Identifying the Right Fertilizer for Your Houseplants

by | Last updated Mar 27, 2022

fertilizing plants

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Ultimately, sustaining a healthy common houseplant simply requires overall care and proper nutrition. However, too many people underestimate the significance of fertilizing indoor plants or houseplants. 

If you’re a plant lover, you must know that a houseplant’s nutrient supply is strictly limited by the amount of soil in the pot and the amount of supplemental feeding provided. This means that you should be mindful and knowledgeable of what fertilizer you are giving your houseplants. 

Before we proceed, we want to let you know that the classic potting soil mix is half compost. Meanwhile, the new and modern potting soil rarely requires fertilizer since it may already have other additives for the advantage of your plant. However, if you want your plants to grow well after two months, you’ll need to fertilize them. 

Read on to discover the right fertilizer for your houseplants:

Understanding the Variety of Fertilizers

Fertilizer comes in several forms, including liquid, stick, tablet, granule, and slow-release. The best indoor fertilizers are liquid and slow-release. 

While sticks and granules are convenient, they do not evenly distribute nutrients in the soil and do not allow for precise control of the release of nutrients once in the pot. Today, outdoor fertilizers in the form of granules are also available.

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Liquid Fertilizer

Liquid fertilizers are usually applied with a watering can, and fertilizing frequency will be dictated depending on the label of the brand you choose. Some plants, particularly those with large blooms, may necessitate more frequent feeding, but keep in mind that the nutrient content of liquid fertilizer is entirely under your control.

Before anything, plant nutrition research should always be done, and prepare a notebook where you can record the entire process. This way, it’ll be simple to stop feeding a plant when it goes dormant or to resume feeding when it starts growing.

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Slow-Release Fertilizer

Slow-release shelled fertilizers leach nutrients into the soil over time. The actual fertilizer release is staggered because each pellet has a unique coating that dissolves at a different rate. Although much more costly, a single application of slow-release fertilizer can last anywhere from four to nine months.

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Granular Fertilizer

These compost granules are hand-mixed dry pellets of pure fertilizer and are incorporated into potting soil. They are more commonly found in outdoor gardens, but they can also be used safely in indoor containers. 

Granular fertilizer releases all of its nutrients at once when watered, making it difficult to control how much the plants receive. While this fertilizer is inexpensive, it should not be used to feed indoor house plants.

Conclusion

Sometimes, it all boils down to the basics—so let’s keep things simple! All-purpose fertilizers contain macronutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, all of which are required for your plants to grow beautifully. Furthermore, high-quality fertilizers contain micronutrients like boron, magnesium, and manganese, which help healthy plant growth. 

Now that you’ve learned the basics of fertilizers, you can apply your new knowledge to find the right fertilizer for your houseplants. Additionally, you must read into packaging and labels first to determine its nutrient content. In following fertilizer label directions, you can avoid killing or scorching a plant, overfeeding, and contaminating groundwater supplies. 

To learn more about the best house plants for your growing collection, Houseplant Advisor has got you covered! We’re your one-stop-shop for care tips and plant information for your home. Subscribe to our newsletter now and join our plant-loving community!

Shelbi Clifford

Shelbi Clifford

Hi, I'm Shelbi! I am the founder of Houseplant Advisor - a blog for all things houseplants. Whether you are looking to add some green to your home or want to learn about how plants can help improve air quality in your space, Houseplant Advisor is here with the answers. Do you have any questions? Feel free to reach out and ask me anything!

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