Ordinary watering does not give the expected result, because the water itself does not contain all the necessary elements of nutrition. Therefore, plant owners have to apply fertilizer to the soil or feed it with water to create the right nutritious environment for their pets.

Fertilizer for indoor flowers
Fertilizer for indoor flowers

Why plants need fertilizer

Mineral and trace element cycles operate in living nature.Older plants die off and their leaves fall off.

All this organic matter decomposes and with rainwater is absorbed into the soil, from where it is sucked out by the roots. In this case, the duration of one cycle may take several years, but it does not create any special problems. The main thing is that there should be no drought or frost – the most dangerous natural enemies for plants.

At home, flowers get their nutrition from irrigation water. Its composition is too meager – some micronutrients are present, but not enough. The natural supply of necessary substances from outside is not to be expected. They can only be fed artificially, as a supplement.

Feeding is very important for plants
Feeding is very important for plants

If the soil is impoverished and no longer contains the components necessary for proper flower nutrition, the vitality of the plants will cease and be in danger of dying.

Signs of nutrient deficiencies in indoor plants

Lack of nutrition in plants is always reflected in their appearance:

  • stoppage in growth, cessation of leaf and stem development;
  • the appearance of yellowness, pale spots;

  • leaves and stems become soft, lose density and elasticity;
  • root rot appears.

Fertilization of indoor plants when watering
Fertilization of indoor plants when watering

Another sign is the lack of flowering – the plant stops giving peduncles, and the process can stretch for many months and even years. First it stops blooming, withers, stops producing new leaves or shoots. The scarcity of food forces it to spend everything on preserving the green mass already available, periodically dropping the oldest leaves.

On a side note! Often this process reaches extreme stages – the flower drops all the leaves, then the stem withers. The roots can still revive and give shoots, but it is urgent to ensure that all the necessary nutrients are present.

How to choose the right kind of fertilizer?

There are a huge number of fertilizers for indoor flowers available on the market.A person with no specialized training can never just come in and point out the composition needed.

In this case, errors of choice are inadmissible – each type of plant needs its own composition of fertilizer. If the composition is not correct, the flowers may die.

Before you start foliar feeding, you need to accustom the plant to regular spraying
Before you start foliar feeding, you need to accustom the plant to regular spraying

The first thing to do is to study the properties of the available plants. Each species retains a genetic memory of growing conditions in the wild. Therefore, it is important to carefully consider the needs of all colors. One should know which elements are needed first and which should be discarded.

In addition, it is necessary to find out the dosage – excess fertilizer is no less harmful than their lack. All types of fertilizer should be applied in proper amounts, avoiding attempts to stockpile fertilizer. This is especially true of mineral fertilizers, which are sold as liquid or dry formulations. The amount of organic additives is not so critical, here are guided by other criteria – it spoils the appearance of pots with flowers, and often emits an unpleasant odor.

Feeding indoor plants with liquid fertilizer solution
Feeding indoor plants with liquid fertilizer solution

Important! The main difference is the type of colors. Plants with developed ground parts and no flowering require nitrogenous compounds. For flowering plants, magnesium and potassium are primarily needed. However, these are just general rules of thumb that require individual adjustments for each flower.

Types of fertilizers

There are many varieties of fertilizers for flowers:

  • mineral;
  • organic;
  • complex.

In addition, there are growth stimulants and medicinal formulations to help plants cope with various problems. All of them are sold in specialized agro stores. Let’s take a closer look at them.

Mineral fertilizers

This is the main type of feeding that gives quick results. As a rule, such fertilizers are metal salts dissolved in water or made in the form of dry powder.

Liquid fertilizers
Liquid fertilizers

Liquid formulations are usually sold as concentrates. They should be diluted with water before use. The ratio is indicated on the package, as well as the expiration date (some preparations retain their working properties for a long time, while other substances should be used as soon as possible).

Application of granular long-lasting fertilizer
Application of granular long-lasting fertilizer

The easiest way to choose concentrates is by plant name. Most formulations are designed to feed certain flowers and are not suitable for other plants. The specialization is indicated on the packaging, sometimes it is a specific plant or a whole species (e.g. formulation for orchids, bromeliads, etc.). You should buy them with a shelf life in mind – there is no point in stocking up for several years if the composition is to be used in one year.


Peat, manure, compost, etc. can be used as organic fertilizer. It is strongly recommended to use store-bought fertilizer. It is prepared and sanitized. Using conventional organic materials is risky – you can introduce pathogens or pest larvae into the pot. In both cases, you will have to get rid of unwanted elements, which is quite difficult. In addition, pests or diseases from one flower box can spread to others and kill valuable ornamental plants.

Compost preparation
Compost preparation

The first application of organic matter should be made immediately after planting. Fertilizer is pre-mixed with soil. There must be drainage in the pot, otherwise the roots may rot. Something to consider – organics can give off an unpleasant odor. However, if the supplement is store-bought, the odor will disappear after 3-6 hours.

The mode of adding organics can vary. Most often, this is a monthly feeding – this is enough time for the mixture to fully break down. It should not be overdone, as it should be given time to decompose.

No organic fertilization is used for bulb or tuberous plants.

Complex formulations

These are mixtures of several substances, easy to use and very effective. Most plant breeders prefer complex formulations because of the balanced ratio of components.

Most formulations are based on potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen. The percentage ratio is indicated on the package, with the micronutrients named in English – N/P/K. For example:

  • 11/6/9 – increased nitrogen favors the development of the plant;
  • 7/9/13 – The predominance of potassium enhances flowering;
  • 13/15/18 – general support, etc.

In addition to the basic components, complex types of fertilizers may contain other micronutrients as well as particles of organic matter. When purchasing a fertilizer, it is important to make sure it is suitable for the existing plants. Most often, such fertilizers have a general strengthening effect and are not able to do much harm, but it is necessary to clarify their purpose in any case. There may be contraindications for certain species or varieties of plants.

Foliar feeding of plants
Foliar feeding of plants

In addition, the following formulations are popular:

  • ammophos. Source of phosphorus and potassium. Diluted in 10 liters of water, 2 tablespoons;

  • nitroammonium phosphate. Contains approximately equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Suitable for all indoor plants;

  • potassium monophosphate. 1 teaspoon is diluted in 10 liters of water and feed plants during flowering;

  • succinic acid. Growth stimulant. Dissolve 1 g in 5 liters of water. Use succinic acid only once a year;

  • calcium nitrate. Nitrogen Source. Apply during early vegetation or immediately after planting.

These substances are complex compounds of salts of different metals, the ions of which promote the growth and flowering of plants.

folk remedies

Feeding the flowers is simply necessary.But what kind of natural fertilizers are there, and how should they be applied?

Folk remedies for feeding are commonly referred to:

  • eggshells. It is ground in a coffee grinder, previously freed from the film. Use in different ways, mixed with soil or placed at the bottom of the pot instead of drainage. You can also dilute a tablespoon in a liter of water, infuse for 2 weeks and use for watering once a month;

  • sugar. This is an excellent fertilizer that gives quick results – plants come to life literally before your eyes. You can sprinkle sugar on the soil or dilute a tablespoon of sugar in half a liter of water and water the flowers with this solution once a month. However, it is necessary to combine such feeding with EM preparations, enriching plants with carbon dioxide. Without this, there is a risk of getting root rot;

  • banana peel. Fill a glass jar one-third full with it and top it up with water. When the contents are fermented, you should dilute it with water 1 : 1 and feed the plants;

coffee grounds. It is mixed with soil and used to fertilize conifers, lilies, roses and other plants;

  • tea brew. A universal fertilizing agent for all plants. That said, placing the brew directly into the pot is not allowed. Use tea bags that are placed on the bottom as drainage. Another option is to brew 10 tablespoons of tea in 1 liter of water, soak for 3-5 hours and use for watering;

  • orange or tangerine peels. Fill the jar one-third full with it and fill it to the top with boiling water. Infuse for 24 hours, then strain and dilute with water by 1/3. The resulting infusion is used for watering plants;

  • wood ash. This is an effective fertilizer that contains a lot of useful microelements. Mix with soil before planting flowers;

  • onion husks. Boosts immunity and stimulates flower growth. You can mix it with soil or prepare a decoction: 25 g of husks are boiled in 1 liter of water for about 10 minutes, insist 2 hours and use for watering or spraying.

On a side note! The use of folk remedies can be combined with feeding with ready-made concentrates, but it should be done carefully, without excesses.

General rules and timing of feeding

Fertilization can be done throughout the year.However, the mode of fertilization will be different - during the period of activity, plants are fed once every 7-10 days, and during seasonal rest - once a month.

It is important to distinguish between the needs of flowers – in the developmental stage they need more nitrogen and potassium, and during the flowering process they need magnesium, phosphorus, potassium.

Fertilizer and fertilizer for garden plants should not be used. They contain a lot of potassium carbonate, which is dangerous for indoor flowers. In addition, you cannot feed plants in dry soil. This can cause root burn. It is also recommended that the procedure be done early in the morning or late in the evening. This helps protect the leaves from sunburn.

Long-lasting fertilizers for indoor plants
Long-lasting fertilizers for indoor plants

In any case, it is necessary to study the manufacturers’ recommendations and follow the specified ratios (dosage).

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Questions and answers

Home flower fertilization is a complex and very capacious area of plant science. For untrained people, it becomes a major problem and raises a lot of questions. The most frequent ones can be answered in advance to save users time and effort.

Что эффективнее, минеральные или органические виды подкормки?

Это разные вещества и сравнивать их бессмысленно. Надо изучать свойства этих составов, чтобы уметь их правильно сочетать. Пока опыта нет, лучше использовать их по-отдельности, строго соблюдая инструкции производителей.

Насколько безопасны народные виды подкормки?

Они не прошли предварительную обработку и могут содержать возбудителей болезней или личинки вредителей. Поэтому рекомендуется делать отвары — обычное смешивание с почвой усиливает риск появления нежелательных проблем.

Можно ли совмещать народные и готовые средства?

Теоретически, совмещать их можно. Однако на практике этого никогда не делают из-за опасности внести слишком много ненужных элементов. Правильнее использовать все составы отдельно, чтобы видеть результаты и не создавать путаницы.

Можно ли использовать в качестве подкормки водку?

Да, можно. Если развести в 3 литрах воды 100 г водки, можно оживить поникшие и захиревшие цветы. Правда, в данном случае это не подкормка, а лечение — обработка спиртом корней позволяет убить возбудителей болезней и активизировать их функции.

Можно ли подкармливать цветы аквариумной водой?

Можно, но это весьма рискованно. Дело в том, что вода из аквариума может содержать как полезные, так и вредные вещества. Для некоторых растений она может оказаться очень полезной, но для других цветов — губительной.

Video review of home flower fertilizers