Houseplant Fertilization

While light gives plants the energy they require, fertilizer provides the nutrients they need to grow healthy and strong.

Many people overlook the importance of fertilizing indoor plants. That’s unfortunate because feeding is essential to keeping healthy, beautiful plants. Unlike an outdoor garden, where nature provides rain and plants can send new roots searching for food, the nutrients available to a houseplant are strictly limited by the amount of soil in the pot and whatever else you give it as a supplement.

A fertilizer’s guaranteed analysis (the amount of nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium) is one of the most important guidelines for choosing the right fertilizer, but there are other considerations, too. For example, do you want all-natural fertilizer, or are you willing to use a fertilizer that was made synthetically? Should the nutrients be released quickly or over a longer period of time? And would you rather apply it in liquid form or solid form?

Fertilizing houseplants may seem like a hassle, but for those of us who are houseplant enthusiasts, we know it’s integral in maintaining healthy houseplants. For more information, please call the Corporate Care team in 01707009599.

The best fertilizer is the gardener’s shadow!

How to Know When Your Plant Needs Fertilizing?

Here are some clues

  • Weak new growth
  • Pale leaves
  • Dropped leaves
  • Weak stems
  • Small or no flowers

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How to Choose a House Plant Fertilizer?

The fertilizer you need depends on your plant. Most house plants need a balanced fertilizer such as a 10-10-10 formula. These are (in order) the percentages of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (often called potash) that make up the major nutrients in the house plant fertilizer. And here’s what they do:

  • Nitrogen gives the plant lush, green foliage and promotes growth
  • Phosphorus keeps roots strong and healthy, and encourages flowering
  • Potassium makes stems strong and helps fight off diseases
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Many indoor gardeners mistakenly believe more is better when it comes to fertilizing house plants. The truth is, far more plants suffer from too much fertilizer than lack of it. Excess fertilizer can burn roots and leaves. When in doubt, useless.

How do you know if you’ve over-fertilized your plant? Look for these symptoms:

  • Scorched edges or brown spots on leaves
  • Misshaped leaves
  • Wilting leaves
  • White crust on the surface of the potting mix
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Bottom-line Tips for Fertilizing

  • Never feed a new or newly repotted plant. A plant that relocates from the garden center to your home is stressed and will need a month or two to adjust to its new environment. Good potting mixes contain nutrients to feed a repotted plant for several weeks.
  • Don’t use as much house plant fertilizer as recommended on the label. For some reason, manufacturers suggest the maximum amount that a healthy plant can tolerate. We generally recommend half that amount.
  • Fertilizer is not a cure-all for an unhealthy plant. Never feed a plant that’s suffering from root damage, disease or insects.

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