How to Fertilize Indoor Plants – Know The Right Steps!

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Indoor plants have a lot of benefits including providing cleaner air and making a room seem full of life. While there are some indoor plants that are relatively low-maintenance, you should still be aware that most will benefit from a fertilizing schedule.  

How to fertilize indoor plants: Fertilizing your indoor plants is relatively simple although the most difficult part may be in the planning stage. Start by knowing what type of plants you have, what their nutrient needs are, and how often they need fertilizer. Write all this information down so you don’t forget it. You can choose between granular fertilizer, liquid fertilizer, or slow-release fertilizer to give your plants all the nutrients you need. Stick to a proper schedule to ensure your plants are as healthy and bright as possible.  

Importance of Fertilizing Indoor Plants  

Importance 1 – Less disease  

Healthy indoor plants are less susceptible to disease and if they have all the nutrients they need, they will stay stronger for longer. Give your plants the food they require so they can be healthy and fight off infection.  

Importance 2 – Stronger plants  

The foundation of your plants is the root structure and adequate fertilizer means your plant roots will stay strong. They will be able to hold the weight of your plants and provide continuous nourishment to the rest of the plants.

Importance 3 – More vibrant plants  

While looks are obviously not the most important thing, it is much better to have a vibrant, healthy plant in your living room than a spindly, yellowing plant. It is obvious that plants don’t have enough nutrients and it does not make for a pleasing look.

Keep your plants fertilized so they will be healthy and alive. Then, you can have the welcoming home you feel comfortable in.      

Types of Fertilizer You Can Use for Indoor Plants

Granular Fertilizer  

One of the most common types of fertilizers, both for indoor and outdoor plants, is granular fertilizer. This is a powder that contains the right ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium that your plants need.

It is quite simple to use granular fertilizer. Simply read the instructions on the container and spread out the right amount per plant on top of the soil.

The one important thing to remember is that granular fertilizer requires extra water to penetrate into the soil. You may want to put your indoor plant into the sink, add the granular fertilizer, and then give it a really thorough watering.

This will allow the granules to go deep into the soil and by placing the plant in the sink you can avoid a large amount of cleanup.      

Liquid Fertilizer  

Those that want less mess and don’t mind an extra step may turn to liquid fertilizer. This type is either pre-made or you can make it yourself.

If pre-made, it usually comes in a spray bottle that you can then add to the soil of your indoor plant. If not, you can take granular fertilizer and mix it with water for your own liquid application.

The benefit of liquid fertilizer is that you don’t need to add tons of water to the soil for it to work properly. However, you may need to add liquid fertilizer more often to your indoor plants as it will be less concentrated.  

Slow-Release Fertilizers  

Finally, if you want the simplest form of fertilizer, you can choose slow-release fertilizers. These often come in the shape of small sticks that you then push into the soil.

Slow-release fertilizers are specially made so that they release a bit of fertilizer at a time and can last for a few months. Simply water as normal and you can basically forget they are there.    

How to Fertilize Indoor Plants    

Step 1 – Decide on plant’s needs  

Fertilizer will almost always have three numbers to indicate what type it is. These numbers refer to the ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium they contain.

A standard fertilizer is 10-10-10 but indoor plants may have different needs and if you have multiple plants, you will want to research what is best for them.

For example, small flowering plants such as African violets do well with a 7-9-5 fertilizer. On the other hand, leafy indoor plants do better with a 5-5-5 fertilizer.

Do your research and make a list and don’t forget where you put this information so that you don’t have to keep figuring it out every time you need to fertilize.    

Step 2 – Create a schedule  

Once you know what kind of fertilizer your plants need, you then want to make a schedule. You may have to fertilize every two weeks or be able to wait up to three months between sessions.

Liquid fertilizer is usually applied more frequently whereas slow-release fertilizer can be left in a container for a few months. Jot down when you last fertilized your plants so you have an easy reference and don’t wait too long between sessions.  

Step 3 – Water  

In order for fertilizer to be effective, it needs to saturate into the soil so the roots can get to it. For granular fertilizer, it is especially important to water your plants. Other types of fertilizer may need water but you can generally water as you normally would.    

When should I fertilize my indoor plants?  

Indoor plants live in containers and while the soil they are in may initially be full of nutrients, as your plants grow, they will quickly consume everything that is good in it. If you want your indoor plants to continue to grow, then you need to continually feed them.

Unlike outdoor plants that have access to a larger soil base, indoor plants only have what is in their containers, which means they need a bit more care from you.  

Fertilizer your indoor plants every two weeks to three months, depending on their needs and what type of fertilizer you are using.


Indoor plants can brighten up any room and if you want that vibrancy to continue, you will need to regularly fertilize your plants. Choose fertilizer made for indoor plants and stick to a schedule so your house is always full of life.  

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