How and when to fertilize indoor plants [Detailed Guide]

How to and when to fertilize indoor plants (houseplants)

If you are looking for how to fertilize indoor plants, this article is specially made for you! When I began taking care of plants, the question of how to fertilize houseplants is one that I avoided for a long time. This is because for me houseplant fertilizer was only for experts and agriculture, it was a very intimidating topic.

As I learned more about my plants, I discover that houseplant fertilizers are very important to help them thrive when they are growing. So I began to ask myself questions like, how often to fertilize indoor plants, when to fertilize indoor plants, and which fertilizer is best for me and my plants. I hope this article helps you in your journey and as always I am here to help!

Liquid Fertilizers

Liquid Fertilizers

Let’s start from the beginning when I went to the shop I just didn’t know where to start, there were so many options but what I saw is that there was so much liquid fertilizer.

And then you can also pick liquid fertilizer for specific plants. For example succulents, orchids, for tropical plants.

So I thought okay, liquid fertilizer may be a good option for me to start my process.

Fertilizers NPK

Fertilizers NPK

Another thing that you can check at the shop is that you can look at the labels and you will get a lot of information from there.

And one of the most important things is the percentage of macronutrients that your plant will get from this fertilizer. These macronutrients are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

So if you look on the fertilizer bottle, you can find three numbers, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. This is the percentage of each of these macronutrients in that fertilizer bottle.

Organic fertilizer vs synthetic fertilizer

Organic fertilizer vs synthetic fertilizer

Now after doing some more research I learned that organic fertilizers and fertilizers that use naturally derived ingredients are gonna have a lower percentage of these macronutrients than synthetic fertilizers.

So if you look at a synthetic fertilizer you will see that the percentages will be up in the 30s, and 20s, so it’s gonna be a higher amount of these macronutrients.

So since I still consider myself a plant beginner and I’m still experimenting with my plants I tend to stay with lower concentrations of these macronutrients, so I try to go for organic fertilizers or fertilizers I use natural ingredients.

Advantages and disadvantages of liquid fertilizers

Advantages and disadvantages of liquid fertilizers

I can see your next question here which is okay but then what’s the rest in that fertilizer bottle and that is actually filler. So this can be water or any other substance that is not going to affect your plant.

When I learned this information was one year after using liquid fertilizer for my plants and I can tell you it was working for me really well because it’s very easy to use.

All you have to do is to follow the instructions in the bottle and just add whatever measurement they tell you to whatever measurement of water that you’re going to be using for your plants, so you dilute the fertilizer there.

When I learned that most of that liquid was filler it didn’t go well with me because first I was paying mostly for filler and second it’s not very sustainable because if you think about it we’re transporting plastic bottles with filler inside, so it’s not really sustainable for the planet.

A sustainable fertilizer to fertilize indoor plants

A sustainable fertilizer to fertilize indoor plants

So then I went online and I looked for a more sustainable alternative for my plants and this is when I found called instant plant food and it’s very small, so these are actually tablets that you put in the water that you’re going to use to water your plants, in that sense, it’s very similar to liquid fertilizer.

Because with liquid fertilizer we also add this fertilizer to the water that we’re going to use to water our plants and it is very easy to use.

However, the big difference here is that it comes in this very small tablet so we’re not transporting a big amount of liquid inside plastic bottles around the world.

This was a game-changer for me because I’m taking care of my plants with this wonderful fertilizer and at the same time I’m opting for a more sustainable alternative.

When to fertilize indoor plants (houseplants)

When to fertilize indoor plants (houseplants)

You know there’s a reason why I’m publishing this article today and this is because spring is here and we usually start fertilizing our plants during the spring.

But why is that? Spring is generally the growing season for most of our plants and we want to provide that extra nutrition for our plants so they can grow and thrive.

Some plants may grow the whole year and this will depend on different factors. For example where you are on the planet, what kind of plant you have. So always observe your plant and if you see that your plant is actively growing this is a good time to provide some fertilizer.

And you know in this article I’m really trying to encourage you to observe your plants and experiment with them. I think that’s the most beautiful thing about taking care of a plant. You start observing it and then you start seeing new leaves, and new stems and that’s super exciting.

So I encourage you to do that and this takes me to how frequently you want to fertilize your indoor plants.

How often to fertilize indoor plants (houseplants)

How often to fertilize indoor plants (houseplants)

Again this depends on many different things. It depends on the type of plant that you have and the type of fertilizer that you’re using. So for example with the one that I’m using here, they recommend that we use it once every three months for tropical plants and once every six months for desert plants.

But I can tell you because it is very mild this gives me the opportunity to experiment a little bit more. So I have a friend that actually uses this fertilizer every time he waters his plants and they are thriving.

Of course, if you’re just starting to experiment with your fertilizer I recommend that you follow the instructions in the package. But as you go you can just observe your plants and how they react and adjust your routine accordingly.

How do you fertilize your indoor plants I would love to know, so make sure to comment below. I can assure you the whole community will appreciate it and that’s including myself because I really learn from you so much so keep the conversation going down below. Happy Gardening!

I am Fenil Kalal. Professionally I have done Engineering in Information and Technology. Gardening is my passion/love/favorite hobby and I have 5+ years of experience in Gardening.

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