other infection causing germs.
For any pothos variety, if you witness the leaves turning black, arrange for artificial lights or a warmer climate to keep your plant in. Additionally, keep them away from freezing cold temperatures.
Also Read: Where Should I Put My Orchid in My House?
Now you know how crucial it is to provide adequate amounts of fertilizer to your pothos plant on a regular basis, how can you do that, and what should you embrace your plants with.
Nevertheless, you should remember that your job does not end with fertilizing the pothos rightfully. In fact, there are a number of other tips and tricks that can assist you in maintaining the health of your pothos for a long time.
Worried about finding these tips? Don’t be, we’ve got you covered. You can check out more of our pothos-centric articles to get information about every little detail concerning your favorite pothos houseplant.
Khaja Moinuddin, a computer science graduate, finds joy in gardening and homesteading. Join him on this blog as he shares his experiences in homesteading, gardening, and composting