4 Must-Know Tips for Fertilizing Indoor Plants

Houseplants bring a fresh feel to any indoor space. Plus, they can even improve the air quality of your home by releasing additional oxygen into the air. Furthermore, you can even grow edible plants indoors like herbs, fresh greens, and certain vegetables. The possibilities for indoor gardening are abundant.

Unfortunately, not all of us were born with green thumbs, and keeping indoor plants alive isn’t always an easy feat. Proper watering and light exposure are key components of raising healthy indoor plants, but fertilization could be the missing link in your botanical endeavors.

Here are five essential tips for fertilizing your indoor plants.

  1. Keep it simple – Practically all indoor plants, edible or otherwise, will do fine with a basic NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) fertilizer. They don’t need anything fancy; a 20-20-20 ratio is perfect for the majority of plants. You can find exactly what you need at your local grocery or home improvement store.
  1. Don’t overdo it – Over fertilization is one of the easiest mistakes for a home gardener to make. It’s easy to think you’re doing something good by generously applying fertilizer, but too many nutrients can do more harm than good. In fact, it’s best to play it safe and fertilize a little bit less than the product labeling instructs. Under fertilization isn’t anywhere near as risky as over fertilization.
  1. Only fertilize during active growth – Plants need fertilizer most while they’re actively growing and producing foliage. They have no need for supplemental nutrients during other times. Do some homework and learn to tell the signs of active growth. These may vary from species to species. Once you know what to look for, you can implement your fertilization routine when it matters most.
  1. Never fertilize a weak plant – Whenever you see that one of your plants is looking frail, your first instinct might be to fertilize it liberally in order to help it along. Although it seems counterintuitive, this is actually the worst thing you could do! If one of your plants is weak or struggling, you should pause fertilization, ensure proper watering, and confirm that the plant is receiving proper lighting.

Eager to learn more about indoor plants and gardening? Check out the graphic below for additional ideas and inspiration.

indoor gardening ideas

Graphic provided by Purely Shutters: DIY Indoor Gardening

Erin Emanuel