Plant Care

How to Fertilize Your Plants

how to fertilize your indoor plant

Fertilize your indoor plants in the spring and summer to promote growth and to give your plant a little boost. It is best to fertilize during this time when your plant is in its natural growth phase. Follow the Grow-How Team’s step-by-step guide to walk you through how to fertilize your indoor plants.

Step 1

Trim and remove dead or dying leaves from your plant with sharp scissors or pruning shears, wiping with rubbing alcohol between each snip. This will help the plant send energy to the healthiest leaves, as yellow and brown crispy leaves will not turn green again. Gently remove fallen leaves from the soil to ensure even distribution of the fertilizing liquid.

Step 2

Never apply fertilizer to dry soil. It’s important that the soil is evenly moist before adding the fertilizing liquid. Water until water drips from the pot into the saucer. Be sure to discard any water left in the saucer after the pot is done dripping. Our Grow-How Team recommends watering a day or two before you’d like to fertilize.

Step 3

Prepare your fertilizing liquid according to the directions on the label. If you’re nervous about over-fertilizing, it’s OK to dilute your fertilizing liquid with water to half-strength. Over-fertilizing can lead to damaged root systems, “burned” leaf tips, and stunted growth.

Step 4

Carefully and evenly pour the fertilizing liquid over the top of the soil, allowing it to absorb into the soil. Continue adding liquid until it begins to drip from the drainage hole.

Grow-How Pro Tip:

If it the potting soil of your plant has completely dried out, it’s important to re-hydrate it before fertilizing. You may notice the soil has pulled away from the edges of the pot or water doesn’t want to absorb into it. If this is the case, your plant will benefit from deep watering via the bottom- or soak-watering method.

To bottom-water your plant, fill a sink with 2”-4” of water, depending on the size of your plant. Set the plant in the water without the saucer to allow it to soak up water through the bottom drainage hole, leaving it for 20-30 minutes or until you see the top of the soil getting a bit moist. Remove the plant from the water and allow excess water to drain from the pot for about 10 minutes. Your plant should feel much heavier after soaking up some water! Finally, place the plant back on the saucer, making sure there is no standing water, and a few days later you’ll be ready to add some fertilizer.

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