Just like people, plants need nutrients. Food they get from the sun, but like us taking a multi-vitamin, plants need a variety of different minerals to grow and thrive. And when it comes to houseplants, they only get what we give them. In natural rainforests or jungles, their roots would be able to grow as needed to find organic matter and locate nutrients. In our homes, plants rely on us for food and that's why it is important to feed plants regularly.
The most common sign that a plant needs fertilizer, is yellowing leaves and an overall yellowish color. The nutrients in fertilizer help keep a plant growing and green. When nutrients are missing, a plants growth will slow, and its overall color can become pale and yellowish.
And we know that you don't want that. So be sure that you set up a schedule for feeding your plant babies. There are a couple of simple ways to do it. The easiest is to use a coated fertilizer such as Osmocote. Coated fertilizers release slowly over a period of weeks and months, steadily delivering nutrients to a plant. If you prefer to fertilize when you water, then either Espoma's 2-2-2 for Indoor Plants or FoxFarm's GrowBig are great options. Both of these can be mixed in a watering can, and then applied at watering time. Liquid fertilizers act more quickly, but also need to be applied more often, typically weekly. Of course, check the label and follow the instructions for the particular fertilizer you are using.
Like any topic, fertilizer can get quite complicated if you delve into the purpose of each major and minor element and how to deliver them all the most effectively. We'll leave that conversation for another time. For now, pick a balanced fertilizer and a regular application schedule, and all of your plant babies will grow and thrive.
We hope spring is finding its way to your area of the country. As is typical in Florida, we've bypassed spring and jumped right into summer. With lots of sun and warm temperatures, everything is starting to flush and grow beautifully.