Best time to fertilize indoor plants

Houseplants add so much to your space—especially if you don’t have access to a bigger yard or outdoor area. Not only do plants add tons of color and life to a room, but they also offer a beautiful decor moment in the way of stylish planters (yay!). But there’s something important to remember: since houseplants are confined to smaller pots or planters, these indoor plants don’t have a constant stream of nutrients coming in from the soil. Over time, the nutrients in the potting soil get depleted and your plants can suffer. To help your houseplants thrive, learn how to fertilize houseplants and keep them looking happy. Now best fertilizer for indoor plants click

Spring is the best time to fertilize indoor plants because that’s when they are starting to actively grow. Plants that grow faster, like begonias, should be fertilized more often than plants that grow slowly, like a cactus, or are dormant, i.e., all plants in winter.

best time to fertilize indoor plants

best time to fertilize indoor plants

What kind of fertilize should you use?

Fertilizers come in many different forms; liquid, granular or tablet.

Slow-release pellets which release over a period of 3-4 months are also available. They can be incorporated into the potting soil when planting or applied to the surface.

Commercially available fertilizers labeled for indoor plants or houseplants are fine, mix according to label directions. Many will give you a choice of concentrations depending on whether you prefer to fertilize once a month or at each watering.

best time to fertilize indoor plants

best time to fertilize indoor plants

When to fertilize

A rule of thumb is to fertilize only when your houseplants are actively growing. Feeding them while they’re dormant can burn their foliage or even kill them.

When you fertilize, don’t overdo it. Too much can be worse than not enough, so follow the directions on the product you’re using. If you want to stay on the safe side, dilute liquid fertilizers by half.

What factors affect fertilize timing?

There are many factors that can contribute to how often you should be fertilizing your indoor plant, but here are a few of the most important ones:

  • Type and size of plant
  • Type and amount of soil
  • Season and climate
  • Type of fertilizer

Different plants have different nutritional needs. Plants that are larger, tend to have larger flowers or fruits, or that naturally grow in nutritionally dense, rich soil will need more frequent fertilize. On the other hand, plants that are smaller, or that naturally grow in poor or sandy soil, will need less frequent fertilize.

Dense soil holds onto nutrients more readily than loose, sandy soil. As such, denser soil needs less frequent fertilize, while looser soils need more frequent fertilize. In a similar vein, if there’s less soil in general, then your plant will deplete the nutrients more quickly, meaning you’ll need to fertilize it more often.

Season and climate are important factors for many, but not all, plants. Most plants tend to go dormant during the winter. Since they aren’t growing, they don’t need fertilizer. However, if you live in a warmer climate or if your home is well heated, then this dormancy might be delayed or skipped entirely. Plants that bloom or fruit use more nutrients while they grow these flowers or fruit, so knowing what season your plant produces them is important for your fertilize schedule.

Finally, there are different types of fertilizer. For houseplants, the two most common are liquid and slow-release. Slow-release fertilizers stay in the soil, providing nutrients for a longer period of time. Liquid fertilizers are typically mixed with water, which dilutes them, and are given more frequently. Both fertilizers spread out the release of nutrients to avoid over-saturating the soil, but are applied with different frequencies.

best time to fertilize indoor plants

best time to fertilize indoor plants

Tip: how often to feed indoor plants

Quick tips for fertilizing

Tip 1: Dilute your fertilizer. It’s always best to under-fertilize than over-fertilize. If there is a nutrient deficiency in the soil and you have not fertilized in a year or so, you can increase the potency by adding less water when you’re diluting the fertilizer.

Tip 2: Plants that give us fruits or flowers will require more fertilizer in their lifetimes. When we pick off fruits or flowers, we are taking away those nutrients and should restore them.

Tip 3: Know your N-P-K values. That’s the ratio of macronutrients your plant needs and what should be in your fertilizer. It looks something like 10-15-10. If you don’t see this on the package, find another fertilizer stat.

Tip 4: Micronutrients are just as important as macronutrients, plants just need less of them.

Tip 5: Organic or chemical fertilizer? It’s your call. Make sure your organic fertilizer has organisms that provide the right amount of nutrients for your plant. Chemical fertilizers are formulated with the near-perfect amount of macro and micronutrients and may be your best bet especially if you are new to the whole fertilizing thing.

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