Metal Spoon With Blue Fertilizer
houseplant fertilizer1
(Image credit: Marek Uliasz)

If you don't feed your houseplants regularly, they tend to underachieve. You should start feeding regularly once they fill their pot with roots. If you want them to remain healthy and create a lush, attractive display, you need to give them regular feedings. From early spring into summer, both leafy plants and flowering plants require some feeding at 10 to 14 day intervals. Houseplants that flower only in the winter should be fed the same way, but only when they are flowering.

Liquid Fertilizer for Feeding Houseplants

Most people feed their houseplants by mixing concentrated liquid fertilizer in clean, room temperature water and watering the plants with the solution. Make sure you don't make the mixture too strong and mix the solution according to manufacturer recommendations. Be sure the compost is already moist, which will help the fertilizer absorb easier and quicker. Mix only enough fertilizer to feed your plants. Don't make up large quantities and store the mixture because it can get stronger while it sits.

Feeding Sticks and Pills for Feeding Houseplants

Feeding sticks are another quick and easy way people fertilize their indoor plants. All you do is push the fertilizer pegs into the compost about an inch (1 cm.) from the pot's side. There are fertilizer pills as well. Both the sticks and the pills give the plants food over a longer period of time, but they sometimes encourage the roots to become congested around them.

When Not to Feed Plants

Plants that flower throughout the summer shouldn't be fertilized with pills and pegs past the midsummer growing season. The last fertilizer peg or pill that you would administer will keep the plant fertilized throughout its flowering process. If you have winter flowering plants, insert the last peg or pill in autumn and early winter. Feeding your plants are not hard things to do. Sometimes it can be time consuming, and they are definitely chores that fall low on the list at times. However, you will reap many rewards in the long run with the beauty you are creating.

Heather Rhoades
Founder of Gardening Know How

Heather Rhoades founded Gardening Know How in 2007. She holds degrees from Cleveland State University and Northern Kentucky University. She is an avid gardener with a passion for community, and is a recipient of the Master Gardeners of Ohio Lifetime Achievement Award.