Nutrient Features for Houseplants
Fertilizer nourishes the plants and allows them to continue to grow and produce flowers. To fertilize means to introduce chemical elements into the soil that serve as food for plants. The absence of any of them interferes with their normal development.
If a plant lacks nutrients in the soil, it will not bloom and may become sick.
- Due to the lack of calcium, it is prone to decay.
- The leaves are yellow due to lack of nitrogen.
- Slow flowering – needs phosphorus.
- Weak stems from lack of potassium.
When the potting soil is fresh, the plants don’t need much fertilizer. After about two months, they use the nutrients from the soil, so they will need to be fed to continue healthy growth.
They need different types of nutrients to be disease resistant. If houseplants receive a lot or very little fertilizer, they become victims of pests and diseases.
Note! Too much fertilizer is often worse than too little, but overfeeding is one of the most common mistakes home gardeners make. Always follow the instructions on fertilizer labels. Too much fertilizer can kill the plant or burn its leaves.
It is best to fertilize often, but in small quantities. Excess fertilizer is difficult to restore, it is easier to add a little more if the plant is not growing.
The best fertilizer for houseplants is not the same for every plant as everyone has different needs. Not every houseplant is a heavy nitrogen consumer, which means it may not need nitrogen supplementation. Use special products for each type of plant. They contain the right nutrients, for every sample, and in the right doses.
Additional Information! Fertilizers need to be handled with care. Not all species require the same type of top dressing or the same dose. Always check the needs of a particular plant. Feed indoor plants during the growing season to promote their growth. Avoid doing this in autumn and winter, but there are plants that develop and bloom in winter.
Always water before fertilizing, let the water drain, and then fertilize. They do not fertilize a newly purchased plant, they have enough nutrients in the ground for the first months.
Types of houseplant fertilizers
Three main chemical elements are necessary for the balanced development of a plant: phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen.
- Nitrogen is important for the development of stems, leaves and, in particular, the production of chlorophyll.
- Phosphorus makes the roots healthy and nourishes the plant.
- Potassium is essential for the formation and growth of flowers and fruits.
There are various forms of fertilizers on the market. They contain the main nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and important secondary elements) that plants need.
Fertilizers are of different types. Organic houseplant fertilizers enrich the soil with microelements. They consist of materials of biological, animal or plant origin.
Mineral or chemical fertilizers are obtained from chemical synthesis in an industrial process.
Organo-mineral fertilizers – mixed organic with chemical fertilizers or the treatment of organic materials with chemical agents.
Of these, the two best suited for indoor use are liquid and slow release fertilizers.
Liquid fertilizers for indoor plants. They are diluted with water, they provide a stable supply of nutrients. You can fertilize every time you water.
Slow-release fertilizers are coated with different thicknesses of shells that dissolve at different rates.
Ways to fertilize indoor plants
Organic fertilizer for flowering indoor plants has a positive effect on the development of plants and promotes soil fertility, perfectly protects the crop from fungal diseases.
Banana for fertilizing indoor plants. From the peel of a banana, you can get a natural and inexpensive fertilizer that is very effective for caring for home flowers. It is especially useful during the flowering period, because it is rich in potassium and other nutrients that help at the time of maximum energy consumption.
How to cook: cut the peel into pieces (peel from 5 bananas per liter of water), bring to a boil, cook for at least 15 minutes. Let the contents cool and drain the water. 1 liter of fertilizer should be mixed with 2 liters of water.
The remains of the peel can be used as mulch on top of the soil, in a ratio of 1: 2.
Ash that remains in the fireplace after burning wood can be used as fertilizer for indoor plants. Ash is rich in potassium, phosphorus and other beneficial substances for plants. Nutrient raw materials, contents in the ashes, promote flowering, fruiting and development of plant roots.
Nitrogen fertilizer for indoor plants. For example, liquid ammonia as a houseplant fertilizer can contain a significant amount of nitrogen. Its action is much more effective than any other nitrogen fertilizers.
You can use ammonia dissolved in water. Ammonia dissolves significantly in the soil and nourishes with all the necessary substances. To prepare a solution, 50 ml of ammonia is diluted with 4 liters of water. This is enough for the plants to look healthy. Watering with such a solution will contribute to the rapid recovery and strengthening of the stems and leaves.
Yeast is used for plant nutrition. They contain a large amount of vitamins and minerals. These active ingredients stimulate cell growth. The positive effect of such fertilizers has long been proven by experts. Homemade yeast fertilizer for indoor plants is an effective and inexpensive way:
In 1 liter of water, dilute 2 tbsp. spoons of sugar and 10 grams of dry yeast. After the mixture must be insisted for two hours. At the exit, the concentrated solution must be diluted with five liters of water before use.
Fertilizing indoor plants with tea and coffee will bring great benefits to home crops. Coffee or tea leaves left after drinking tea will nourish them perfectly
Interesting! The water left after washing the cereals has a large number of useful components: phosphorus, magnesium, iron, silicon.
A solution based on “aspirin” tablets is able to increase the immunity of plants. It can be used as a preventive measure. Add a crushed aspirin tablet to 1 liter of water.
Fertilizer is not a cure. If the plant is sick or has not received proper care, fertilizers do not solve the problem. You can not use top dressing of diseased plants, or insufficiently rooted in a new place.