When To Fertilize House Plants

  • Approximately 8 weeks before the last anticipated spring frost, begin fertilizing indoor plants. For instance, in Pennsylvania, where I currently reside, the risk of spring frost usually disappears by May 15. Thus, I start fertilizing my indoor plants around the middle of March. The days start to get visibly longer at this time, and indoor plants transition from dormant to active growth.
  • Half the suggested strength should be used for the first three fertilizer applications. Use half of the recommended amount if the product is granular. If it’s a liquid fertilizer for indoor plants, dilute it by half (more on these two types of fertilizers in a bit). This feeds houseplants at a time when they are just beginning to grow actively and don’t yet need more nutrients to support rapid growth.

When should indoor plants be fertilized?

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.

Do I water houseplants after fertilizing them or before?

The biggest cause of indoor plants dying in people’s homes is improper watering practices, such as using too much or too little water. Of course, watering isn’t the sole reason some plants die, but most of the time, improper watering causes plants to wither. Here are some general recommendations for watering your houseplants, followed by some advice for fertilizing them.

  • Make sure your plants are in a container with a drainage hole and that the container is sitting on a saucer. You can water them well without worrying that your floors will become flooded or soiled if you use a saucer that is deep enough to capture a significant amount of water.
  • Every four days, check on your plants to see if the soil seems and feels dry. Squeeze it. Check to see if there is a gap where the dirt has separated from the pot. That’s yet another indicator of the soil’s dryness. Smaller pots may be lifted to determine their weight, and by frequently doing so, you can determine how much a dry plant weighs.
  • When a plant is dry, give it enough water that the saucer below fills with water. The plant will be able to absorb all the water if the pot is left submerged in a saucer of water for a few hours. The next day, if you see that there is still a sizable amount of water in the saucer, blot it up with a cloth or a turkey baster.
  • Because the soil and roots aren’t adequately hydrated, providing too little water, watering infrequently, or applying “a lick and a promise” is just as terrible as not watering at all. Do not skimp on your waterings.
  • Roots will decay if they receive too much water. For this reason, you should water well before waiting a few days before doing so again. The roots will decay in pots that are left submerged in deep water for more than a few hours.

If your plant is housed in a beautiful pot, make sure to remove any leftover water after watering. Give the plant plenty of water, let it sit in the pot for one or two hours, then drain any extra.

Look at the saucer on the right where water has gathered. That can remain in the saucer because it is not much. However, it indicates that this plant did receive thorough watering.

Trays are under the plants in this window to collect water. The Maxsea fertilizer bottle is one that the staff likes to use when synthetic fertilizer is required.

  • Never feed a plant that needs water. Water thoroughly first, and fertilize the following day. This is particularly valid if you’re using synthetic fertilizer.
  • From October through February, you shouldn’t fertilize indoor plants unless they flower in the winter, like some orchids and all citrus. The plants typically take a break from growing during this period of short days and don’t require those extra nutrients.
  • Between mid-February and mid-March, start fertilizing once more. Throughout the summer growing season, fertilize frequently.
  • For information on how much fertilizer to give your plants, refer to the package instructions.

Two organic fertilizers made by Coast of Maine are made specifically for indoor plants. A nice fertilizer to use on flowering plants, including African violets, is Tiger Bloom.

This organic fertilizer is a popular since it contains minerals and soil-feeding elements like earth worm castings. Given that most houseplants are produced for their foliage and that this fertilizer contains a higher dose of nitrogen to encourage leaf growth, it is particularly beneficial for houseplants.

This is just one of the numerous products we provide that include living soil organisms like mycorrhizae. It’s especially beneficial for plants that have spent more than two years in the same container and soil.

Should indoor plants be fertilized all year long?

Typically, it’s better to cease fertilizing indoor plants in October, especially in temperate regions with particularly long winter nights and short winter days. After all, a lot of them just stop operating during that period of the year. While they might not all completely go dormant, their growth is frequently at a standstill or at the very least painfully slow. Some plants do continue to develop despite the reduction in lighting, but it is best to avoid fertilizing them to promote growth during the off-season. What you don’t want is for that to lead to growth that is pallid, frail, and etiolated. I really remove the majority of the winter growth from my indoor plants so that the spring growth will be considerably more vigorous.

As long as they can sustain 12-hour days or longer, gardeners who grow their plants under lights can continue fertilizing their indoor plants year-round.

But as the days lengthen again in late February and early March, many plants begin to clearly demonstrate growth. No, it isn’t yet summer, but they are beginning to awaken and put on growth since there are more than 11 hours of daylight each day (and that number is rising every day!). And you should fertilize plants as they are growing.

It’s important to keep in mind that fertilizer should never be supplied to encourage growth or blossoming instead it should always be given as a treat. Therefore, you should begin fertilizing houseplants when they begin to grow again. (Are you expanding? How beautiful! I’ll feed you!

Before the end of February, some Northern Hemisphere houseplants will have started growing, so fertilize those first. However, you’ve certainly seen some houseplants that aren’t quite ready yet. Only in late March or early April might they begin to show signs of growth. Wait a little longer if so. Always heed the advice of the plant; it will “inform you when it is appropriate to fertilize.

Which fertilizer ought to be applied? That is essentially unimportant. Simply make use of what you have. For further information, see Plants Can’t Read Fertilizer Labels.

The most important thing is to always fertilize softly, most likely at a level much lower than that specified on the product label. For the majority of indoor plants, one-quarter to one-eighth of the suggested dose is adequate. The idea that “A marketing ploy used to sell additional fertilizer is the growth booster type fertilizers, which are high in minerals and intended to stimulate a quicker recovery. Rather than being flooded with more minerals than they can reasonably use in a short amount of time, plants prefer to receive their fertilizer gradually.

There is no need to rush, but if your houseplants are currently growing, it’s time to re-fertilize them! By the end of March, most ditherers will undoubtedly be ready for a few additional minerals!

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

In the winter, need indoor plants be fertilized?

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.

How much fertilizer do indoor plants require?

Don’t just pour fertilizer on your potted plants, though it’s simpler than you would think. According to Hillman, you should dilute the fertilizer at a rate of 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon per gallon of water. To be on the safe side, he advises, “I counsel folks to dilute it a little more than the package suggests.”

You should also water your plant before fertilizing it. Additionally, the moist soil improves fertilizer absorption while preventing fertilizer from burning the roots. You are correct if you assume that a fish emulsion fertilizer will smell. Hillman, though, claims that it passes in a day or two. In order to get rid of extra fertilizer water, dump any water runoff dishes that may be underneath your pot or planter.

When I water my plants, should I fertilize them as well?

It is advised to fertilize while watering, making sure to moisten the soil first before adding the fertilizer.

This is due to the fact that you shouldn’t add fertilizer by itself, no matter how dilute, to the soil before planting roots.

As a result, fertilizer should be used after watering and the soil has reached its full moistness.

If the dissolved fertilizer is added by itself, the concentration of the fertilizer may end up burning the plant’s stems and roots, which will result in leaf yellowing and occasionally plant death.

Through the hairs of the roots that stretch out across the soil, plants acquire nutrients along with water throughout this process.

You should also pay attention to the sort of water being used to bottom-water your plants because there may be variations in its pH and mineral content, both of which might have an impact on the soil and plant.

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.

1. Water

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).

2. Light

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.

3. Delivery

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.

4. Resilience

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.

Five. Hunger

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.

6. Pests

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.

7. Thermometer

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.