Homemade Fertilizer for Indoor Plants
Hello gardeners, we are back with a new topic again. The topic is all about homemade fertilizer for indoor plants. Do you want the types of homemade fertilizers used for indoor plants? Then you need to follow this complete article till the end to know in detail about the types of homemade fertilizers used for indoor plants.
Introduction to Homemade Fertilizer for Indoor Plants
An indoor plant is a type of plant that is usually grown indoors in places such as residences and offices, namely for many decorative purposes, but many studies have also shown them to have positive psychological effects. They will even help with indoor air purification, since some types of species and the soil-dwelling microbes are also associated with them, to reduce indoor air pollution by absorbing all the volatile organic compounds including benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene.
A Step By Step Guide to Homemade Fertilizer for Indoor Plants
Indoor plants should be a very essential component of every interior design. Greenery brightens up your indoor spaces and is well known to have mood-boosting qualities.
Indoor plants are very popular because they are relatively easy to take care of, provide many health benefits, and can be used in a variety of indoor decor themes. Indoor plants are a very great option for those who have very little yard space for an outdoor garden and for those who live in climates with severely cold or cool winters.
Categories of Indoor Plants
- Common indoor plants
Common and popular indoor plants can be easily found inside many homes which include the spider plant, Aloe Vera, peace lily, jade plant, and plenty of others.
- Flowering plants
It is impossible to resist the growing flowering plant types indoors. But the color and beauty add that extra touch to our homes.
- Easy and low light plants
This type of indoor plant requires very low maintenance and they are super plants for your busy life.
Some of the indoor plants are listed below:
- Jade Plant
- Asparagus Fern
- Chinese Money Plant
- Spider Plant
- Peace Lily
- English Ivy
- Christmas Cactus
- Snake Plant
- Some indoor vegetable plants
The Benefits of Using Homemade Fertilizer for Houseplants
There are many advantages or benefits to use natural rather than chemical fertilizers for your indoor plants. They are listed below:
Gentle and very safe – Since homemade fertilizers are not overly concentrated and take time to break down, the risk of burning your indoor plants is greatly reduced, and there is no toxic salt build-up in the soil or leaching into the groundwater.
Soil building – homemade fertilizers with organic material will improve the structure of the potting soil, increasing aeration and enhances its ability to hold moisture and nutrients, and will promote the microbial ecosystem.
Environmentally sustainable – homemade fertilizers are much more environmentally friendly, with organics being which includes both renewable and biodegradable.
Affordable option – Although commercial natural fertilizers are typically more pricey than other chemical blends, you can even save money by using common household items to make simple and easy homemade fertilizers.
Why and How to Fertilize Indoor plants naturally?
Indoor plants need to be fertilized to help them grow to their complete potential and look very stunning all year round. Natural indoor plant fertilizers are a good and great option as they are very safe, effective, and even provide a steady release of nutrients into the soil. Also, they are eco-friendly and they will even improve the quality of the potting soil over time.
Natural organic material can be used to provide all the required nutrients to fertilize your indoor plants naturally. Household waste such as coffee grounds, eggshells, banana peels, and even green tea is suitable, or even commercial natural indoor plant fertilizer can be used.
What is a Natural Indoor plant Fertilizer?
Natural fertilizers are the materials containing nutrients that are minimally processed, so the nutrients will remain in their natural forms.
In most cases, these nutrients are organic in form and they are not immediately available for uptake by your plant roots, as plants can only use these nutrients that have been decomposed and converted into mineral form by microorganisms in the soil content.
When applied, these natural fertilizers to the plant release nutrients to plants more slowly than chemical fertilizers do. So, think of it this way: Natural fertilizers will feed the soil rather than directly feeding your plant.
Why it is Important to Fertilize Indoor Plants?
Most indoor plants will absorb the majority of their nutrients through their root systems from the soil. In places where plants survive, the nutrients that indoor plants use are constantly being replaced by the decomposition of chemical compounds in organic matter and by other processes.
When a plant is growing indoors in a suitable pot, however, those natural processes are missing. And as the plant uses the nutrients in the potting soil, that means they are not being naturally replaced.
Additionally, some other nutrients are leached out of the soil each time you water your plant. So, unless you provide the required nutrients the plant needs, the soil will become depleted and the plant may suffer a lot.
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Fertilizing your indoor plants naturally will be very simple. It can be done by using kitchen and household waste to feed your plants. Whilst you can purchase very excellent natural fertilizers, they can tend to be more expensive than other synthetic fertilizers.
Household waste does not have to cost a thing and it is a very great feeling being able to put your household waste to good use growing wonderful indoor plants. Here are the top five natural and homemade indoor plant fertilizers.
Eggshells will provide the essential plant micronutrient calcium and they also help to lower the acidity level of soils as a substitute for agricultural limestone.
With clean and crushed eggshells, you can pulverize them and then mix them into the potting soil when you are potting your plants, or you can make a fertilizer tea that you can pour into the soil by steeping them in boiled water overnight.
- Banana Peels
Banana peels contain very high levels of potassium, as well as little amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and even magnesium, and make a great slow-release natural indoor plant fertilizer.
You can even lay strips of banana peel directly on the soil, by cutting them up into small pieces, and then mix with the potting soil, or puree them with water and pour them onto the indoor plant soil. The banana peel will decompose very slowly, by releasing the vital nutrients into the soil for your plants to use.
- Coffee Grounds
Used coffee grounds can be mixed with potting soil and be used as compost, or you can even make liquid coffee fertilizer by soaking them in water for a week. Coffee grounds are very high in nitrogen, but relatively very lower in potassium and phosphorus so will be better for foliage plants.
- Aquarium Water
If you have a freshwater aquarium at your home, you have a supply of indoor plant fertilizer ready and waiting. The wastewater is highly rich in natural nutrients from decomposing fish food and fish waste.
When you are changing the aquarium water, you can apply this directly to the soil for your indoor plants as a homemade fertilizer.
Using aquarium water to fertilize your indoor plants minimizes the natural nitrogen cycle. In nature, indoor plants in and around a pond will process and then make use of nitrogen waste produced by fish, by helping the plants grow well and filtering and cleansing the water for the plants.
This method is even used in a type of agriculture called aquaponics, where fishes and plants are grown in the same system, by creating a mutually beneficial environment for all.
- Green Tea
Green tea grounds are a very great option for fertilizing acid-loving indoor plants such as Begonias and even African Violets.
Tannic acid within the tea leaves lowers the pH of the soil and the high nutrient concentrations ensure your indoor plants will grow strong and very healthy.
Twice brewed green tea can be used directly on your indoor plants after it has been cool downed or you can keep and compost the green tea leaves and grounds to use later.
In case if you miss this: Greenhouse Gardening for Beginners.
Commercial Natural Indoor plant Fertilizer
There are many great natural indoor plant fertilizers that you can buy as either slowly releasing dry formulations or faster-acting liquids.
Natural dry fertilizers made for indoor plants will be in the form of loose granular fertilizer that you easily sprinkle onto the potting soil or compressed spikes that you insert into the soil. They may contain bone meal, blood meal, rock phosphate, limestone, or even dehydrated worm castings.
Common ingredients of natural liquid fertilizers for indoor plants include liquid kelp, fish emulsion, worm tea, compost tea, and even other plant extracts.
Because natural matter is very complex and variable, you will not find N-P-K ratios listed on the labels of these products. But if you need a special one of the three main macronutrients, here is the list of natural fertilizers containing good amounts of each to look for:
- Nitrogen content: Fish emulsion, cottonseed meal, and alfalfa meal
- Phosphorous content: Rock phosphate and bone meal
- Potassium content: Kelp meal and granite meal
How to Fertilize Indoor Plants Naturally Using Commercial Products
The principles of fertilizing indoor plants with natural products are the same as those you would follow using chemical fertilizers.
You need to fertilize with caution. Although natural fertilizers are much safer, too much of them can still harm your indoor plants. Follow the instructions for use on the product labels carefully before you fertilize. And remember that fertilizing a plant when it does not need it is worse than not feeding it when it is lacking nutrients.
You need to fertilize only when your indoor plants are actively growing or flowering.
Know your plants before fertilizing. Do your research and learn about each plant whether it is a heavy or light feeder, and then choose the right type of fertilizer, and better dilute it when in doubt. Generally speaking, plants in lower light conditions will not require as much fertilizer as plants that require brighter lighting.
Dry fertilizers are usually applied very less frequently than liquid fertilizers.
Problems with Using Chemical Fertilizers
As against natural fertilizers, a chemical fertilizer contains highly concentrated nutrients that are extracted and refined through industrial processes.
Chemical fertilizers are popular to be used with indoor plants because they’re easily available, relatively inexpensive, and supply mineral nutrients that are immediately available to plants. Also, they’re precisely formulated, so you recognize exactly what nutrients you’re feeding your plants.
But these fertilizers have some pretty big downsides involving the danger of harm to plants, alongside their negative impact on the environment:
Overuse – Since the nutrients in chemical fertilizers are highly concentrated and are immediately available to plants, it’s very easy to over-fertilize, which may cause chemical burns to sensitive plant tissues
Toxic Salts – the surplus mineral salts from chemical fertilizers can build up to toxic levels within the potting soil, which can damage the roots and weaken the plant
Soil Depletion – While they deliver nutrients to plants, chemical fertilizers do nothing to create the soil, therefore the potting mixture will eventually lose its organic matter also as its microbial ecosystem, becoming compacted, lifeless, and unable to carry water or nutrients
Environmental Damage – Chemical fertilizers are primarily derived from non-renewable sources like petroleum; their mining and refinement consume fossil fuels, and leached excess nutrients from chemical fertilizers are wreaking havoc on the environment
Commonly Asked Questions about Homemade Fertilizer for Indoor Plants
Are coffee grounds good fertilizers for indoor plants?
Coffee grounds and brewed coffee are a very good source of nitrogen for plants, which is the nutrient that produces very healthy green growth and strong stems. You can happily use coffee fertilizer on your potted indoor plants.
Is baking soda good for indoor plants?
Baking soda on indoor plants causes no apparent harm and this may help prevent the bloom of fungal spores in some cases. It is very much effective on fruits and vegetables off the vine or stem, but regular applications during the spring can even minimize diseases such as powdery mildew and other foliar diseases.
Should I fertilize indoor plants?
A rule of thumb is to fertilize only when your indoor plants are very actively growing. Feeding them while they are dormant can burn their foliage or even kill them. When you fertilize, you should not overdo it. If you want to stay on the safe side, better dilute liquid fertilizers by half.
Is Epsom salt good for indoor plants?
Epsom salts are pH neutral and very gentle on plants, including potted indoor plants. To boost the nutrient intake, you need to mix two tablespoons of Epsom salts with one gallon of water content and spray onto leaves, rather than onto the roots, for a maximum of good absorption.
How often should I feed indoor plants?
Every 10 to 14 days
Indoor plants should only be fed when you notice that they are actively growing and not when they are resting. In general, the majority of indoor plants should be fed every second watering during the growing season which means spring and summer, which is probably every 10 to 14 days.
How often should I water my indoor plants?
You need to water every 1-3 weeks.
Most indoor plants need to be watered every 1-3 weeks. You should monitor your indoor plants and you need to water when they need it, rather than on a scheduled basis. The frequency of watering needs to be dependent upon the size and type of plant, and even type of pot, temperature, humidity, and rate of growth of the plant.
Can I spray my indoor plants with water?
Misting or spraying indoor plants is a very simple and even effective way to boost humidity. Misting is also a very easy solution to the risk of overwatering your plants. Plants with brown or dry leaf tips will be benefited from regular misting.