Many people have plants inside their homes, but they don’t really know how to take care of them. Fertilizer is something that confuses a lot of people, so it can be hard to find the fertilizer that works best for your indoor plants.
General fertilizers that are meant for indoor plants are the best ones to get when taking care of house plants. Organic or synthetic fertilizers will work well, but results will vary depending on the plant and how much sunlight and water it gets. Add fertilizer during the plant’s growing seasons.
Even after people decide to fertilize their household plants, many don’t know whether to choose organic or synthetic fertilizer. We’ll talk about the differences down below, as well as some ways to properly use it.
What Is the Best Kind of Fertilizer for House Plants?
Any general fertilizer will work to help your house plants grow. However, if you have a type of plant that has different needs than many other plants, then you should get a fertilizer that is specially made for that type of plant.
Cacti and air plants are great examples; they don’t need a lot of water, but they still need nutrients, so there are fertilizers meant to be used for cacti, orchids, and air plants, although the orchid fertilizer will work for all three.
The best fertilizer for indoor plants should have a good balance of minerals to ensure that the plant will have healthy roots, lush foliage, healthy leaves, and vibrant flowers (if the plant grows flowers).
Why Use Fertilizer for Indoor Plants?
Fertilizers help indoor plants grow healthy and strong. Plants are meant to be outside and absorb nutrients from the world around them. If they are inside and stuck in a pot, and the soil is never changed, then the plant does not get the necessary nutrients. In this situation, it’s likely to wither and die, even if it is getting enough sunlight and water. Fertilizer is basically plant food for indoor plants.
Outdoor plants have an ample supply of organic matter that they get nutrients from. The soil is constantly changing outside, even if it does not look like it is. But indoor plants are stuck in the same soil that doesn’t change at all unless you add something to it. Plants need fertilizer to supply nutrients so they can continue to grow and be healthy.
Fertilizer contains three macronutrients that plants need to grow and thrive. They contain nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. Nitrogen helps leaves and stems grow, phosphorous helps roots and flowers grow, and potassium helps prevent the plant from getting diseases and dying.
If your indoor plant grows flowers, use a fertilizer that has a lot of phosphorous, and the flowers will grow beautifully. If your indoor plant does not grow flowers, use a balanced fertilizer, or a fertilizer with a lot of nitrogen.
You should add fertilizer to your indoor plants because it will help them grow and stay healthy. However, you should not overfertilize your indoor plants. If you overfertilize plants, their foliage can burn and they will die. Only add fertilizer during spring and summer when the plant is actively growing. Only add the recommended amount of fertilizer.
Pros and Cons of Synthetic Fertilizer
|Pros of Synthetic Fertilizer||Cons of Synthetic Fertilizer|
|Easy to add to plants||Can damage leaves and roots|
|Speeds up the growing process||Can release nutrients too quickly or slowly|
|Inexpensive||Can leave toxins in dirt|
There are many options for synthetic fertilizers. There are nutrient-rich granules, slow-releasing pods, liquid, spikes, and capsules that are meant to fertilize your plants. Many packages explicitly state whether or not they are meant for indoor plants and what type of plant they are made for.
Synthetic fertilizer is easy to control because you either spray or place the fertilizer in the pot your indoor plant is in. You only have to do this every once in a while, so you don’t have to worry about whether or not you need to add fertilizer to your plant.
However, since you are putting the fertilizer in and forgetting about it, it may release the nutrients too quickly and kill your plant. On the other hand, if you apply it too slowly, the plant won’t get enough nutrients at a time, which defeats the purpose of using fertilizer in the first place.
Synthetic fertilizer is very cheap. A large container of fertilizer costs an average of $20, and spikes or capsules cost an average of $15, which is great for your budget. However, some synthetic fertilizers can cause damage to the leaves and roots of a plant, which is obviously not good. Organic fertilizers don’t do that very often.
Synthetic fertilizers can also release the nutrients too quickly or too slowly, which does not help your plants at all.
Synthetic fertilizers can leave toxic deposits in the dirt which will eventually runoff into waterways and harm the water quality in the area. This is not a good thing, especially as more people choose to use synthetic fertilizers to fertilize their plants. Have you ever wondered why the plastic beads in some fertilizers don’t seem to go away? Those beads will stay in the earth until they biodegrade, probably until about 100 years from now.
Synthetic fertilizers help plants grow really quickly. Many farmers and growers use synthetic fertilizers because they speed up the growing process slightly, which is great if you really want to see your indoor plants grow. Synthetic fertilizers are great to use for your indoor plants, especially while they are actively growing.
Pros and Cons of Organic Fertilizer
|Pros of Organic Fertilizer||Cons of Organic Fertilizer|
|Great for environment||Inconsistent results|
|Contains lots of organic matter||Typically made of plant or animal waste|
|More expensive than synthetic fertilizer||Slow results|
Organic fertilizers do not have any harmful particles that will get into waterways, which is great for the environment. Even if there is some runoff, the fertilizer is made out of organic materials that will biodegrade very quickly, and will not harm the area that they end up in. Organic fertilizer also increases the species’ biodiversity by 30%.
However, there are very few alternative options for organic fertilizer. While synthetic fertilizers have liquid, capsule, spike, and pods, organic fertilizers mainly have liquid or granule choices.
Organic fertilizer is made out of plant or animal waste. Many organic fertilizers are made out of rocks, kelp, fish emulsion, worm tea, compost tea, or plant extracts.
This means that if you don’t like using animal byproducts, then you cannot use many organic fertilizers, even if you want to do what is best for the environment. The most popular way to fertilize large areas with plants is to use manure, but I can assure you that you do not want to use manure to fertilize your indoor plants. That smell will be quite powerful in your home and will stick around for quite a while.
One great thing about organic fertilizer is that it can improve the structure of the soil and minimize the risk of root burn, which will kill the plant.
As the soil structure improves, the soil can hold onto water and added nutrients better than it did before, which will help the health of your plant in the long run. It may even make it so you do not have to water your plants as often as you used to, which saves you time.
However, organic fertilizer costs more than synthetic fertilizer, which is not great for your budget, especially if you have a lot of indoor plants that need fertilizer. However, organic fertilizers can reduce the need for you to add pesticides to your plants, which helps balance the budget a little bit.
Not all organic fertilizers will work. There are a lot of variations of different ingredients that make up organic fertilizer, which means that not all organic fertilizers are made the same, and some will not work at all. This does not help the plant you are adding the fertilizer to at all.
Organic fertilizers also tend not to contain a lot of nutrients that an indoor plant needs in order to grow, unlike synthetic fertilizers. The lack of nutrients in an organic fertilizer can cause the plant to become unhealthy and eventually die.
Organic fertilizers do not make indoor plants grow as quickly as synthetic fertilizers do, which can be disappointing to you because you want to know that your plants are healthy and constantly growing. Many people do not like waiting a long time to see results.
This type of fertilizer is great, but you need to do your research and choose the best option for your indoor plants. This may mean that you will need to get an expensive organic fertilizer. In the long run, organic fertilizers are better for the planet, but synthetic fertilizers are better for indoor plants.
Best Synthetic Fertilizers
Miracle-Grow Liquid All Purpose Plant Food
Miracle-Grow Liquid All Purpose Plant Food is one of the best synthetic fertilizers on the market. It ranges in price from $7 to $19 and comes in many sizes. It is very easy to find a small bottle to use for a few house plants, or a large bottle if you have a lot of house plants to add fertilizer to. It is very easy to use and is meant to be used for indoor plants.
Indoor Plant Food All-Purpose House Plant Fertilizer
Indoor Plant Food All-Purpose House Plant Fertilizer is another great synthetic fertilizer. It ranges in price from $13 to $19 and comes in an easy-to-use bottle. However, it is slightly more expensive than other synthetic fertilizer options.
Superthrive Vitamin Solution
Superthrive Vitamin Solution is rated 5 stars by consumers, and ranges in price from $10 to $30. It is more expensive than many other synthetic fertilizers, but it works really well, so it is worth the money in the long run.
Miracle-Gro Indoor Plant Food Spikes with Miracle-Aerator
Miracle-Gro Indoor Plant Food Spikes with Miracle-Aerator is another excellent brand of synthetic fertilizers on the market. It is very cheap. A pack of 48 spikes retails for around $9, which is a super low price, especially when you compare it to the other fertilizers on this list. It is rated 4.5 stars by consumers.
Jobe’s 50-Count Indoor Plant Food
Jobe’s 50-Count Indoor Plant Food is a great synthetic fertilizer. The spikes meant for indoor plants range in price from $4 to $9, which is really cheap, especially because there are a lot of spikes in each package. These fertilizer spikes have been rated 4.5 stars by consumers, which is a great rating.
Best Organic Fertilizers
Joyful Dirt is one of the best organic fertilizers on the market. It ranges in price from $14 to $30, but the more expensive options typically have a variety of fertilizer options included. They have many varieties available for your indoor plants. They even have a fertilizer meant to be used for succulents.
FoxFarm Big Bloom
FoxFarm Big Bloom is a great organic fertilizer to use on your indoor plants. It ranges in price from $16 to $65, so it is one of the more expensive fertilizers on this list, but it works really well. It is rated 5 stars by consumers.
Espoma Organic is another excellent option. It comes in an easy-to-use spray and ranges in price from $10 to $11, which makes it one of the more affordable organic fertilizers on this list. It is rated 4.5 stars by consumers.
Organic Indoor Plant Food
Organic Indoor Plant Food is a great indoor organic fertilizer. It is a liquid fertilizer, so it is very easy to use and retails for $14 on Amazon.
Jobes Organic All Purpose Fertilizer
Jobes Organic All Purpose Fertilizer is a good organic fertilizer to choose. It comes in spikes or a granular mixture, so you have options to choose from. It ranges in price from $4 to $11, so it is one of the cheaper options listed here.
Dr. Earth Pump & Grow Pure Gold All Purpose Organic Plant Food
Dr. Earth Pump & Grow Pure Gold All Purpose Organic Plant Food is one of the best organic fertilizers on the market. it ranges in price from $6 to $13. It comes in a liquid form for your indoor plants, but they do sell larger bags of fertilizer if you grow vegetables outside.