How To Fertilize House Plants

Different Types of Fertilizers for Aroids

  • Slow release fertilizer
  • Liquid fertilizer
  • Worm Castings

How to use slow release fertilizer

If you already have house plants, go ahead and place the slow release fertilizer on top. The fertilizer slowly releases each time you water your plants. Typically, slow release fertilizer will have an expiration based on time, but I typically look at it based on how frequent your waterings are. So if the fertilizer is meant for 6 months based on a one week watering cycle, and you’re fertilizing your plants two a week. You should expect to add more slow release fertilizer after 3 months. Simple right?

However, if you are mixing your own soil, I would go ahead and mix it right in. You can find my soilless aroid mix recipe here.

Liquid Fertilizer for aroids

This is something that you can easily incorporate into your biweekly watering regimen, or even weekly. Your typical liquid fertilizer will recommend you to feed your plants every two weeks, during growing season, and once a month during the winter. This will vary based on your grow zone. I’m in San Diego, California and I’m in zone 10a. So my down time is only for 1-2 months from January – February.

My tip for you is to cut liquid fertilizer by half, so you can fertilize your plants weekly. I find this scheduling of fertilizing is optimal for plants. But be weary of over-fertilizing your plants. You can burn their roots and kill the plant. Also, you can have a lot of unhealthy fungus growth from all the fertilizer. If this happens. Make sure you let the soil dry out and opt out of fertilizing your plant. If the fungus/mold is heavy, remove the top soil and replace it.

Fertilizing using worm castings

Be careful with how much you use. A little goes a long way. Just as I mentioned before, you can over-fertilize your houseplants. If you’re use to gardening, more isn’t always best. House plants are typically in small pots, and since the fertilizer is isolated without anywhere to run off, it can burn your roots. So in this case, I don’t like to recommend topping off soil with worm castings, I only recommend you adding it to your soil mix prior to potting your plants. I wouldn’t do more than just a 2 tablespoons per half gallon pot.

Signs I’ve Over-Fertilized My Plants

What are the signs you’ve over-fertilized your plants? It’s going to be very obvious. However, this will only happen with liquid fertilizer and with worm castings. Using too much slow release doesn’t see to be bad, at least not in my experience, as long as your pot has a drainage hole.

List of red flags when you have over-fertilized:

  • Yellowing/blackening leaves
  • Slow growth/growth stagnation
  • Node Rot
  • Apex (top) node death

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