Last week, we dove into what the major nutrients of fertilizer are and what the three numbers on a fertilizer label mean. This week we are going to talk about selecting a fertilizer that fits your needs.
First, don't be scared of fertilizer. Used correctly it is beneficial to your plants. Follow trusted advice (like ours!) and be careful of some of the information available online. There is plenty of good info available, but not every viral video is based in fact. In the end when it comes to fertilizer, always read the label for the particular product you are using, and if you follow the instructions for amounts and frequency, the chance of fertilizer harming your plants is slim.
To find the right fertilizer for you, first you have to decide between a liquid fertilizer or a granular fertilizer. Liquid fertilizers are nutrients that are in a liquid form. They are easy to apply to a plant and deliver nutrients quickly. They are a great way to get a burst of growth or to really make leaves lush and green. However, you do have to apply liquid fertilizers more regularly, typically on a weekly basis.
Another common fertilizer type is a granular fertilizer, which is applied to a plant by sprinkling on the top of the soil. For houseplants, we always use a coated or slow-release fertilizer, such as Osmocote® . Coated fertilizers don't have an odor and they release nutrients slowly over a long period of time - usually up to 3 or 4 months. That makes it a cinch to work plant-care into a busy schedule.
So, if you like to take the weekends to be with your plants and don't mind giving them a little extra attention, then a liquid fertilizer is perfect for you. Our favorites are Espoma's Organic Indoor! Houseplant Food or FoxFarm's GrowBig. If you prefer to feed your plants and let them be for awhile, then a coated fertilizer such as Osmocote®'s 14-14-14 is for you. Remember, always check the label of the particular fertilizer you are using for exact dosage and frequencies.
Well, that's it for this week. Two easy options for fertilizing your plants. Whichever way you choose, make sure you are feeding your plants regularly to keep them growing and green. Next week, we'll look at the signs that your plant isn't getting enough nutrients and when it is time to fertilize.