TAKING THE MYSTERY OUT OF FEEDING YOUR HOUSEPLANTS

TAKING THE MYSTERY OUT OF FEEDING YOUR HOUSEPLANTS

In order to keep your indoor plants looking their best the addition of some plant food every now and again will benefit them tremendously. I know that deciding which food to buy can be a bit of a headache when there are so many on the market to choose from, but hopefully I can help by guiding you through a few basic facts.

When a plant is potted up into fresh compost there should be enough food in the compost to last for about 8 to 10 weeks, so additional feeding shouldn’t be required. If the plant is not in active growth at this stage, then again don’t worry too much about feeding. As a rule, between March and October is the main growing and flowering season for the majority of houseplants and this is when you should be looking at your feeding regime.

Look at the details on any fertiliser and it should show you the NPK content of that particular feed. There is no mystery here, the letters simply stand for Nitrogen, Phosphates and Potash, the numbers alongside indicating in what proportion they have been formulated for that particular feed. Nitrogen encourages leaf growth, phosphates, healthy roots and potash promotes flower production. Generally young plants need higher nitrogen and phosphate to get them started in life and then higher potash when they are producing their blooms. Flowering pot plants will therefore benefit from a high potash fertiliser. 

Choose the method which suits you best when feeding, powders, granules or liquid feeds are all available. You will also find fertiliser tablets which are simply pushed into the compost at regular intervals (see the instructions on your chosen brand).

Like us, our plants need a balanced diet to keep them in tip-top condition.