6 Tips on how to fertilize your houseplant the right way

Houseplant Fertilizers

Plants in our homes give us so much. They help to remove indoor pollutants, reduce stress, and just make the space feel homier. If you love houseplants, but don’t know how to take care of them, you are not alone. Many people struggle with keeping their plants healthy and thriving.

They often fail to understand their needs and what they need to thrive consistently. Fortunately, with a bit of information, anyone can learn how to fertilize their houseplant so they thrive in almost any home environment.

But keep in mind that different plants have different needs based on the type of plant and its natural habitat. Knowing how to fertilize a houseplant successfully is imperative for success.

What does fertilizing your houseplant mean?

Fertilizing your houseplant simply means providing the nutrients the plant needs to thrive. There are 6 key nutrients plants need to grow and thrive. These nutrients include – carbon, oxygen, water, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

There are many ways to provide these key nutrients to houseplants, but one of the most popular methods is through fertilizing with plant food or liquid fertilizer.

The key to healthy houseplants is consistent fertilization. Plants need nutrients to stay healthy, but they don’t store them as we do. That means if they don’t get what they need when they need it, they can die.

When should you fertilize your houseplant?

While there is no exact rule on when to fertilize your houseplant, there are a few ways to know if they are in need of a little extra love. If your plant is droopy or wilted, it is a good indication that it is in need of more water.

If your plant seems to have stopped growing or has become leggy, it’s time to give it some fertilizer. The best time to fertilize your houseplant is when you are repotting and pruning.

When you do these activities, you open the roots of the plant and provide a great opportunity for the fertilizer to be taken up by the roots.

Taking the time to fertilize your plants when you repot them will help to ensure that they have what they need to stay healthy and grow.

Which type of fertilizer should you use?

There are many different types of fertilizer on the market. Knowing which one is best for your houseplant can help to ensure success.

If your houseplant is a flowering plant, you will want to avoid using a fertilizer that is high in nitrogen. Too much nitrogen can cause your flowering plant to grow quickly and possibly split or bend under the weight of the flowers. 

If your plant is a leafy green or herb, you will want to avoid fertilizers that are high in phosphorus.

Phosphorus is great for flowering plants and adding to their robust growth, but it is not ideal for growing greens. If you are an indoor gardener, your best bet is to use a balanced fertilizer with a ratio of about 1:10:10 or 1:15:15.


How to fertilize your houseplant with liquid fertilizer?

When fertilizing your houseplant with liquid fertilizer, it is important to follow the instructions on the package.

If you have a specific plant in mind, check to see what the manufacturer recommends for that particular plant type. Depending on the brand, you will either pour the recommended amount into the pot with the plant or water.

You may need to flush or clean the soil surface before applying the fertilizer to ensure it is properly absorbed.

How to fertilize a leafy green plant?

For leafy greens and herbs, you want to avoid fertilizers that are high in phosphorus. This type of fertilizer is excellent for flowering plants, but not greens.

If you notice that your greens are growing quickly and seem to be more lush than usual, it is likely that they are not getting the right amount of nutrients.


How to fertilize a flowering plant?

If your flowering plant is growing well and it seems to be bursting with flowers, but the leaves are small and shriveled, you likely need to fertilize with a fertilizer that has a high amount of nitrogen.

When using a fertilizer with high amounts of nitrogen, it is important to also be sure you are providing your flowering houseplant with plenty of water.


When it comes to properly fertilize your houseplants, it is important to understand their needs. Every plant has specific requirements and responds differently to certain fertilizers.

If your houseplants look unhealthy or stunted, it is likely because they are in need of more nutrients. When you fertilize your plants, you can help to ensure that they stay healthy and vibrant, and continue to remove indoor pollutants from the air.

Written by Chris Buckland

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