plant care: how to fertilise your indoor plants
should I fertilise my indoor plants?
Fertilising your indoor plants is essential so they can grow larger, with healthier, more fleshy and bright coloured leaves. Succulents are no different. They grow thick and fleshy leaves that store moisture and nutrients so if your succulents are looking a little worse for wear, they may need some periodic fertilisation. In fact, if your plants are dying, there could be a problem with your fertiliser! So, for all the plant owners out there, here is a guide to fertilising your indoor plants!
why fertilise indoor plants?
The main purpose of fertilising is to provide nutrients that are missing from the soil, and also help with general plant growth. Fertiliser can be a powder or a liquid, which will make it easier for you to mix with your indoor plants. Think about how essential nutrients are for us as humans. For plants, this is no different. When plants are outdoors, they are naturally exposed to much more organic matter from decaying plants. When we bring plants indoors, we need to replace some of the nutrients that are now missing from their environment. This is where fertiliser comes in. It's important to know exactly what your plants need, just like how much you should water them, and how much sunlight they need. If you are confused or don't know how much to use, don't worry, we can help with this.
when do you fertilise indoor plants?
A very general rule of thumb that you may want to follow when you're starting out is to fertilise your houseplants only when they are actively growing. You can fertilise your plants at any time you like, however, you may want to start out on a monthly basis. That way your plants always get the proper amount of nutrients from the food they eat, and it is a nice constant behaviour for you to get into. It's best to understand your individual plant, and then determine how often you fertilise it. The best time to use fertiliser is when during your indoor plant's growing seasons. This is often Summer and Spring, when the plants may be flowering.
how much fertiliser should I use?
Every plant is different, but most plants require a complete fertiliser with all three macronutrients: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). Many fertilisers will indicate the ratio of N:P:K on the label. For example, we might see something like this: 15:15:15 (N:P:K) - nitrogen makes up about 15% of the product and both phosphorus and potassium make up about 15%, as well as 85% inert ingredients. This ratio can change depending on your plants, so try not to use this as an exact guide.
how do you fertilise indoor plants?
There are a few different ways that you can fertilise your plants: Foliar feed - this is when you spray the leaves of your plant with a liquid solution. There are also liquid fertilisers which are a good option for indoor plants, as they can be diluted in water and then applied to the plants using a watering can or something similar. This is a low mess option for your indoor plant needs. There are also granular houseplant fertilisers that can be made from organic materials, including animal materials and seaweed.
what fertiliser do I use? what are the different types of fertilisers?
Organic fertilisers are slow-release, meaning that the plant should receive its nutrients over a period of time rather than all at once. However, these organic fertilisers should only be used when you see obvious signs of a nutrient deficiency, as otherwise, the plant will not get to utilise all of its nutrients. Inorganic fertiliser is really beneficial to use from the start of your plant's life, using a very dilute solution. If you choose to use inorganic fertiliser, be mindful of not overdoing it, as this can be harmful to your plant.
Fertilisers are available in either liquid or solid form. When using a liquid fertiliser, always read the instructions on the label carefully to make sure you are using the correct dosage. With a solid fertiliser, you will need to break it up into small pieces and add it to your indoor plants.
do you want an easy care option for indoor plants?
There are plenty of plants you can keep indoors and are easy to keep alive. Succulents are definitely a safe choice for any novice gardener who wants the appeal of indoor plants, but can't handle the upkeep. If you want an easy option for your indoor plant decor, look our range of succulent terrariums!