Understanding House Plant Fertilizers & When to Use Them


Maximum Living Gardening: Understanding House Plant Fertilizers & When to Use Them

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If you’re like I was, you probably look at all the fertilizers in the store and wonder which one should I get, and why are there so many different types. Well don’t worry, I’m going to quickly answer those questions for you to make it really easy.

There are many different types of houseplant fertilizers. There are water-soluble crystals, slow release pellets, powder and premixed to name a few. What you want to be aware of are the numbers on the fertilizer package as this will tell you what the fertilizer will do for your plant and if it is the right kind of fertilizer for the time of year that it is.

Fertilizer numbers, or “Code” as I call it, is always in a sequence of Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K) – also known as “Potash”. The higher the number in this sequence, the more of that result you will get. For instance, a high nitrogen number will give you more green and leafy growth, phosphorus will give better seed development and root growth for a bigger plant, etc.

Make sure you never routinely fertilize your leaves as it could damage and kill the leaves. If your plant needs to be fertilized through the leaves to revive it quickly then make sure the fertilizer is made for that purpose, those fertilizers are called foliar fertilizers.

Remember, more is not better when it comes to fertilizers. Think of it as eating more food once your stomach is full, not a good thing! It can actually make your plant sick by burning the roots and the leaves.

If your leaves are dropping, the leaf color is pale and new growth is challenged, then that is a good sign it is time to fertilize.

If your leaves are not formed correctly, or there is white looking powder on the soil and wilting leaves then you have probably over fertilized.

Make sure to always follow the fertilizer directions and give your plant the natural environment it was meant to grow in, and you and your plants will have a happy and productive relationship!

You Can do it!

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