Do you really need plant fertiliser?

Do you really need plant fertiliser?

Everything you’ll ever need to know about helping your houseplants thrive with this growing essential.

There’s nothing better than seeing your green family growing to new heights and thriving in perfect health. And as a proud plant parent, we want to do all we can to help them look their best. Houseplants are limited to the nutrients within their soil, therefore it’s important to be repotting your plant every couple of years and adding fresh soil, and consequently nutrients, to keep them feeling strong and vibrant. Unlike an outdoor plants that can get additional nutrients from where nature, indoor plants need a little extra help. And this is where plant fertiliser, comes in, simply as another way of helping your botanical beauties to feel good and grow well. Think of it in the same way you’d take a vitamin or a supplement to boost a certain part of your health – perhaps you’re anaemic or struggle to get enough vitamin D. Although food can provide some of these nutrients, a supplement simply tops it up. Plants, of course, make their own food using light via photosynthesis (remember that from your childhood science lessons?!), so a fertiliser is like their version of a supplement. Here’s what you need to know.

When do I need to feed my plant?

Typically, growing season is a great time to add some fertiliser to your plant. This begins during spring, a time that is synonymous with new starts and new life, so just as the daffodils sprout up outside, give your indoor plants a similar fresh start. It’s important to consider the type of plant when feeding as well. Those that either grow quickly or produce fruit or flowers will appreciate the added boost fertiliser can bring. This is because when we pick off the fruit or flowers, we need to restore the plant. And finally, as we always recommend when making a plant diagnosis – take a look at how your green friend looks. If your plant is displaying unhappy or stressed symptoms such as yellowing leaves, they would probably much appreciate a bit of food to help them feel better.

What types of fertiliser are there?

Fertilisers are concentrated solutions of nutrients, mainly comprising of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium which help to promote leafy foliage, improve root health and encourage flowers and growth, respectively. Fertilisers take many different forms from tablets to granules, but the most popular is liquid. Usually, you mix a few drops into water to create a solution and then water your plants as per with this combination. It couldn’t be easier!

Three tips for fab fertilising:

1. Go sparingly

It is always best to start with little and often. Dilute your fertiliser solution with water and you can always increase as you go.

2. Know your ratios
Any fertiliser worth its weight in gold should display the ratio of how much of those three key nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) it contains. Can’t see it on the package? Look elsewhere. These ratios are typically displayed as 10-15-10, for example.

3. En route to the roots
Try to add the fertiliser solution directly to the soil of the plant. Pouring onto the leaves can stress the plant out and waterlog its foliage.