When you pick up your first few pothos vines, you might ask yourself, “What soil mix for pothos?”
Unlike most plants, you do not need to worry about the soil too much for pothos plants because this lengthy vine just isn’t picky.
It can thrive in nearly any potting soil, but we will explain the ideal for it.
What Soil Mix for Pothos?
Pothos can grow in many situations including without soil, so you can plant it in just about any well-draining soil and it will thrive. You can use a pothos mix, make your own, or use an orchid or cactus potting soil. It also grows well in water.
Giving Pothos the Perfect Soil
This little plant really doesn’t ask for much. Dear little pothos just wants to grow long and strong.
In nature, it grows in the highest areas of trees – the canopy – in tropical rain forests. It doesn’t even have actual dirt in its native growth. It mostly hangs onto peat moss in the tree and bark.
With just that to grow on and the mists of the rainforest, this vine grows up to 30 feet in length (9 meters) and its leaves can grow to three feet in size.
Now, you won’t typically get your US pothos grown in your yard or house to do that. They rarely flower here, too, although they do in their native habitat.
You could potentially grow pothos solely in a greenhouse in perfect conditions to replicate the tropical growth.
Making Your Own Pothos Potting Soil
If you want to make your own Pothos potting soil mix, you need a few ingredients that aren’t typical.
Here’s your shopping list:
- Coco coir
- Peat moss
- Pine bark fines
You can pick either the coco coir or peat moss. You do not need both, but you can use both.
You can use one part peat moss and one part coco coir, or you can use two parts of either, coco coir or peat moss. Add to that, one part perlite, and one part pine bark fines.
Mix these materials well. It may not look like the potting soil you are accustomed to using, but how often do you plant a tropical forest at your house?
Get your soil ready for the vine by moistening the soil with enough water.
Blend the ingredients for your pothos potting soil mix in a large container, such as a bucket. You can obtain these at most garden supply stores.
They’re about knee height and let you have plenty of space for ingredient mixing which requires thrusting your hands into the materials and physically mixing them up together.
You then add the water to the soil before moving it to the pots for your pothos and potting them.
Purchasing a Pre-Mixed Soil
Not everyone has the time to make their own potting soil. You just might not be that into gardening either. That’s okay.
Some terrific pothos potting soils exist and most you can probably find locally. If not, you can order them online.
Check out DirtCo’s peat and perlite potting soil mix and the Happy Frog Potting Soil for Pothos.
If these options aren’t available, try an orchid soil mix. It provides the next-best option.
Finally, you could purchase a cactus potting mix for your pothos plant.
While not ideal since they drain a little too quickly to make a pothos happy, you can just water a little more often if you need to use this potting mix.
Frequently Asked Questions about What Soil Mix for Pothos
What soil pH does pothos prefer?
While they aren’t very picky, the pothos plant thrives in soil with a pH of between 6.0 and 6.5. It likes it a bit acidic, but quite close to neutral (a pH of 7.0). You can add a little bit of elemental sulfur to your potting mix if it has too high of a pH to start. Measure the pH before adding any and follow the directions on the package of elemental sulfur so you do not add too much. Check the pH again and make sure it is perfect before potting your pothos.
What do you add to a cactus or orchid potting soil mix for a pothos plant?
You need to add nutrients to a cactus potting mix before planting a pothos in it. On the other hand, with an orchid potting mix, you need to remove some bark. The orchid mix starts out too loose for a mature pothos plant.
Can pothos soil go bad?
Not exactly. When your pothos outgrows its current pot, you will need to re-pot in a larger one. Whenever you re-pot pothos, you need to change its soil. This removes any diseased soil or debris and solves any compaction problems.
How moist should the soil be for a pothos plant?
Make your pothos plants happy by providing them with a well-draining container that can hold moisture. If that sounds conflicting, it means that you need the water to flow through the soil when you water the plant and drain through to the tray beneath the container. This keeps excess water from the roots, but it lets the pothos feed its roots when hungry. In between the watering cycles, the plant will be able to draw up the excess water on an as-needed basis.
How can you get a houseplant pothos to flower?
If you have a greenhouse, you could propagate your plants in it. By providing it idealized conditions, you could potentially coax the plant to grow as it does in a tropical forest.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.