How to Fertilize and Feed house Plants

Without fertilizers, the plant will have hindered development, yellow-spotted or pale leaves, feeble stems, low protection from bothers and hanging lower leaves, and blooming and fruiting plants won’t ever bloom.

For a novice, fertilization can appear to be an incomprehensibly coded language to translate, particularly since there are so many compost assortments and ways of overseeing them. Be that as it may, treating houseplants is a lot more straightforward than it appears.

Since most houseplants are generally foliage plants, we just need a particular sort of compost to take care of them-one that will make their foliage develop bigger, shiner, and more vigorous.

  • Oxygen and hydrogen: Plants get these from air and water, so we don’t need to worry about them.
  • Potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorous: These are the essential macronutrients that all plants need.
  • Zinc, iron, boron, copper, and molybdenum: These are micronutrients needed in trace amounts.

For houseplants, we need to focus on NPK because these are used in the largest quantities by plants; the other micronutrients are needed in very low quantities and are usually found in the soil.

In the wild, NPK is delivered when plants rot and kick the bucket. Nitrogen in the dirt is made accessible just from dead plants. Nitrogen is the leaf-producer, assisting plants with growing new leaves. Phosphorous is answerable for developing roots. Potassium advances foods grown from the ground.

Organic fertilizers

fertilize houseplant

Organic fertilizers are basic and more secure for home use as they as a rule don’t cause leaf consumption and are similarly essentially as compelling as their engineered partners.

The best and best manures are fluid kelp or ocean growth, fish emulsion fluid, tea fertilizers, and nightcrawler castings, which contain a large group of supplements.

For indoor plants, a fluid kelp fertilizer from a regarded brand finishes the work impeccably. Know that it smells. Use as suggested on the bundling.

Synthetic fertilizers

Synthetic fertilizers in the market will usually come with an NPK value on the packet. Values will be something like this: 12-8-10

These numbers signify the percentages of NPK available in the packet. For example, if the NPK value on a 1 kg packet reads 12 -8-10 it means that there is 12 percent nitrogen, 8 percent phosphorous and 10 percent potassium available, and the remaining 70 percent is a filler called ballast, which has no value to plants.

For indoor plants, a well-balanced fertilizer with a 20-20-20 composition is the product that contains the secondary trace nutrients too.

Epsom salts

The gardening world is divided when it comes to using Epsom salts for plants. Some gardeners swear by it, others think it’s hogwash. Anecdotal evidence says that Epsom salts promote bigger, greener leaves and sometimes even cure blossom end rot, a disease that causes flower and fruit blossoms to rot and fall off.

Epsom salts have a chemical composition of magnesium, sulfate, and water. Although magnesium is one of the nutrients required for plant growth, it is a minor need and is usually found in soil. so use Epsom salts at your own discretion.

How to fertilize plants

Always fertilize when the soil is wet, that is, after the rains or thirty minutes after your watering cycle.

You can either pour the recommended dosage into the soil, which is called the soil drench method or decant the solution into a spray bottle and spray the plant’s leaves, which is called foliar spraying.

fertilize houseplant

Always feed your plants early in the morning when the weather is cool. doing so in the afternoon will cause leaf burn.

Form of fertilizer

Fertilizers come in the form of granules, slow-release sticks,s or liquid solutions. Granules or powders which need to be dissolved in water are not ideal in home settings because they are usually deposited on the top soil and don’t penetrate much further.

Slow-release pellets and sticks are usually stuck into the top soil and are also not ideal because their reach is limited to the area around them.

Also, plants that need a resting period during the cooler months should never be fertilized during these months, which makes the task of digging up these sticks a pain in the neck.

when to fertilize

Once you pot or report a plant, wait two months the time it takes for the nutrients to run out before feeding. If you are buying a plant from a nursery, check with them about when the plant was potted and last fed.

Twice a month in the growing season spring to autumn, which in most parts of the season is ideal for most houseplants. In areas with colder climates, the most tropical plant will go into a resting period. Stop feeding them during these months.

The Symptoms of overfertilizing

Wilting leaves, white crust on terracotta pots and on the soil‘s surface, small leaf growth in the summer and lanky growth in the winter, brown spots on leaves, and burnt leaf edges are all signs of too much fertilizer.

Stop all feeding, and flush out the soil with water if you see any salt build-up on the soil or on the surface of terracotta pots.


Is indoor plant food the same as fertilizer?

No, indoor plant food is not the same as fertilizer. Indoor plant food is specially formulated to provide the nutrients that indoor plants need to thrive, while fertilizer is designed for outdoor plants.

What plants should not be fertilized?

There are some plants that should not be fertilized in order to avoid over-fertilization. These plants include annuals, biennials, and cacti.

Should I feed my plants every time I water?

It is not necessary to feed your plants every time you water them. However, if you feel that your plants are not getting enough nutrients, you can feed them every other time you water them.