During the fall and winter, indoor plants won’t require any fertilizer, but they might enjoy one last treat. Plant Mom advises doing this right away, while the earth is still damp, right after a shower. Plant Mom advises using a liquid all-purpose fertilizer at half the recommended dosage, not making it a full meal.
Is fertilizing indoor plants in the fall acceptable?
In the autumn, houseplants require specialized care because they are beginning to enter their winter hibernation. Use this checklist to modify your indoor plant care schedule for the fall.
Slow down on watering
Reduce the quantity of water you give your indoor plants in the fall to help with the transition. This will serve as a helpful reminder to them that their rest period is about to start.
The majority of indoor plants use less water in the winter than they do in the summer. As a result, during the coldest months of the year when they are dormant, there is a much increased risk of overwatering them.
Therefore, take great care not to exert yourself too much during the fall. Allow the soil to dry out a little bit more than usual.
If you struggle with this, invest in a soil moisture sensor to make it simple to determine when they want watering. Find out more about watering indoor plants here.
Provide more light for them
As the days become shorter, our indoor plants will receive less sunshine in the fall. Moving them to a location with more light is therefore a smart idea.
Most of mine are in or close to my bright south-facing windows. They will receive more natural light as a result of this. You can install a grow light if your home doesn’t have any windows that face south.
Wean them off fertilizer
You shouldn’t fertilize houseplants in the fall because they are preparing to become dormant. However, avoid stopping suddenly. Instead, it would be wise to gradually wean them off.
Some people react to this more strongly than others. You can lessen the shock of seasonal shift by gradually reducing the fertilizer dose you feed them.
Therefore, reduce the amount of fertilizer you feed them by half as the temperatures begin to cool off in the late summer. Then gradually reduce the dose until you stop fertilizing your indoor plants in the fall.
Bring them back inside
Early in the fall, before the weather turns cold, is the ideal time to bring indoor plants back inside. Long-term exposure to the cold could make the adjustment considerably more difficult for them. Additionally, nobody wants to risk inadvertent freezing or frost damage!
Plan to bring them inside before it drops below 60 degrees Fahrenheit outside. By doing this, you can prevent the drastic temperature changes that, in the fall, can injure your houseplants.
Debug them initially to help prevent any significant pest outbreaks. Before bringing indoor houseplants in the fall, learn how to debug them.
Should the fall and winter months be fertilized for indoor plants?
Do indoor plants need fertilizer throughout the winter? Because most indoor plants are not growing throughout the winter, fertilization is typically not required. In the spring and summer, when plants are actively growing, indoor gardeners should fertilize their houseplants on a regular basis.
When should indoor plants be fertilized?
You are aware that indoor plants require water and sunlight, but what about fertilizer? Fertilizing indoor plants during the growing season can provide them the nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) they require to thrive (K).
Similar to learning how to repot a plant, feeding your houseplants can seem intimidating at first. However, after you master the fundamentals, you’ll wonder how your plants ever survived without it. The numerous types of fertilizer available, what fertilizer is (hint: it’s not plant food), and how and when to fertilize houseplants are all covered in the sections below.
What is fertilizer?
First and foremost, plants do not eat fertilizer. Photosynthesis is the process through which plants produce their sustenance while utilizing sunlight. Fertilizer promotes fresh, healthy growth in a similar manner to a multivitamin. Additionally, it can be utilized to replenish the vital minerals that our plants’ potting soil loses as they mature. The main ingredients, or macronutrients, in fertilizers are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K), which we will discuss in more detail later. Fertilizers can also contain a variety of other nutrients.
When should I fertilize my houseplants?
like excessive amounts of light or water Your plants may suffer if you use too much fertilizer. During the growing season, which runs from early spring to late summer, we advise fertilizing indoor plants moderately. Plants will gain the most from new nutrients at this period, while they are actively growing. Depending on the fertilizer you’re using, you can typically fertilize your plants monthly or every other week. Read the label carefully because each brand may have a different suggestion for dilution and timing.
Fertilizer will not help newly potted or repotted plants. They haven’t even begun to use all the nutrients in their fresh potting mix! Wait 23 months after a fresh repotting before fertilizing actively growing plants during the growing season to prevent potentially harming recently replanted plants. You can postpone fertilizing until the following growing season if you potted during the autumn and winter.
Because of their decreased metabolic activity, plants in low-light conditions don’t require fertilizer. They don’t consume nutrients as efficiently as individuals who are in brighter light.
What do the numbers on fertilizer mean?
Three of the approximately 17 necessary plant nutrients are prominently featured on the front of the majority of fertilizers. The N-P-K ratio is represented by the three numbers you see: N stands for nitrogen, P for phosphorus, and K for potassium. The main macronutrients that your plant requires are these.
A fertilizer label can include an N-P-K ratio that looks like 10-5-8. Higher ratio fertilizers are more concentrated than lower ratio fertilizers. Do not assume that a fertilizer with greater numbers is superior than one with fewer numbers just because it has higher numbers. It just needs more water to be diluted with because it is more concentrated.
Micronutrients could be included in your fertilizer, making it a complete fertilizer. These can contain things like chlorine, iron, manganese, zinc, copper, boron, and molybdenum. Each micronutrient plays a part in the cellular, enzymatic, and developmental processes of plants, but they are not as essential as the NPK macronutrients. Your fertilizer’s micronutrient content will probably be listed on the back of the container.
For your indoor plants, you can use any all-balanced fertilizer (for instance, 5-5-5) or one with a ratio that fits the goal you want to achieve. In order to stimulate leaf production, for instance, a fertilizer with a higher nitrogen to phosphorous ratio is best, whereas a higher phosphorous to nitrogen ratio aids in promoting fruiting and blooming.
Is solid or liquid fertilizer better?
There are various types of fertilizers. It is mainly a matter of preference when selecting the type of fertilizer to use. Both give the vital nutrients that plants require, yet they each have advantages and disadvantages.
The two types of fertilizers used most frequently for indoor plants are liquid and powder. They may also be the most economical depending on how concentrated they are, or how high their N-P-K ratio is. Fertilizers in liquid and powder form are also simple to use and diluted in water. You can also immediately add a variety of powder fertilizers to the potting soil.
Perhaps less frequently used for houseplants are solid fertilizers, sometimes known as dry or granular fertilizers. Because some granular fertilizers (fertilizer pellets) release nutrients over time, you run the risk of overfertilizing a plant or fertilizing it when it is dormant or growing slowly because of poor light.
Is chemical or organic fertilizer better?
Another option is selecting between synthetic fertilizers, commonly known as chemical fertilizers, and organic fertilizers. The macro and micro nutrients in synthetic fertilizers are typically more precisely balanced and concentrated. They might be more affordable, particularly if you buy them in liquid form to dilute. With less, you can obtain the same amount of nutrients.
Organic fertilizers are typically less concentrated because they are created from all-natural components, such as reprocessed food waste. However, mild is a benefit, not a drawback, of houseplant fertilizer. Although it can be slightly more expensive than other forms, organic fertilizer is a safe, chemical-free choice. Choosing an organic fertilizer may be the finest option if you have pets who share your space.
Chemical and organic fertilizers both supply nitrates, potassium ions, and phosphates to plants, but in different ways. It strikes a balance between your personal preferences and those of your plants.
Quick Tips for Fertilizing Houseplants
First tip: Since plants begin to actively grow in the spring, it is the optimal time to begin fertilizing them. Fast-growing plants should get fertilizer more frequently than slower-growing or dormant plants, such as cacti (i.e., most plants in winter.)
Second tip: Dilute your fertilizer. Less fertilization is preferable to more fertilization. If the potting mix is deficient in nutrients and you haven’t fertilized in about a year, you can improve the efficacy of the fertilizer by diluting it with less water.
3. Plants that produce fruits or flowers over their lifetimes will need extra fertilizer. Picking off fruits or flowers depletes them of their nutrients, which we should replenish.
Know your N, P, and K values. The ratio of macronutrients that should be present in your fertilizer is the one that your plant requires. It resembles the numbers 10-8-10. Find another fertilizer if this isn’t stated on the package.
5. Plants only require a smaller amount of micronutrients than they do of macronutrients, notwithstanding their importance. Micronutrients are typically present in fertilizers, however they aren’t usually highlighted on the front of the fertilizer container.
Should indoor plants be fertilized in October?
As a general rule, only fertilize indoor plants when they are actively growing. While they are dormant, feeding them might cause their foliage to burn or even result in their death.
Don’t overfertilize your plants. Follow the instructions on the product you’re using because using too much can be just as bad as using too little. You should halve the concentration of liquid fertilizers if you want to be safe.
What happens if plants are fertilized in the winter?
The best fertilizer to use in the winter is one that has a lower nitrogen content and a higher potassium content because this will assist the plant maintain its strength and health throughout the season.
The leaves of the plants may grow softer and more prone to disease if they receive an excessive amount of nitrogen throughout the winter.
Is fertilizing plants in the winter a bad idea?
Most indoor plant kinds can benefit from a monthly application of liquid plant food fertilizer. Only in the spring, summer, and fall is this true. Winter is a good time to stop fertilizing plants because they aren’t growing.
Vegetables grown outside fare best with moderate fertilizers or those that release slowly over the course of the season. For months, the slow-release will feed the plants gradually. Vegetables thrive and produce more effectively when they are fed during the full growing season. In general, wait until young plants have established before fertilizing them. The plant may experience a rapid growth spurt that renders it frail and lanky.
Other fertilizer application schedules can be found on the plant food itself, or for information on particular plant requirements, contact your local extension office or master gardener program. It’s crucial to use the application technique and rate that the manufacturer advises.
Why don’t you feed plants during the winter?
In the colder months, light levels are reduced, which means that houseplants will naturally grow more slowly and require less water and food as a result.
They don’t require additional nutrients if they aren’t expending as much energy. Anything you give them will therefore probably end up in the ground where it will eventually burn its roots and kill the plant.
How should indoor plants be winterized?
Your indoor plants might benefit from upkeep in the fall so they are refreshed for spring.
- Your plants must be brought inside before the overnight low temperature falls below 45 degrees (F). At temperatures below 40 degrees, and for some tropical plants even below 50 degrees, harm will occur.
- Before bringing plants back inside, check them for pests and diseases and apply the relevant treatments. Insects can be removed from the soil by soaking the pot in a tub of lukewarm water for about 10 minutes. Take a shower before bringing your plants inside. Spray the leaves from the undersides as well, using your garden hose’s mist or shower setting.
- Repot plants into bigger containers if necessary, ensuring sure to go one size up.
- For instance, 4 inches to 6 inches and 6 inches to 8 inches.
- Use a pair of razor-sharp scissors or other handheld pruning tools to remove any dead leaves or branches.
- Expose plants progressively to lower illumination levels before bringing indoor houseplants back inside to avoid shock. If plants are in a sunny location, transfer them into bright shade a few weeks before the move is scheduled to take place. It is extremely typical for the plant to lose a few leaves after being brought inside. Don’t freak out if this happens; it’s natural!
- The majority of houseplants, with the exception of African Violets, won’t require fertilizing over the winter.
Wilson’s, one of the largest garden centers in central Ohio, began as a modest farm market in 1958. We have greenhouses covering more than 2 acres that are always stocked with annuals, perennials, shrubs, herbs, fruits, veggies, indoor plants, and more. Many of the plants we sell are grown right here on the premises. Additionally, for the previous ten years, we have won the Consumer’s Choice Award for Central Ohio.
Which plants ought to be fertilized sparingly?
Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa), false indigo (Baptisia australis), asters, pinks (Dianthus spp.), rock roses (Helianthemum spp.), sea holly (Eryngium spp.), bee balm (Monarda didyma), speedwell (Veronica spp.), and coneflowers (Echinacea spp.) are perennial plants that thrive without
Why are indoor plant leaves yellowing?
To figure out why your favorite houseplant has suddenly started to produce yellow leaves, you don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes, but you will need to perform some investigation. This is due to the fact that yellow leaves might indicate a variety of conditions. Here are seven typical causes of yellow leaves in houseplants.
Yellow leaves can be caused by either too much or too little water. Your plant may eventually sacrifice some of its foliage in an effort to conserve moisture if it is not given enough water. Conversely, too much water will frequently cause the death of your plant’s roots because they are unable to breathe in saturated soil. Yellow leaves will also grow on your plant as a result of this.
Start by making sure your plant is in a pot with drainage holes at the bottom if you want to avoid any of these issues. Between waterings, the extra water will be able to drain via these holes. When the top inch of soil seems dry to the touch, water your plants only then. From pot to pot, frequency may vary depending on factors like size (larger pots with more soil generally need less frequent watering), season (most plants don’t use much moisture during the dark days of winter), and plant type (succulents, for example, don’t need as much water as heavy drinkers like peace lilies).
If houseplants receive too much or too little light, their leaves may also become yellow. If plants that prefer shade, such as tropical ferns, nerve plants, and calathea, are forced to dwell in a bright location, their leaves will gradually start to turn yellow.
Conversely, if cultivated in gloomy settings, sun-loving indoor plants like succulents, crotons, and jade plants may begin to yellow. When purchasing a new houseplant, always read the label and put it in a location that meets its light needs. Most types of houseplants will thrive in direct, bright light.
It might not be a problem if your houseplant begins to drop yellow leaves as soon as you get it home from the garden center. Most likely, your plant is simply shedding leaves it can no longer support as it adjusts to the lower light levels in your home. Some species, like the ficus, for instance, will occasionally drop their yellow leaves when they are relocated. But don’t worry; usually, after a little period of adjusting, your plant will produce a new crop of foliage.
Repotting houseplants shouldn’t be done for at least a week or two after you get them home, to give them time to become used to their new surroundings and reduce transplant stress.
Lower leaves on older plants frequently turn yellow and drop off. Your plant is not sick as a result of this. It simply means that the plant no longer requires those lower leaves because they are now shadowed by higher foliage. Additionally, keep in mind that many typical houseplants are actually trees in their original habitats, and that when they grow larger, they attempt to develop a trunk by shedding their leaves. For instance, Norfolk Island pines sometimes sacrifice their lower boughs as they get taller and taller.
If a houseplant lacks some essential nutrients in the soil, they will also grow yellow or splotchy leaves. Since plants are typically cultivated and marketed in nutrient-rich potting mix, this is typically not an issue when you initially purchase a plant (and most of our plants come with a time-release fertilizer added). To retain healthy leaves, however, your plants will eventually exhaust the food that they were given and require a little boost of plant food. Every time you water your plants, give them a small amount of diluted liquid fertilizer to keep them healthy.
Yellow leaves on your houseplants can also be caused by indoor plant pests like aphids and spider mites. Both suck plant juices, which makes the leaves appear aerated and fading. Aphids have tiny rice-grain-like attachments at the ends of their stems. Spider mites produce fine-hair-like webs on the undersides of the leaves of your plants, but they are nearly impossible to notice with the naked eye. An organic insecticide for houseplants can be used to control both pests. Maintain a high degree of humidity around your plants because these pests also thrive in dry air.
Because they are tropical plants, indoor plants don’t like harsh weather. Your plants may drop yellow leaves if they are forced to dwell too close to a heat vent, fireplace, air conditioner, or drafty window or door. Most houseplants grow in a range of 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.