Houseplant Fertilizer-When, How and Types
Catering to houseplants may be a maze of uncertainty. Houseplants don’t cry when they’re hungry or uncomfortable like babies do. Instead, they react to their surroundings in much more subtle ways. Even people who have grown houseplants for a long time find it hard to know when to feed them. Today, In this post, we would like to go over the basics of houseplant fertilizer and tell you when and how to feed your indoor plants.
Need for Houseplant Fertilizer
Houseplants need fertilization to get the nutrients they need to grow well. Regular feeding supplies the potting soil with minerals that indoor plants require. It’s important to fertilize indoor plants because, unlike plants outside, they can’t get organic matter from the soil. Your houseplants will continue to grow well if you give them houseplant fertilizer at regular intervals.From a scientific point of view, fertilizer is not the same as plant food. Most plants make their own food by taking in carbon dioxide and water. But plants also need things like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, which can be found in the soil. These nutrients are given to plants by fertilizers.
Photosynthesis is the process by which plants turn light into food. Plants take in water from the soil and carbon dioxide from the air. When these come together, they make sugars that the plant eats. So, plants make their own food, which is how they get food.Plants need more than just food to grow, though. By fertilizing plants regularly, you ensure they get the nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium they need, often missing from the potting soil. Even though plant food isn’t technically a fertilizer, most people use the terms fertilizer and plant food interchangeably.
When to Apply Houseplant Fertilizer ?
Fertilize your houseplants in the spring and summer, when they are growing quickly. How often you give fertilizer to a houseplant depends on the type of plant. Some houseplants need fertilizer as often as once a week because they eat a lot. Other houseplants that grow slowly may only need to be fed once a month or even less often.
From the end of March to the middle of September, feed your plants every two to three weeks. After that, please don’t feed them anymore. Expert recomends that It’s good to give the plants a little break. As the days get shorter, plants won’t make as much new growth so they won’t need as much water and food.
Plants That Should Not Have Their Fertilizer Applied Often
According to experts, succulents and cacti do not appreciate an abundance of nitrogen fertilizer. To be on the safe side, do it no more frequently than once every six weeks. You can give your plants a fighting chance by providing them with high-quality soil and compost when you start them out.
Different kinds of Houseplant Fertilizers
There are typically three varieties of fertilizer used for indoor plants. They are as follows:
- When watering indoor plants, you can add liquid houseplant fertilizers to the water and then apply the mixture as necessary.
- Granular plant fertilizers are blended into the soil, and once the plants are watered, the fertilizer granules release their nutrients. The nutrients contained in slow-release fertilizers are progressively distributed throughout the soil.
- Many people with houseplants opt to fertilize their plants with natural organic fertilizers rather than synthetic ones. Organic indoor plant fertilizers benefit the soil’s overall health and “feed” plants with the nutrients they need to thrive. In most cases, kelp, fish emulsion, worm tea, compost tea, or plant extracts can be found as constituents in organic fertilizers that are considered the most popular. These fertilizers may or may not be slow releasing fertilizers.
What kind of Houseplant Fertilizer is Best and How to Apply Them?
- Choosing the best kind of fertilizer for houseplants depends on several things. Aside from getting the right mineral balance for your plants and the right type of soil, you also need to choose the right way to fertilize. Each way of fertilizing plants has its pros and cons.
- How you should fertilize indoor plants depends on what kind of fertilizer you use. Always follow the directions on the package, and never use too much fertilizer. For example, many liquid fertilizers for indoor plants only need one teaspoon of liquid per gallon (3.7 l) of water.
What kind of fertilizer should you use on your indoor plants? Here are some things to think about when choosing between the different types of fertilizers for indoor plants and how to apply them:
(1) Liquid Fertilizer
It’s easy to use and control liquid plant food. You need to dilute it to the right strength and feed your plants when they need to be fed. Using liquid fertilizers, you won’t have to fertilize your plants in the winter when they aren’t growing.
One bad thing about liquid fertilizers is that you must remember to use them. Also, it can be hard to get the right amounts. If you only have a few houseplants to feed, you may end up throwing away fertilizer because a teaspoon can make a gallon of liquid plant food.
Here’s how to feed indoor plants with liquid fertilizer:
- Use the measuring cup or spoon and water down the liquid fertilizer according to the instructions from the manufacturer.
- If the all-purpose liquid fertilizer is meant to be put on the roots, pour the solution straight into the soil. It’s very important not to splash the leaves.
- If the fertilizer is meant to be put on the leaves, put the solution in a spray bottle and spray it on the leaves.
(2) Slow-release Fertilizers
These are made of pods, spikes, and capsules that slowly release nutrients into the potting soil. With these, you don’t have to remember to feed your plants. But it’s hard to control how much of the nutrients end up in the potting mix. Small pots work better with fertilizers that release their nutrients slowly.
Way to feed houseplants is with spikes, pods, or capsules
- Make a hole in the soil or more than one if the pot is big.
- Put the slow-release fertilizer spikes right into the soil around your houseplants.
- Pick a spot about halfway between the plant’s stem and the pot’s edge.
- If you have a plant in a big pot, put several fertilizer sticks in it to make sure the fertilizer gets spread out evenly.
(3) Granular Fertilizers
This type of fertilizer works best when repotting a plant in fresh soil. The granules are mixed into the soil, and when you water the plant, they release nutrients. Like slow-release fertilizers, fertilization is hard to control regarding how strong it is.
Here’s what you should do to use granular fertilizer:
- Mix the granules into the top layer of potting soil, about 3 inches (7.5 cm) deep.
- Water your houseplant well to get the nutrients out.
- Let the water drain out of the pot all the way.
(4) Organic Fertlizers
Organic fertilizers for houseplants can be liquid, granular, or slow-release. Organic liquid plant food is good because it is good for the environment and improves the structure of the soil. Also, when using organic fertilizers for houseplants, there is less chance of root burn and too much mineral in the soil.
Application method of organic fertilizers depend upon the type of fertilizer. In general you need to mix them with the soil.For more details, Read our article about one-ingredient DIY fertilizers.
How often Should you Apply Houseplant Fertilizers ?
- Fertilize indoor plants often when growing, in the spring and summer. How often you need fertilizer on a plant depends on how fast it grows. Some plants inside grow quickly and need to be fertilized every two weeks. Plants that grow slowly indoors need to be fed every three or four months.
- Don’t feed your indoor plants too often. Mineral salts can build up when too much fertilizer is used or when plants are fed too often.
- Over time, plants can get root burn, and their growth can slow down. You can eliminate any leftover fertilizer in the potting mix by flushing the soil.
Houseplants make a huge difference in a room, especially if you don’t have a big yard or outdoor space. Plants not only add a lot of color and life to a room, but they can also look great in stylish planters. But there’s a catch: houseplants in pots don’t get a steady flow of nutrients from the soil. Over time, the nutrients in the potting soil are used up, which can be bad for your plants. Houseplants can stay healthy and look good if you feed them.