Experienced gardeners know that house plants require regular feeding, including essential nutrients, to grow healthy. In fresh soil, various elements are absorbed by the root system over time and washed out during watering. Determining when your flowers need fertilizer can be tricky. After all, plants do not wither and do not dry out, as is the case with insufficient watering. Therefore, it is worth carefully choosing products containing micro- and macroelements. Proper feeding is carried out according to the schedule and ensures the rapid growth of house plants as if they were in their natural environment.
What to Look for When Choosing Fertilizers?
Be sure to use only those fertilizers designed specifically for house plants. They also do not have the same compositions. For example, if you grow cannabis, a weed nutrients kit is your best bet. However, many of the mild fertilizers will be able to meet the growing needs of most of your plants.
1.Type of fertilizer
Nutrients can be added to the soil in a few ways. Manufacturers offer different forms; liquid or granular are the most common.
It is a concentrate that contains all the necessary substances, including macro-, microelements, vitamins, and amino acids. You only need to mix the product with water according to the instructions and water the soil. Such fertilizers are convenient to use, as you can control the amount of nutrients entering the soil. The use of liquid forms also minimizes the risk of fertilizer burn. Organic options are usually made from liquid kelp, compost tea, fish emulsion, or plant extracts.
Such fertilizers are sold as loose granules or compressed blocks simply inserted into the ground. They have a certain amount of nutrients that are released over a long period of time. They are made from natural materials, like bone meal, limestone, rock phosphate, or dehydrated worm castings. Nutrients can also be made from a synthetic source. Granules allow you to forget about feeding house plants for a long time, but controlling the number of elements, as in the case of a liquid form, is more difficult.
2. Nutrient ratio
Fertilizers can contain 3 main macronutrients needed by all house plants: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Some manufacturers add secondary micro elements required for healthy growth.
- Nitrogen is needed to keep leaves and stems healthy.
- Phosphorus is responsible for root growth and flowering.
- Potassium ensures the overall health of your indoor plants.
- The N-P-K ratio is listed on the packaging of each product. The first number shows the percentage of nitrogen in the fertilizer, the second is the phosphorus content, and the third is potassium.
- An equal amount of all 3 macronutrients will work for most of your plants. For flowering plants, you can choose a fertilizer with a high phosphorus content.
Secondary macro- and micronutrients added to the main elements are iron, boron, zinc, magnesium, calcium, and sulfur.
3.Organic or synthetic product
Each type of fertilizer, whether organic or synthetic, should be used according to the instructions. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages. However, most gardeners choose organic nutrients.
- The material for manufacturing organic fertilizers is typically waste of plant and animal origin. These products have a higher price but are gentle on the plant.
- Synthetic fertilizers have a high concentration of nutrients. The elements are synthesized in the laboratory. So use them with extreme caution. Salts accumulated in the soil can harm the plant and slow its growth.
For those who are just starting to care for plants, choosing fertilizers can seem like a complicated process. Over time, you will find the best options for your home garden. However, it is worth remembering a few basic rules when selecting products for feeding. Pick only products for indoor plants. Pay attention to the concentration of the main elements. A balanced ratio of macro- and microelements will reduce the likelihood of burns with fertilizers.
What form of fertilizer do you find most convenient to use and why?