How to Choose the Best Fertilizer for Indoor Plants

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How to Choose the Best Fertilizer for Indoor Plants

Staff Writer · Jun 20, 2011

A good quality fertilizer for indoor plants is very important. Feeding of essential nutrients can ensure healthy and beautiful indoor plants. In an outdoor garden, nature provides these nutrients to the plants (in ideal conditions). However, the nutrients available to an indoor plant are limited, and supplements in the form of fertilizers are necessary.

Choosing the Best Fertilizer

It’s always best to choose an expensive fertilizer. There is no need to invest in brand names, because they may have the same nutrients as non-branded versions. Expensive fertilizers have more nutrients and less bulk, and you need to use smaller quantities of them. Many expensive fertilizers have time released formulations and are effective for more than two months.

Read the labels on the fertilizer bags carefully. There are sets of three numbers on the bags. The first number denotes the nitrogen content of the fertilizer, the second number the phosphorus content and the third the potassium content. Nitrogen encourages healthy foliage growth, phosphorus promotes root growth and potassium encourages larger blooms.

There are also a number of minor elements such as iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium and boron in the bag. Select a bag that has a larger number of minor elements, especially usable minor elements. A good quality palm fertilizer is a universal fertilizer that can be used for most indoor plants, because it contains a larger number of minor elements.

Things You Should Know

The label on the fertilizer bag will also have information about the source of the nutrients. Organic fertilizers are generally preferred over chemical ones. Fertilizers are comprised of salts and it is important that these are leached out of the pot over a period of time; the presence of salts can cause root burns. It’s better to add fertilizers that are soluble in water when compared to liquid or solid fertilizers.

Since both over-fertilization and under-fertilization can adversely affect the health of your indoor plants, it’s essential to follow the instructions on the fertilizer bag carefully, regardless of the type you select.

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