What fertilizer to use for pothos in water?

Pothos, with its lush green foliage and easy-to-care-for nature, is a popular choice for indoor plant enthusiasts. One of the appealing aspects of growing pothos is its ability to thrive in water alone, making it an excellent option for those who prefer not to deal with soil. While water-grown pothos can flourish with minimal attention, providing the right nutrients is crucial for maintaining its health and vibrancy. In this article, we’ll explore the best fertilizers to use for pothos grown in water and address some frequently asked questions regarding their care.

Choosing the Right Fertilizer

When it comes to fertilizing pothos grown in water, selecting the appropriate fertilizer is essential for promoting growth and maintaining the plant’s overall well-being. Since pothos extracts nutrients directly from the water, choosing a liquid fertilizer specifically formulated for hydroponic or water-cultured plants is ideal. These fertilizers are designed to dissolve easily in water, allowing the plant to absorb essential nutrients efficiently.

Key Nutrients

The primary nutrients that pothos requires for healthy growth are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K), often referred to as NPK. Additionally, pothos benefits from micronutrients such as iron, magnesium, and calcium, which support various physiological processes within the plant.

Recommended Fertilizers

  1. Hydroponic Nutrient Solution: Purpose-made hydroponic nutrient solutions are readily available in garden centers or online. Look for a balanced formula, such as 20-20-20, which provides equal proportions of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, along with essential micronutrients.
  2. Liquid All-Purpose Fertilizer: Many liquid all-purpose fertilizers can be used for pothos grown in water. Choose a balanced formula suitable for indoor plants and dilute it to half or quarter strength to prevent over-fertilization.
  3. Fish Emulsion: Fish emulsion is an organic fertilizer derived from fish waste. It provides a rich source of nitrogen and other nutrients that are beneficial for pothos. Dilute fish emulsion according to the manufacturer’s instructions before adding it to the water.
  4. Liquid Seaweed Fertilizer: Liquid seaweed fertilizer is an organic option that provides a range of nutrients, including nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, as well as trace minerals. It can help enhance the overall health and vitality of pothos grown in water.


1. How often should I fertilize my pothos in water? Fertilize your pothos approximately once a month during the growing season (spring and summer). Reduce fertilization frequency to once every two months during the dormant period (fall and winter).

2. Can I use regular houseplant fertilizer for my water-grown pothos? While you can use regular houseplant fertilizer, it’s essential to dilute it to avoid over-fertilization, which can harm the plant. Look for water-soluble fertilizers and follow the dilution instructions carefully.

3. Should I change the water after fertilizing my pothos? It’s a good practice to change the water in your pothos container after fertilizing. This helps prevent the buildup of salts and ensures that the plant has access to fresh, nutrient-rich water.

4. How do I know if my pothos needs fertilizer? Signs of nutrient deficiency in pothos include yellowing leaves, stunted growth, and reduced vibrancy. If you notice these symptoms, it may indicate that your plant requires fertilization.

In conclusion, providing the right fertilizer is essential for maintaining the health and vitality of pothos grown in water. Choose a liquid fertilizer specifically formulated for hydroponic or water-cultured plants, and follow the recommended application guidelines to ensure optimal growth and thriving foliage. With proper care and attention, your water-grown pothos will continue to be a beautiful and resilient addition to your indoor space.

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