A Little Houseplant Fertilizer Goes a Long Way

You only need a small amount of fertilizer to keep houseplants happy.

With houseplants, a little fertilizer goes a long way. After all, unless you’re growing yours in a greenhouse or under high intensity lights, they’re not getting growing conditions anywhere close to those they would receive outdoors in the tropical climates where they originate. Yet the amount of fertilizer recommended on the product label is based on what the plant would need under ideal conditions. That’s why you’re more likely to find your indoor plants suffering from too much fertilizer than too little.

You can use almost any fertilizer on houseplants, but just do so at a much reduced rate while they are indoors: usually about ¼ of the amount recommended. And only feed them when they are in active growth. Most indoor plants slow down or stop growing when days are short, so unless you’re supplying them with artificially lengthened days, most won’t need any fertilizer from the end of October to the end of February or early March.

Garden writer and blogger, author of 65 gardening books, lecturer and communicator, the Laidback Gardener, Larry Hodgson, passed away in October 2022. Known for his great generosity, his thoroughness and his sense of humor, he reached several generations of amateur and professional gardeners over his 40-year career. Thanks to his son, Mathieu Hodgson, and a team of contributors, will continue its mission of demystifying gardening and making it more accessible to all.

2 comments on “A Little Houseplant Fertilizer Goes a Long Way

  1. ‘usually about ¼ of the amount recommended’ Check!

    I always say the frequency and amount recommended on the packaging is for selling more fertilizer. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Sign up for the Laidback Gardener blog and receive articles in your inbox every morning!