Houseplants need nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, as well as a range of micronutrients, to develop and bloom. But for houseplants, these nutrients have no place to go except out of the potting soil. Therefore, you need to help your little green plant by giving it a little nourishment on a regular basis. You can now buy all kinds of fertilizers in stores: liquid, dried, granular, and stick forms. Which one should you choose for your plants? You will learn more about The Indoor Plant Fertilizers Types and Uses by Bubgo article.
Liquid Fertilizers For Indoor Plants
Liquid fertilizers - the most common - the most common form are a concentrate, which needs to be diluted with water. In most cases, this fertilizer is suitable for foliar application, which is ideal for bromeliads and plants with fleshy roots that do not have well-developed root systems. However, you should not fertilize clumpy, glossy, bunchy foliage and succulents in this way, as this will cause them to rot. Liquid fertilizers are ideal for small home gardens.
Dry Fertilizers for Houseplants
Dry fertilizers can be in powder or crystal form and must be dissolved in water according to the instructions. It should not leave any residue when dissolved as this can cause burn to the roots of plants when watered. Dry fertilizers are usually dissolved in 2.6-4 gal (10-15 liters) of water and are therefore economical to use in large home gardens.
Granular, Stick, and Sheet Potting Fertilizers
Granular fertilizers are added directly to the soil and when watered, they gradually dissolve and provide nutrients to the plants. Granular fertilizers can also be dissolved in water and watered, but this may result in a white deposit on the surface of the soil.
Fertilizer sticks and tablets are nice and convenient because they can be placed in the soil and you can forget about fertilizing for quite some time - they dissolve just like granular fertilizers and gradually saturate the soil with the necessary elements. The sticks should be dipped into the soil at the edge of the pot, while the flake fertilizer is pushed to the bottom of the pot with a stick or pencil.
Organic Fertilizers for Indoor Plants
It is also worth distinguishing between bacterial fertilizers, mineral fertilizers, and organic fertilizers. Organic fertilizers consist of peat, poultry manure, leaf soil, mulch, or humus. As a rule, organic fertilizers are applied in the form of dry fertilizers with a 0.6-1 inches (1.5-2.5 cm) layer of soil. To prepare a liquid organic fertilizer, soak cow or poultry manure in water and let it soak.
Tip: Sugar, yeast, coffee, and onions are often used as organic fertilizers.
Biological Agents for Houseplants
Bacterial fertilizers, as the name implies, contain a series of bacteria that improve soil and plant nutrition. However, there are some peculiarities in their application: bacterial fertilizers should be applied in the evening or on a cloudy day in moist soil, avoiding contact with shoots. Do not fertilize plants until two weeks after transplanting.
Mineral Fertilizers for Indoor Plants
Mineral fertilizers can be nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, or complex fertilizers containing trace elements. Mineral fertilizers have a high concentration of elements and should therefore be applied in small doses compared to organic fertilizers. Such fertilizers can be universal, suitable for all types of indoor plants, or they can be specialized.
Tip: The application of nitrogen fertilizers can be replaced by ammonia fertilizers.
General-purpose and Specialized Fertilizers for Houseplants
As mentioned above, potting fertilizers can be general-purpose or specialized, depending on the ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in their composition (usually labeled as NPK). Thus, fertilizers containing all three elements in equal concentrations are complex and suitable for most houseplants and are necessary to support the general development of houseplants. In addition, they may contain a variety of trace elements necessary for normal plant development.
General-purpose fertilizers are also available in two varieties: one for flowering plants and one for non-flowering ornamentals.
1. Fertilizer for non-flowering plants
Composed of nitrogen and magnesium, it promotes the growth of leaves and stems, gives them a richer color, and prevents them from turning yellow.
2. Fertilizer for flowering plants
Composed of potassium and phosphorus, it stimulates flowering, making it richer and lasting longer.
However, there are also fertilizers designed specifically for certain plants. This is because many household flowers are very sensitive to specific substances in the soil. For example, succulents and cacti react negatively to high nitrogen levels, while citrus plants that prefer acidic soils tolerate potassium fertilizers. And organic fertilizers are not suitable for them. Orchid fertilizers contain low concentrations because these plants react negatively to over-fertilization. And phosphorus is a no-no for hibiscus.
Fertilization Rules for Home Potted Plants
There are some points to note when applying fertilizer.
1. Feed only healthy, mature plants
2. Do not fertilize plants for 2-3 weeks after transplanting.
3. Dissolve the fertilizer in warm water above room temperature of 35-37 °F (2-3°C)
4. Fertilize from March to October when plants are actively growing, and reduce or stop fertilizing at other times.
5. Avoid direct sunlight on plants when foliar spraying
6. Be sure to water the plants a few hours before fertilizing, otherwise, you may burn their roots.
7. Golden rule: underfeeding is better than overfeeding
8. If you don't have a scale on hand: a matchbox holds 25 grams of dry fertilizer, a tablespoon holds 10 grams, and a teaspoon holds 3 grams.
9. Don't feed any leaves to cacti and succulents.
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