How To Feed Your Houseplants: Fertilising Basics And How & When To Use it

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Keep your indoor jungle happy with these tips on houseplants food.

Typically plants will have a growing season and a dormant period. Most plants will grow during spring, summer and autumn months and this is when you should feed them regularly. The reason for this is that houseplants (or pot bound plants) are relying on you to provide nutrients, compared to outdoor plants that will find nutrients outdoor in the soil.

And to make things more complicated every plant has its own needs when it comes to fertiliser. Some plants prefer higher in nitrogen plant food while others might require a fertiliser that provides extra potassium or magnesium.

Foliage Plants

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Foliage plants aka the most sought after plants at the moment need some extra help to keep their beautiful foliage beautiful.

During spring and summer feed your houseplants every two weeks with a high nitrogen or magnesium food plant. Most plant fertilisers will be safe to use and provide the extra nitrogen. In autumn reduce feeding to monthly and take a break in winter.

Flowers and Orchids


The easiest way to think about food for your flowering plants is prior to flower and during flowering.

You can use a regular houseplant fertiliser during growing season (every two weeks) but switch to one rich in potassium in the run up to flowering. Start with half the recommended dose if you are just starting out and increase gradually.

Orchids don't appreciate too much fertiliser. Either use an orchid approved fertiliser or a regular houseplant food every week but dilate the recommended dosage to half strength.

Cacti & Succulents

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While they can survive without plant food your cacti can grow a lot faster if you feed them.

Use only a cactus approve fertiliser every two weeks during spring and summer.

Regular houseplant food will do more damage than good to your cacti as too much nitrogen can promote soft growth.

Carnivorous Plants

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If you like your plant fuss free and can't keep to a fertilising schedule then carnivorous plants are your soulmates.

They require no additional plant food since these plants are catching insects that will provide them with nutrients.