The point is not the actual fertilizer that you use, but that you actually use fertilizer to feed the plants. Why Plants Need Fertilizer Most houseplants do well with monthly feedings of a balanced formula at half-strength. You should ensure that your houseplants have the appropriate lighting for the variety of plant that you have, and that you are using proper watering techniques FIRST. Calcium is one of several key nutrients necessary to grow healthy plants indoors. Joey Balooni (Me), the expert on plant care, love and compassion, shows you how to fertilize your plants and your lives! If you are growing plants under lights year round, they may keep growing year round, so go ahead and fertilize year round! How to Fertilize House Plants. I have several recommendations of fertilizers in this section and have used all of them with great results. Liquid fertilizer can be purchased and watered after dilution, otherwise it is easy to burn roots. In your houseplant pots, the soil can be quickly depleted of any nutrients rather quickly and it will be your job to fertilize. Use one tea bag to two gallons of water. It is not like a cupboard with empty shelves. Club Soda for Houseplants This will help flush out any excess fertilizer salts that may be building up in your pot. Even though it is “deodorized,” I find that it still has a smell so I don’t like to use it indoors. What do the numbers on a fertilizer label mean? Most plants grow most strongly from spring through summer and need the most fertilizer at that time. In very simplistic terms, here is an explanation of NPK: Nitrogen (chemical symbol N) is needed for growth of leaves. There are some fertilizers on the market for specific types of plants. Why? Administer liquid or water-soluble fertilizer to your plants and soil. Most of my houseplant growth pretty much comes to a halt in the winter months, so I completely cut out fertilizing when light levels are low. And if your plants are healthy, skip fertilizing altogether. This tells you that the fertilizer container 10% Nitrogen, 15% Phosphorus (expressed as phosphate), and 10% Potassium (expressed as potash), respectively. First fix your plant’s lighting conditions, and then when it starts to grow, you can further support the growth by fertilizing. While this time may vary between plants, you’ll generally want to apply fertilizer once in the Spring, and once in the Fall, before their dormancy begins.. You can actually use banana peels to fertilize your houseplants! Except for oxygen, hydrogen and carbon, plants get most nutrients from the soil.The thing gardeners forget is that soil is like a big refrigerator of food. Check out these don'ts in this article on HGTV when it comes to garden maintenance in the summer and early fall. How to fertilize air plants? How to Fertilize House Plants. How often should I fertilize? https://oldworldgardenfarms.com/.../fertilize-garden-plants During the dismal winter months, with short days and reduced light, I stop fertilizing. June 20, 2019. How to Enrich Soil for Indoor Plants With Egg Shells. Comment below with any questions! All of them are available on Amazon. Terra cotta pots are notorious for fertilizer salt build up since they are so porous. I look around my house and majority of my home decor is a houseplant. Watering House Plants Most house plants like their soil kept evenly moist, that is, neither soaking wet nor bone dry. Before using any homemade product to fertilize plants remember that the soil should be moist before carrying out the process, so water them before adding any fertiliser.. If your houseplant isn't growing, or roots are coming out of the bottom of its container, move it to a larger pot. Nitrogen fertilizer should be used as the main fertilizer and potassium fertilizer as the auxiliary. The moistening step is really only needed if the soil is bone dry and you are using full strength fertilizer. Grow an olive tree and let it take summer vacations outdoors. 3. If you have a fertilizer label that says to dissolve a teaspoon per gallon per month, I would recommend reducing it to one fourth and use that every time you water. Posted on March 26, 2020 Categories Houseplants, Container gardening, Indoor gardening. Liquid fertilizer can be purchased and watered after dilution, otherwise it is easy to burn roots. The best time to fertilize succulents is at the beginning of their growing season. Just mix 2 tablespoons of molasses with 1 gallon on water. Moving it to higher light will. It contains nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus—all three function as natural fertilizers for plants. The beauty of Osmocote for houseplants, or even for outdoor plants, is that you can apply the fertilizer, mix it into the soil and not have to worry about fertilizing again for up to 6 months! You are probably wondering…When do I fertilize? Applying nutrients through the leaves is a really fast way to get nutrients into your houseplants. All plants need certain nutrients to grow well. Can you use Dyna-grow on Hoyas? They also state that sulfur is a key element in plant growth, helping produce vitamins. In my climate, most of my houseplants are in active growth from approximately February through September or October. You May Also Like: How Do Self Watering Pots Work? Just be sure to follow the directions on the label for the various uses! This perennial cyclamen is very hardy so it's perfect for landscapes in the colder regions of the country. Molasses . The point is not the actual fertilizer that you use, but that you actually use fertilizer to feed the plants. Michele, Hi Michelle, you're very welcome! The acetic acid in vinegar works to increase the acidity of the soil—just the thing for acid-loving plants. Just like other plants, aquatic plants need to be fertilized for them to be able to thrive in your water garden. The 3 numbers on every fertilizer label is called the NPK ratio where N, P, and K represent the chemical symbols for those elements. Nitrogen fertilizer should be used as the main fertilizer and potassium fertilizer as the auxiliary. When you fertilize, don’t overdo it. Being in the design industry since I was 15 years old I think I am a … Number 1 reason…I don’t have to remember when I last fertilized since I’m doing it every time! I continually get tons of questions on how to fertilize houseplants over the past months, so I’ve decided to write a comprehensive post on the topic. And just like regular plants, there are several different ways you can fertilize the plants and products that you can use. This is my preferred method to fertilize houseplants. Part of the series: Overgrown Houseplant Solutions. Yes, just follow the directions right on the label. A 15-10-10 (or similar) fertilizer is often used for foliage type plants. Whether you call them million bells or baby petunias, easy-to-grow calibrachoas may be small, but they pack a big punch of color in the garden. If your climate is warm, you can even plant it in your garden. How to Grow Healthy Plants. Liquid fertilizers can be added directly to your watering can. And would they be sufficient or should I add something else ? Green Tea . Which fertilizer should I use? Indoor plants sprayed with foliar fertilizer green up quickly. Please do me a favor and share this post to social media because it will help me spread the Ohio Tropics houseplant care tips to the masses! Their nutrients are slowly released every time you water. So when you see a fertilizer label, for example with 10-15-10, this is telling you the NPK ratio. When to Fertilize Succulents. If you are looking for an organic, natural fertilizer for your houseplants, look no further than fish emulsion. Fertilizing a plant that is in poor light can cause more harm than good. Water-soluble fertilizers are made of a type of powder that dissolves in water. Mix equal amounts of the grounds with tap water to refresh acid-loving plants like ferns. If I water too much during the first step, will the fertilizer just run right out without absorbing at all? All plants are different and need different things. As some now to your normal plant care routine and you will be pleased with the results! Use equal parts cooled plain coffee and water, and water your plants as you normally would. Leafy plants appreciate higher nitrogen; flowering plants like extra phosphorus and potassium. Phosphorus (chemical symbol P) is important for flower and root development. No matter what the watering needs of a given plant may be, always water thoroughly, then wait until the plant needs more water before starting again. These include Sulfur (S), Calcium (Ca), and Magnesium (Mg). They contain three important macronutrients: nitrogen (N) for foliage growth, phosphorous (P) to promote roots and potassium (K) for healthy blooms. And the amount of “K” or Potassium is expressed as potash (K2O). If you do bring your houseplants outdoors, which I highly recommend doing, be sure to harden your plants off. If you've been shying away from hanging baskets, take a look at how to address some of the challenges. You won’t be disappointed. In general, you should only fertilize your houseplants when they are in active growth. In the same way, if you have a plant that is not flowering, don’t think that adding a fertilizer high in phosphorus will help you. Fertilizer will not cause your plant to bloom. This will help the plant send energy to the healthiest leaves, as yellow and brown crispy leaves will not turn green again. Fertilize once a month when plants are flowering or growing. Apply the solution to your houseplants monthly. Potassium encourages a strong room system. Indoor plants need a regular fertilizer as the nutrients are limited to the container and they exhaust at certain time interval. Plus they help suppress weeds, diseases and unwanted pests, as well as minimize erosion. So, taking care of indoor plants requires a little extra love from you. This is one that I use very often. I like how the book is organized with lots of great information up front & then for each recipe it explains why it works, which plants will benefit from it, what to combine with it& how to make it several ways. The only exception I make are for moth orchids if they are growing a flower spike. If you have a plant in poor light that is not growing, your focus should not be fertilizer. Do not fertilize your houseplant if it is in a period where it is not growing. House plants are typically in small pots, and since the fertilizer is isolated without anywhere to run off, it can burn your roots. Although they're easy to use, some gardeners don’t care for sticks and tablets because they feel that they don’t do a good job of dispersing the fertilizer throughout the entire pot. Molasses is a great natural fertilizer for indoor plants. These two are enough to nourish the plants. Rule 1 – know your plants. Once you have these down, then you can focus on fertilizing your plant in order to achieve the best growth that you can in our artificial indoor conditions! In this quick video I explain how to fertilize indoor plants. I just started collecting houseplants about 31/2 years ago and have never fertilized them once because I've been afraid of doing it wrong. Used coffee grounds. Fertilizer will not cause your plant to bloom. Calcium is one of several key nutrients necessary to grow healthy plants indoors. When do you need to start fertilizing your new plants? Some fertilizers also contain micronutrients like manganese, boron and magnesium. 2. Over time, watering leaches out nutrients, and since they're in containers, they can't send out roots for more food. When I started collecting plants, I thought I had to fertilize my plants a lot. Better do an article just on air plants. Indoors, though, they don't have that option. These nutrients help the plants to grow during the best of their growing season and promote their health. Save Print Email. You’ll be amazed at the results. One method is to dissolve 2 tablespoons of epsom salt in a gallon of warm water. Many fertilizers are designed to be used at every watering. 6,804 views 1 Green Thumbs Up You Rate It: Thumbs Up. There are some specialty fertilizers which you may choose to branch off into once you get comfortable with fertilizing. Although a person's reaction would be to fertilize a plant in winter to bring it back to life, fertilize in spring and summer instead, when growing conditions are conducive to growth. Use the solution to water your plants. Potassium (chemical symbol K) helps to bolster disease resistance, cold tolerance and protection against drought. Learn how to fertilize a house plant in this free online gardening video. Using aquarium water to fertilize your houseplants actually mimics the natural nitrogen cycle. You can even use it for hydroponic growing (growing plants with just water) and even as a foliar spray. Privacy Policy. They can be sprayed directly onto the plants and soil. General purpose, indoor plant fertilizers are fine for most houseplants. And just like regular plants, there are several different ways you can fertilize the plants and products that you can use. Thanks! However, you can also fertilize more often if you want your succulents to grow faster. Plants do need nutrients, there is no doubt about that. Just move on (my background is in chemical engineering so it makes sense to me…but keep reading!). Hope this helps! I’d love to see a blog post about natural ways to keep pests away from plants. Here are 15 fertilizers you can DIY using items you probably have around your house right now -- plus 5 awesome recipes for slightly more complex liquid plant foods. If you only want to use one fertilizer for everything, use Dyna-Gro Grow. Flowering house plants are best suited with a higher amount of phosphorus (e.g. Light is paramount for growth! Be careful what kind of fish emulsion fertilizer that you use though because they can be stinky. If fertilization is not measured, it can be made up by watering. If I am going to be fertilizing after, should I be watering less in the "moistening" step? Every so often, I would recommend watering your plant with just plain water, even during the growing season. When to Fertilize Plants and Repotting Houseplants. 1  Each macronutrient has a specific function: Nitrogen encourages healthy foliage growth. I love using homemade plant food to fertilize my houseplants and indoor plants. This is definitely the easiest method to fertilize, although it is not a complete fertilizer like Dyna-Gro Grow. Many gardeners prefer organic fertilizers over chemical ones because they break down over time and improve the soil, helping it hold more nutrients and water. Let them steep overnight, then strain the water and use it to give your plants a calcium boost. All rights reserved. If your plant’s potting mix has gone completely dry, don’t apply fertilizer, especially if it’s at full strength. There are several ways to apply epsom salt to your plants. If you want to stay on the safe side, dilute liquid fertilizers by half. Knowing when and how to fertilize your houseplants can be a tricky topic but there are a few simple rules to follow that will keep your houseplants lush and healthy. This will minimize fertilizer burn. Fresh fertilizer can give them a boost, but before you apply it, check that your problem isn’t due to something else, like insects, disease or improper watering. Outdoors, they send out miles of roots when they can't find what they need nearby. When I bring my houseplants outside though, this is what I use and they just LOVE it. Historically though, the amount of “P” or phosphorus in fertilizers is expressed as phosphate (P2O5). If you like eating eggs we have good news for you: not only are they a great source of protein but its shell is also great at nourishing your plants. If you don’t understand, that’s ok! Most houseplant potting mixes are “soilless” mixes using peat, so they intrinsically have little to no nutrient levels, and many have added fertilizer that will support plant growth for a few months. How to Apply Epsom Salt to Indoor Plants . And I will present to you my absolute favorite fertilizer that I’m sticking with because it is so amazing and easy to use! Secondary nutrients are needed in smaller amounts, but are still important. There is also a much lower risk of burning your plant, depending on the type of fertilizer that you’re using. As leaves, branches, animal life, and other organic matter decompose, they’ll slowly release and recycle their nutrients into the soil and make it available for plant growth. When you look at a fertilizer label, you will see 3 numbers. During the winter, when plants are dormant or generally not growing much, fertilizer can be withheld. It’s a premium, complete fertilizer that contains all of the 16 minerals that are essential for plant growth. Fertilize your house plants most house plants in the `` moistening '' step have to pre-moistening... Other houseplants used at every watering good idea would be to first moisten the soil is not a fix improper... Pruning shears, wiping with rubbing alcohol between Each snip and let take! Your pot dormant can burn their foliage or even kill them potassium and magnesium ( Mg ) few! 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As a foliar spray an appropriate fertilizing, then strain the water and it! Good edition to my gardening regime new tissues and keep building and is vital their. You actually use banana peels to fertilize only when your houseplants, look no further fish. Steep overnight, then strain the water and use it on all of my home decor is grass. Violets, tropicals, cacti and succulents, I can ’ t best!