Indoor plants are fed nutrients by houseplant fertilizer, which is why they flourish. To ensure plants have robust roots, lush leaves, and lovely blossoms, the greatest indoor plant fertilizer should include a blend of minerals. Liquid plant food, nutrient-rich granules, and slow-releasing pods are examples of fertilizers for houseplants.
It may be difficult to choose between several types of houseplant fertilizer. Certain houseplants have unique nutritional demands, despite the fact that there are varieties of all-purpose liquid plant food. As a result, you’ll need to pick one that contains the appropriate mix of micro and macro nutrients for each individual plant.
A comprehensive guide to houseplant fertilizers can be found in this article. Different kinds of organic and liquid plant fertilizers will be discussed. Additionally, it’s a good idea to study the leading indoor plant fertilizers before you decide which is the finest for your potted plants.
Why Indoor Plants Need Fertilizer
To promote rapid development, houseplants need fertilizer. Indoor plants need minerals, so regular feeding replenishes the potting soil. Indoor plants, unlike outdoor plants, don’t get any organic matter from the environment and must be fertilized. Your houseplants will stay healthy if you apply fertilizer at regular intervals.
Fertilizer and plant food are two different things in terms of science. By absorbing water and carbon dioxide, most plants create their own food. Plants, on the other hand, need nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium nutrients that are present in the soil. The plants receive nutrients from fertilizers.
During photosynthesis, plants obtain energy from light and therefore obtain food. Carbon dioxide from the air and soil is absorbed by plants. Sugars are synthesized by combining these elements. Plants, on the other hand, feed themselves by producing their own food.
Plants, of course, need more than food to survive. Regularly fertilizing plants ensures they are getting the macro-nutrients they need, including nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Most people use the term plant food interchangeably with fertilizer. Despite the fact that it isn’t technically a fertilizer.
When Should You Fertilize Houseplants?
Throughout the spring and summer, fertilize your houseplants when they are actively growing. The kind of houseplant determines the frequency with which fertilizer is applied. Heavy feeders, some houseplants need fertilization every week or so. Feeding monthly, or even less often, may be required for other slow-growing houseplants.
Types of Houseplant Fertilizers
Liquid houseplant fertilizers are added to water when needed, and they are one of three types of indoor plant fertilizers. When plants get moisture, granular plant fertilizers are incorporated into the soil and release nutrients. Slow-release fertilizers release nutrients into the soil gradually.
Rather than synthetic fertilizers, many houseplant owners choose organic ones. Indoor plant fertilizers work to enhance the quality of the soil while feeding plants with essential nutrients. The most popular organic fertilizers usually contain kelp, fish emulsion, worm tea, compost tea, or plant extracts.
What is the Best Type of Fertilizer for Indoor Plants?
There are a number of factors to consider when selecting the right kind of houseplant fertilizer. You have to choose between several fertilization strategies, in addition to ensuring your plants’ mineral balance and the soil type are correct. Fertilizing plants has both advantages and disadvantages, depending on the method.
What type of fertilizer is ideal for your houseplants? When comparing the different forms of indoor plant feeds, here are a few things to consider:
Liquid fertilizers—It’s easy to apply and control liquid plant food. When your plants need feeding, all you have to do is dilute the appropriate strength and fertilize them. During the dormant winter months, you can delay fertilization by using liquid fertilizers.
The need to remember to fertilize is a disadvantage of liquid fertilizers. Getting the proportions correct may be difficult. You may end up tossing fertilizer away if you only have a few houseplants to feed because a teaspoon can make a gallon of liquid plant food.
Slow-release fertilizers—Nutrient-rich pots, spikes, and capsules release nutrients gradually. The benefit of them is that you don’t have to remember to water plants. Controlling how much nutrients get into the potting mix, on the other hand, is difficult. For tiny pots, slow-release plant nourishments are a better option.
Granular fertilizers—When repotting a plant in fresh soil, this kind of fertilizer is ideal. When you water the plant, the granules work their way into the soil and release nutrients. It’s tough to regulate the intensity of fertilization, similar to slow-release fertilizers.
Organic houseplant fertilizers—Liquid, granular, and slow-release fertilizers are all examples of organic fertilizers. Organic liquid plant food is both ecologically friendly and improves the soil structure, which is an benefit. Using organic fertilizers for houseplants also reduces the risk of root burn and mineral buildup in the soil.
What’s in Houseplant Fertilizer?
Micro- and macro-nutrients are included in indoor plant fertilizers. Nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) are the three most critical minerals.
Other nutrients such as calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and boron are also found in the best houseplant fertilizers. The nutrient balance is represented as N-P-K or a series of three numbers on plant fertilizers.
The Best Type of Fertilizer for Indoor Plants
The kind of plants you cultivate determines the best type of indoor plant fertilizer. The phosphorus ratio in most flowering plants should be higher. In contrast, flowering indoor plants need more nitrogen for proper development. A balanced plant fertilizer is recommended for most indoor plants.
Small potted flowering plants like African violets or begonias, for example, prefer 7-9-5 NPK. Other types of flowering houseplants, however, need a 1-3-1 combination. The nitrogen ratio for green, leafy tropical indoor plants is higher. alternatively, 5-5-3 or 5-5-5 are balanced indoor plant fertilizer options. A 20-20-20 fertilizer is one of the most commonly used all-purpose liquid plant foods.
For specific plant types, commercial potting mixes are designed. As a result, the ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in a soil medium for cacti and succulents would be different than that of a potting medium for calatheas, hoyas, or peperomia. Moreover, flowering plants need different kinds of nutrients than non-flowering plants.
The Best Indoor Plants Fertilizer Reviews
Some of the greatest indoor plant fertilizers will be explored in further depth. Liquid plant “food,” fertilizer granules, organic indoor plant fertilizers, and slow-release fertilizer sticks are among the items available here.
1. Miracle-Gro Plant Food (Liquid), Feeds Indoor Houseplants
Miracle-Gro’s all-purpose houseplant fertilizer is made of this liquid plant food. The N-P-K ratio of a balanced fertilizer is 1-1-1. You can directly feed plants from the bottle thanks to the handy pump application. Then, you may hydrate all sorts of houseplants by accurately weighing fertilizer and diluting it with water.
If you cultivate edible plants indoors, this all-purpose fertilizer is also appropriate. According to the manufacturer, this plant food should be fed weekly.
2. Espoma Company Organic Indoor Plant Food
This is a simple to mix liquid organic houseplant fertilizer. The N-P-K ratio of 2-2-2 makes this balanced, all-purpose plant feed appropriate for indoor plants of any kind. Poultry manure, kelp extract, fish protein, and bone meal are used to make the liquid fertilizer.
Micro-nutrients are added to this houseplant liquid fertilizer to help keep your plants alive. In addition, beneficial bacteria keep the soil alive and fruitful. Over-fertilizing houseplants is less of a concern thanks to the measuring cap.
3. Organic Liquid Seaweed and Kelp Fertilizer
Kelp and seaweed provide your plant with the essential three macro-nutrients, making them excellent natural fertilizers. Bloom City’s kelp fertilizer features natural plant enzymes that help to boost plant health. There is no danger of overfertilizing since this is a natural product.
Seven species of sea plants are included in this kelp extract fertilizer. For vigorous plant growth, the seaweed extract strengthens roots and improves soil. This product doesn’t include fillers, unlike some low-cost seaweed fertilizers. Indoor plants require a variety of naturally occurring enzymes, sugars, and growth hormones.
4. Osmocote Smart-Release Plant Food Plus Outdoor & Indoor
Your plants will be nourished for up to six months with this granular, slow-release plant fertilizer. Copper, boron, iron, manganese, and zinc are among the components of the formula’s N-P-K ratio of 20-20-20.
When you water the plant, the granules are coated with resin to release nutrients gradually. Work the granules into the top 3-inch (7.5 cm) layer of potting soil to use this granular houseplant fertilizer. If you use the fertilizer properly, the manufacturers offer a “no burn” guarantee.
5. Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Plant Food
This versatile fertilizer is suitable for both indoor and outdoor plants. Before feeding plants, you mix the plant food with water in the form of a granular. It’s ideal for all types of plants because the N-P-K ratio is 18-18-21. Every one to two weeks, the manufacturers recommend feeding plants.
The plant food contains magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc in addition to having the three critical nutrients for plants. For every gallon of water, you only need one teaspoon of plant fertilizer.
6. Miracle-Gro 1001502 Liquid All Purpose Plant Food
Miracle-Gro’s liquid concentrate is another kind of fertilizer. The formula is ideal for houseplants and outdoor plants because of its N-P-K ratio of 12-4-8. Nitrogen promotes fast plant growth and vibrant green leaves at a high level.
To avoid root burn, follow the steps. Apply the liquid fertilizer two to four times per month to get optimal results. Lost minerals in plant soil can be replenished by balancing micro- and macro-nutrients.
7. Jobe’s Indoor Plant Food Spikes
Feeding your plants without having to apply fertilizer is easy with fertilizer food spikes. The N-P-K rating of Jobe’s food spikes is 13-4-5. These fertilizer sticks are a great option for indoor foliage plants because of their high nitrogen levels.
Make a hole in the potting soil and place the plant food spikes into it. Your plant should be watered as often as required, typically when the top layer of soil dries. To make sure your plant gets enough nutrients to develop properly, replace the spikes every month.
8. SUPERthrive VI30148 Plant Vitamin Solution, 4 Ounce
The essential vitamins and minerals that indoor plants need are provided by kelp, which is used in this liquid houseplant fertilizer. Healthy soil and roots are promoted by the natural ingredients, which help to develop them. Both indoor plants and flowers are suitable for treatment with the fertilizer, which may also be used to fertilize grass.
This is a vitamin growth supplement with high nitrogen levels, unlike other types of houseplant fertilizers that rely on an NPK ratio.
9. Earthworm Technologies TeaDrops Organic Liquid Indoor Houseplant Food – All Purpose House Plant Fertilizer
TeaDrops is a liquid plant food that is entirely natural and suitable for all types of plants. Since there is no odor, measuring, or mess with the fertilizer tea bags, this liquid plant food is an advantage. Healthy indoor plant development is aided by nutrients, minerals, bacteria, and fungus.
Since the chemicals encourage plant natural development, this fertilizer has a low N-P-K rating. You add one packet of TeaDrops fertilizer to a gallon (3.7 l) of water to apply it as fertilizer. You may then feed your plants by allowing it to steep for 24 hours. Root burn isn’t caused by natural ingredients. Outside plant fertilizers, as well as slow-releasing fertilizer capsules, are made by TeaDrops.
10. Jacks Classic All Purpose Fertilizer
Jacks’ 20-20-20 fertilizer for indoor plants has a perfect blend of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. To guarantee lush, healthy development, this plant food has a mineral balance that makes it ideal for foliage plants.
Copper, iron, boron, zinc, and manganese are among the micro-nutrients in Jacks fertilizer. Mix the granules in water to use this water-soluble houseplant fertilizer.
Then fertilize your plants every two weeks by applying directly to the soil. Marigolds, perennials, shrubs, vegetables, and lilies are all suitable for feeding with this versatile liquid plant food.
When to Fertilize Indoor Plants?
During the spring and summer, fertilize indoor plants that are actively growing. Feeding indoor plants as often as necessary throughout the spring and into the late summer. During the fall and winter months, stop feeding plants that are growing indoors. During these months, the plants are dormant, so don’t feed them.
The optimal time to fertilize indoor plants is also determined by the soil’s freshness. You won’t need to feed your plants for the next two months if you repot them in the spring with new potting soil. For certain types of plants, most contemporary potting soils are supplemented with fertilizer.
How Often Should You Fertilize Indoor Plants?
Fertilize indoor plants on a regular basis throughout the growing season, which includes spring and summer. Depending on the plant’s growth rate, you’ll need to apply fertilizer every few weeks or months. Every two weeks, some indoor plants need to be fertilized. Feeding every three to four months is required for indoor plants with a slow growth rate.
Don’t fertilize your plants too often. A build-up of mineral salts may result from applying a high dosage of fertilizer or feeding too often. Root burn and wilting of the plant’s growth are possible outcomes. By flushing the potting medium, you can rid it of excess fertilizer residue.
How to Fertilize Indoor Plants?
Depending on the type of fertilizer you’re using, the best way to fertilize indoor plants is: Never over-fertilize in any circumstance, and follow the manufacturer’s directions. For example, a single teaspoon of liquid in a gallon (3.7 liters) of water is all that’s needed for most indoor plant fertilizers.
How to fertilize houseplants with liquid plant food
Here how is to use liquid fertilizer to feed indoor plants:
- Dilute the liquid fertilizer according to the manufacturer’s directions using a measuring cup or spoon.
- Make sure you pour the solution directly into the soil if the all-purpose liquid fertilizer is meant to be applied to the roots. Avoiding splashing the leaves is important.
- Fill a spray bottle with the diluted solution and spray it on the leaves if you’re using it for leaf application.
How to fertilize indoor plants with granular fertilizer
To use granular fertilizer, this is what you should do:
- Slowly incorporate the granules into the top 3 in. (7.5 cm) of potting soil.
- To release the nutrients, thoroughly water your houseplant.
- Let all the water in the pot to drain away completely.
How to use slow-release fertilizer for indoor plants
The easiest way to feed houseplants is to fertilize them with slow-release spikes, pods, or capsules. What you should do is this:
- If you have a big pot, dig a hole in the soil or several holes.
- Place the slow-release houseplant fertilizer spikes in the soil immediately.
- Position the plant somewhere in the middle of the pot, halfway between its stem and the border.
- Insert several fertilizer sticks into the soil of a big pot to ensure an even distribution of fertilizer if you have one.