As the proper amount of water and plenty of sunshine are the basic needs of plants so any good plant owner should make sure the availability of these needs to his succulents, ferns, and other plants. Fulfilment of these basic needs will be enough for keeping them alive but to make them thrive fully you have to consider the right fertilizer for them.
Many people overlook the importance of fertilizer for indoor plants. However, the proper feeding after good soil preparation by adding compost into the potting soil is an essential factor to make growing healthy and heartfelt.
Because indoor plant roots are limited to the soil of pots to search the nutrients instead as the outdoor plant roots grew anyway searching for food. Indoor plants are totally dependent on whatever you provide them as a supplement.
After the potting mixture addition, fertilization is the second important thing. If the potting soil is well prepared by mixing the potting compost, and Organic mulches to pots then plants will need the fertilizer in much less amount.
The potted indoor plants consumed the nutrients from the soil in about two months’ duration so you will have to fertilize them again at least after this time.
- 1 Buying Guide: Things to consider while buying fertilizer for houseplants
- 2 Reviews: Best Indoor Plant Fertilizer
- 2.1 1. Miracle-Gro 300157 Indoor Plant Food Spikes
- 2.2 2. JR Peters Jacks Classic All Purpose Fertilizer
- 2.3 3. Miracle-Gro Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food
- 2.4 4. Espoma Company INPF8 Organic Indoor Plant Food
- 2.5 5. EarthPods Premium Indoor Plant Food
- 2.6 6. Neptune’s Harvest Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer 2-3-1
- 2.7 7. Jobe’s Organics 09524 Purpose Granular Fertilizer
- 2.8 8. Aquatic Arts Indoor Plant Fertilizer
- 2.9 9. Schultz All Purpose Plant Food
- 2.10 10. Jobes 5001T Houseplant Plant Food Spikes
- 2.11 11. Osmocote Smart-Release Plant Food Plus Outdoor & Indoor
- 3 What Kind of Fertilizer is Best for Indoor Plants?
- 4 Six Quick Tips for Fertilizing
- 5 How Often Should You Fertilize Indoor Plants?
- 6 How to Fertilize Indoor Plants?
- 7 FAQs
- 8 Conclusion
Buying Guide: Things to consider while buying fertilizer for houseplants
While buying any fertilizer for indoor plants, always try to consider the organic sources at first because they are good sources of nutrients for the long term and also they are pet and child-friendly sources of fertilization.
The presence of all macronutrients in all fertilizers is not necessary, instead, some fertilizer may not have any macronutrients. So, before choosing the fertilizer to get little info about these nutrients here:
All the basic fertilizers do have a proportion of these macronutrients. It includes nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Each of these nutrients has a special function:
- Nitrogen helps to grow more healthy foliage
- Phosphorus helps the better root development
- Potassium encourages healthier blooms
Some fertilizers have a special purpose as they are formulated for fertilizing a single type of plant. As any plant food that is specially formulated for indoor use like by Espoma Company IN FF8 Organic Indoor Plant Food.
Others are African violet fertilizers that are optimized for particular kinds of plants.
In addition to the macronutrients, micronutrients are also part of some fertilizers. These nutrients include the boron, manganese, iron, magnesium. All of these micronutrients encourage healthier growth.
Read the packaging label of every fertilizer to know its composition.
Reviews: Best Indoor Plant Fertilizer
1. Miracle-Gro 300157 Indoor Plant Food Spikes
Miracle-Gro is a well-known company in producing the ideal plant foods for indoor as well as for outdoor plants. This spike plant food is a good source for potted plants like ferns, and spider plants, etc.
Each spike is a fully loaded source of nutrients for your potted plants and you can insert as many spikes to your pots to meet the needs of larger plants.
The best thing about this fertilizer is that its application is very simple as you just need to poke a hole between the rim of pot and middle of the pot and then insert the spike into the soil with a hammer or other like thing until it is fully inserted to the soil.
Each of the spikes will work for up to 2 months but you can replace them with a new one during the active growth seasons of spring and summer.
2. JR Peters Jacks Classic All Purpose Fertilizer
If you are sick of applying separate food for every nutrient then this plant food by JR Peters Classic food is an awesome choice to build up the soil nutrients to support your house plants.
All-purpose fertilizers show by their name that they will feed your plant by providing him all the essential nutrients all time.
It is a water-soluble balanced fertilizer to help you out in application while supporting the growth of stems, leaves, and roots.
The presence of enriched micronutrients will become effective for plant growth no matter which stage of growth of the plant is going on.
Two methods are used for this food application as by dissolving the food in water for regular use or can be applied periodically with the intervals of months.
The alternating with plain water is a good step to keep you out of the tension of feeding the plants.
The best thing is the easy application either by spraying on leaves or directly to roots. But following the directions on the package will prove best to get better results.
3. Miracle-Gro Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food
Miracle-Gro is a vast brand of fertilizer so you should not be confused by seeing another product by the same brand on this list. This water-soluble plant food is the most surprising product of this company.
The best thing about this plant food is that it is well suited for almost all types of plants. The nutrients in granules of this plant food become available to the plant readily after watering after its application.
The instructions are provided on the label for use on different types of plants so always read the directions to apply otherwise you will get your plants burned.
The application of this plant food is done every week or every other week to get the desired results. It is the best choice if your plants are dying of plant food and you will get the strong, healthy plants by its instant results.
4. Espoma Company INPF8 Organic Indoor Plant Food
Some people love organic gardening, this plant food is specifically made for them.
This liquified fertilizer by Espoma is all-natural formula having all beneficial microbes to deliver the best results.
The liquified nature of this food ensures the ready availability of nutrients to plants through leaves and comes out of the nutrient deficiency situation in hours.
The benefits of using this food for your plants will come in the form of healthy growth like that all the leaves have grown freshly.
The application is simple and easy by just shaking the bottle and it is ready to use.
5. EarthPods Premium Indoor Plant Food
This speciality fertilizer is a premium fertilizer for indoor plant use and it is a unique product of EarthPods. It comes in the form of capsules that contained the concentrated organic plant food that will boost the stem and root development.
It will improve the leaf colour and build up the resistance ability of the plant to overcome the attack of pests or diseases.
The best thing about this product is its 100 pre-measured pods that will provide enough food for a single plant for up to five years. This food tube is not only easy to store but also its sustainability is very impressive and you can also recycle them.
All you have to do is to insert these pods near the roots of plants and water them thoroughly. These inserted pods will break down eventually with time and will remain to release the nutrients and trace elements near the roots.
Use only 1 or 2 pods for small-sized plants and up to 8 pods for large plants.
6. Neptune’s Harvest Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer 2-3-1
It is another organic fertilizer that contains a good proportion of phosphorus along with nitrogen. This phosphatic organic food is best for gardening.
The seaweed and fish components in this plant food help the build-up of soil structure on decomposition.
It is the all-natural and organic source that does not has any chemical which can harm the environment or soil microbial habitat.
The high phosphatic components ensure the upcoming stronger and healthier foliage and flowers.
The blooms appearing on these organically grown plants will be more plentiful, fragrant, and longer-lasting.
The water solubilizing nature of this plant food ensures the easy application by hand, sprayers, or along the drip line.
7. Jobe’s Organics 09524 Purpose Granular Fertilizer
If you are searching for an organic source that is renewable, biodegradable, and sustainable then this granular fertilizer by Jobe’s is a great choice.
It is certified for organic gardening and it improves the soil structure to help your plants to establish a better root system and a perfect and strong growth with additional disease resistance improvements. The plant will get the resistance to drought by using this plant food.
This plant food has Biozome that comprises the mixture of fungi, Archaea, and healthy bacteria that will the soil buildup to support plant life. This can be applied during potting mixture preparation or can be applied to existing plants too.
This plant food comes in the packing of 16-pounds that will be enough to feed your a lot of plants and it will be a one-time investment.
The bag can be resealed that makes it an easy storage product and safety.
8. Aquatic Arts Indoor Plant Fertilizer
This is the most versatile plant food added in our list that can feed a vast variety of plants.
It is specifically made for indoor plants use. Aquatic arts are formulating plant foods that help the gardeners to establish the beautiful gardens.
Besides promoting the lateral growth the other benefit of this plant food is the prevention of wilting of leaves.
It provides vitamins, nitrogen, and phosphorus to plants that help the plants to thrive best by establishing a better root system.
The addition of a mixture of 1 tablespoon plant food in two cups of water will be enough for each plant to get all essential nutrients.
This eight-ounce of food will be enough for your plants for many months. Promotion of growth occurs in a vast variety of plants including:
- African Violets
- Air plants
- Poinsettias cactus
- Gerbera daisies
9. Schultz All Purpose Plant Food
This liquified fertilizer will not be less than a miracle food for your plants. It is a great product by Schultz.
The application of this food is also very tricky as you just have to add seven drops per liter of water before watering to get your plants to thrive.
This can be applied twice a month by adding 14 drops per liter of water.
This is a great product for establishing the new indoor gardening during the transplanting and repotting of plants.
It is famous plant food for its versatility of features to support the vast variety of plants from cacti to orchids.
If you buy one bottle of this plant food you will have two packs of eight-ounce fertilizer in each.
This will be enough for feeding your plants for a long time as you just have to add drops.
10. Jobes 5001T Houseplant Plant Food Spikes
Spike fertilizers have their valuable results for a long time, the same way this fertilizer by Jobes will support your plants in a better way.
It is considered as great food for indoor plants while providing the nutrients at their roots.
A single spike is formulated by the company to meet all the nutrients need pf the plant.
Size does really matter when inserting the spikes as for four inches pot size two spike will work great but you have to increase the number of spikes to six if the pot size increases to 12 inches.
One time application of this spike food will make your mind calm for the next 8 weeks. Then, you will need to again apply.
The best thing is the number of spikes that are 50 spikes you get by purchasing a single package.
Fifty is a great number for keeping your plants nutritious for many months.
You will not notice any odour of this plant food on the application and additionally, it also has the benefit it does not leach down on watering.
11. Osmocote Smart-Release Plant Food Plus Outdoor & Indoor
This smart-release plant food comes in the granular form that is specially formulated for the indoor plants by Osmocote. It is fortified with the 11 essential nutrients that make this product a very unique choice.
It can be applied outdoors as well as indoors to get thriving growth by providing the required growing conditions to the plants.
The best thing about this product is that its results are long-lasting as one-time feeding will last for more than 6 months and it will boost the growth if applied as directed.
Its application is also very easy as you just have to add the required amount by measuring with the included scoop. One scoop food for every two gallons of water or four sq. ft. the area is considered enough.
Mix these granules into the top three inches layer of soil and watering is done particularly after the application.
What Kind of Fertilizer is Best for Indoor Plants?
Fertilizers for indoor potted plants come in various forms i.e spikes, granular, liquid, sticks, and slow-release fertilizers. The liquid and slow-releasing fertilizers are considered as the best source for indoor use.
Pills and sticks seem to be convenient sources but they don’t release the nutrients evenly through the soil because after inserting the spike into the soil you have no idea when it will release the nutrients. Granular fertilizers are also a good source to some extent only.
The available forms of fertilizer for indoor use have various benefits as:
As a liquid form, these are applied by spraying or through watering cans. Every liquid fertilizer has its own time of availability of nutrients, some are again applied every week and some go beyond the weeks.
The major benefit of these liquified forms is that their impact will show in the form of dramatic large blooms but it may require frequent feedings.
These are a steady supply of nutrients so you can control the precise amount of nutrients to the plants. In the winter months, you should skip the fertilization while sending up the new growth.
These forms of fertilizers have become much popular among gardeners and professional growers. It is best for use both indoors and outdoors.
These fertilizers are coated in the time-release shells that release the nutrients slowly to the soil.
A single application can last for four to nine months.
These are dried granules or particles that can be easily mixed to the potting soil by hand. These fertilizers can also be used for containers.
These fertilizers on watering released all of the nutrients at once without an idea that’s how much the plants need or acquired. They are well used only to some extent for indoor use only best in organic form.
Six Quick Tips for Fertilizing
When to Fertilize Indoor Plants?
The best time to fertilize the houseplants is a tricky thing to figure out. As most of them come out of dormancy during the spring season when they are ready to grow new flowers and fruits.
Fertilizing the indoor plants after the first frost will help your plants to prepare themselves for spring and summer ahead.
Before fertilizing the indoor plants you need to take a look at these tips and tricks that can help your plants to thrive.
You should fertilize the houseplants during the spring season as this will be a great time when they do the most growing. The fast growth should fertilize more often to support the availability of nutrients all time while the slow growth could be supplied with food for just one time.
The concentration of the applied fertilizer solution is the other most important thing to consider otherwise by over-fertilizing you will get your plants to burn. The potency can be increased if the plants are starving for nutrients.
Fruits and Flower bearing plants require the fertilizer more than routine as they acquire most of the nutrients for producing the food to produce fruiting and flowers.
Getting the knowledge of the nutrients uptaking nature of plants can be good while deciding any chemical fertilizer for houseplants. As every type of plant requires a different proportion of NPK.
The presence of micronutrients in the fertilizer enhances its value as it becomes a complete fertilizer that can support all type of needs of plants except sunlight and water. Each macronutrient has its own role in cellular, developmental, and enzymatic functions.
The major thing to decide is choosing between organic or chemical fertilizers. Both have their own benefits as the organics help to buildup the soil structure and improves soil health while chemical provides the nutrients to plants instantly with the specifically mentioned proportion.
How Often Should You Fertilize Indoor Plants?
The frequency of fertilizing houseplants totally depends on the type of fertilizer you are applying.
Some fertilizers can support the availability of nutrients near the root zone for much time but some only last for a few days.
Generally, you should follow the directions given on the food package about how to and how frequently to use.
Liquid fertilizers are an instant sources of building up the nutrients at the root zone or directly applied to the leaves. So, they can need to apply on each watering but may last for a month.
When it comes to granular fertilizer, you can say that they will last for a month or two due to their slow-dissolving.
The other form of plant food comes in the form of spikes, pods, and slow-releasing fertilizers. They all need to fertilize again according to the directions of the producer as they can last for months.
How to Fertilize Indoor Plants?
The method you use for fertilizing the indoor plants is based upon the fertilizer type.
As if the liquid fertilizer to apply then always carefully read the instructions before dilution because the sometimes more concentrated solution will cause the burning of plants.
Measuring spoon or cap is always directed by the manufacturer to add the desired amount in the sprayer tank.
Liquid fertilizer can be applied both through the roots or by leaves.
When the granules form fertilizers are under consideration then you need to mix them in the top three inches soil by ensuring the availability of nutrients to the roots easily.
The slow-releasing are applied directly to the soil between the stem and pot outline and they release the nutrients slowly with time.
The best and easy applicable form is spikes that support the plant growth for months. The inserted spikes number may vary according to the plant size. That ensures the even distribution of nutrients to grow plants in a better way.
Are coffee grounds good for houseplants?
Yes, coffee grounds are the best thing to add to your potted plants, houseplants, or too many vegetables.
Coffee grounds are a good source of nitrogen that promotes healthy green growth and strong stems growth.
What is the best plant food?
Plant foods of organic nature that can build up the soil fertility status on decomposition are considered the best ones. In our listing these some are best:
- Miracle-Gro Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food
- Espoma Company INPF8 Organic Indoor Plant Food
- Schultz All Purpose Plant Food Plus
- Osmocote Plus Outdoor and Indoor Smart-Release Plant Food
How can I make my indoor plants grow faster?
To grow your houseplants more vigorously you need to follow these easy steps:
- Give less watering to indoor plants in winter
- Timely fertilization with right one
- Proper placing indoor where they could get light
- Increase the indoor humidity
- Prepare for spring by adding fertilizer prior to spring
- Remove the old leaves or stems
- Replace the soil with fresh one mixed with compost
Should I spray my indoor plants with water?
It depends on the humidity condition of indoors. If the leaves become dry in the day time then you need to apply the mist in the morning so the leaves may not dry during day time.
If the plants are humidity lovers, then keep them away from heating, windows, or other air-conditioning ducts.
It is not an easy task to choose the right fertilizers for indoor plants. Before choosing any brand fertilizer, try to learn the behaviour and growing habits of your plants. It will help you to choose the fertilizer.
If you are living a busy routine life and you don’t have time to fertilizer them a week to week then you should consider applying the slow-releasing fertilizer that will need the reapplication after months.
If you want to give your plants with the precise amount of plant food so you don’t get any new problem by over fertilizing or any disease attack you should choose the liquid fertilizer.
Granular ones are the easiest in terms of application as they don’t need any mixing, you just need to spread and mix them into the soil.
We hope that you really enjoyed our article and this has helped you in choosing the right fertilizer. We added all the above products after concerning with experts and will keep updating our list from time to time.
Usman is an aspiring writer and Agronomist from Pakistan. He certified with Masters in Planting and growth behaviour. His research on vegetable growth and fertilizer supply is published in many research papers.