As a plant parent, getting into fertilizing your indoor plants can feel like an overwhelming step to take. When does my green amigo need fertilizer? How much? What type of fertilizer does Wendy, a succulent take vs. Amelia, a Pothos gold?! Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending who you ask), plant babies don’t cry when they need food! Spring officially marks the growing season for your indoor plants, so integrating fertilizer into your plant care routine will take your plant parent game to the next level, we promise your green amigos will thank you for it!
What to look for in your fertilizer
Most fertilizers for indoor plants contain a mix of macro and micronutrients. We know this sounds complex BUT it’s important! The primary macronutrients are: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. The ratio of these macronutrients are usually listed in the fertilizer label - so look out for the N-P-K numbers, as they tell you the percentage of each nutrient that is included. Fertilizers with higher ratios are more concentrated than those with lower ratios. Make sure to also buy fertilizer that is specifically formulated for houseplants, as the ratio of the nutrients are different for lawn fertilizer for instance.
Each macronutrient also plays a special role for your green amigo!
Nitrogen (N): encourages healthy foliage growth, so your green friend can both look and feel it’s best self!
Phosphorus (P): encourages bigger blooms - like they say, sun’s out guns out!
Potassium (K): encourages a strong root system for a strong foundation!
Micronutrients in the fertilizer could include iron, zinc, and boron - which are added in smaller amounts than the primary macronutrients - but are still very integral to your green amigo’s health! So don’t disregard them just yet!
Types of Fertilizer
Liquid fertilizers are diluted into water and used in your watering can. The benefit of liquid fertilizer is that you can accurately control the amount of fertilizer being added depending on your green amigos’ needs. For example, you can slow down or stop feeding your plants during winter months when their growth period slows, or increase during their active growing season: spring through summer!
These dry pellets can be mixed into the surface of the soil. When the plant is watered, the nutrients in the fertilizer are released. Granular fertilizers are great if you are looking for an inexpensive option, but it’s also harder to control the amount of fertilizer your green amigos receive at a given time (this may be too intense for your green friends). Remember, it is always better to under-fertilize than over-fertilize!
In slow-release fertilizers, liquid nutrients are coated in a time-release shell, and breaks down slowly over a period of time as you water, releasing nutrients to your amigos in small doses. A single application lasts between 3 - 6 months. This option can be very convenient, and has become a favourite for many plant parents! However, keep in mind that it is made from synthetic nutrients (not so eco-friendly), which may be an issue if you want organic fertilizer for your plants.
Organic or Chemical?
You may be asking yourself whether you should get chemical or organic fertilizer for your green amigo. Essentially, both organic and chemical fertilizers do the same thing in different ways, it’s just a matter of personal preference!
All-natural ingredient fertilizers are mild for your more sensitive green amigos, but also pack an awesome growth punch! Equipped with all the macro and micro nutrients necessary to promote plant growth, organic fertilizers for your houseplants are on the rise. Marphyl Organic Soil Enhancer contains superfood, marine phytoplankton along with the necessary macro and micro nutrients that promotes healthy plant growth! A growing amigo, is a happy amigo!
Chemical fertilizers are formulated with almost perfect ratios of both macro and micro nutrients. This is probably the easier option for beginners just starting out with fertilizers as it guarantees that your amigos get all the necessary nutrients!
Spring fertilizer tip:
When adding fertilizer to your plant care routine in the spring, make sure to slowly introduce so that your green amigo can adjust! We recommend that the first few applications be made at half the recommended strength suggested in the label. For liquid products, mix it to half strength and for granular, use half of the amount. Your houseplants don’t require large amounts yet, as they are just gearing up for the active growing season!