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Houseplant Fertilizer: What Do I Buy?

September 04, 2023 2 min read

Houseplant Fertilizer: What Do I Buy?

Where To Start For Houseplant Fertilizer


Help Your Plants Thrive Indoors!

The number of fertilizers for indoor plants can seem overwhelming, but shopping is easier if you know a few basic facts. Now as much as a good potting mix and a regular watering schedule go a long way to keep your plants happy and healthy, sometimes you need a helping hand. This is where you may need to apply fertilizer.

Fertilizer Basics

Fertilizers provide different amounts of essential macronutrients to your plants: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (these are listed as N-P-K ratios on the packaging). Some fertilizers also provide plants with varying amounts of micronutrients and microbes to help the plant take up more of the valuable nutrients in the plant's food. It is important to note that they come in various forms: liquid, granule, or slow-release formulas, there are pros and cons to each mind you. The best fertilizers for indoor plants provide a balanced amount of macronutrients to your indoor plants. Because it’s easy to over-fertilize houseplants, it’s important to follow the instructions on the packaging carefully.

Types Of Fertilizer 

Fertilizers come in several different varieties: liquids, sticks, tablets, granules, and slow-release forms. When it comes to indoor plants the two best suited for indoor use are liquid and slow-release fertilizers. Granular fertilizers are designed for outdoor use.

houseplants fertilizer

Liquid Fertilizer

Liquid fertilizers are diluted into water and applied with a watering can. Depending on label instructions, you might fertilize every time you water or every other time. The type of plant will also impact the frequency, as some may require more frequent feeding. Liquid fertilizer provides a steady supply of nutrients that you can precisely control. It is always researching plant requirements to learn about their specific nutritional needs. 

Slow Release Fertilizer

Slow-release fertilizers are coated in time-release shells that slowly leach nutrients into the soil. The individual pellets have coatings of different thicknesses that dissolve at different rates, so the actual release of the fertilizer is staggered over time. A single application can last between four and nine months. The main drawback is the higher cost of slow-release fertilizer, but because it lasts so long, the cost balances out.

Granular Fertilizer 

Dry pellets of pure fertilizer can be mixed into the potting soil by hand. Although more commonly used in outdoor gardens, they can also be used for indoor containers—although it can be tricky.

Granular fertilizer dumps all of its nutrients at once when the pot is watered, making it hard to control how much the plants are receiving at once.

For some more information targeted to beginners check out these articles! Organic Phosphorus Fertilizer - What is it and how do you make it? & Can plant fertilizer go bad?

buying fertilizer




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