start

Houseplant 101: Complete Guide to Fertilizing Houseplants — Ep 122

fertilizing plants is like house plant

care 3.0 not because it's challenging to

do but because it's easy to forget to do

or sometimes we actually don't know

where to start but I asked a bunch of

you what you're fertilizing questions

are and I got a lot of great responses

so I'm gonna read some here cowboy

blue blur asks can you talk about the

different types of fertilizing and city

life Stevie inquires can you touch on

more organic or household fertilizers

like crushed egg shells which you'll see

I have some right here as well and then

barb Murphy adds take us through the

fertilizing steps do i water first and

then fertilize now these are all

excellent questions and I will try to

answer all of these and more throughout

this film

[Music]

so let's talk about what a fertilizer is

in the first place you can think of a

fertilizer more as a multivitamin for

your plant because the plant gets its

food from the Sun so that's how it

photosynthesizes it's not just reliant

on the Sun to fulfill its full lifecycle

it needs other nutrients as well and

that's part of what fertilizers actually

provide plants so why do house plants

need fertilizer in the first place now

if we think of the outdoor environment

you have so many different types of

things that are happening outdoors you

have soil that's being made you have

leaves dropping to the ground you have

beautiful earthworms underneath the soil

you have helpful bacteria and helpful

fungus and that's all happening in the

environment outside but when we're

talking about inside when we're working

with generally sterile potting mixes all

of that kind of microbial activity

leaves falling onto the soil surface

that's not happening for these plants

they're not getting some nutrients being

dropped down through the rainwater

through the leaves through the forest

canopy so that is something that you

actually have to recreate in your home

to the greatest extent and that's why we

have fertilizers to help and again most

of these fertilizers don't have all the

macro and micronutrients that plants

need but by using a collection of

different organic and synthetic

fertilizers we could get that as close

to the outside environment as possible

so you should be fertilizing your plants

during the growing season because when

your plant is not growing it's not going

to need those extra multivitamins so I'm

here in the Northeast and my growing

season is spring summer and fall because

in the winter months most of my plants

actually go dormant but if you're

somebody who lives in the subtropical

and tropical zones of the world then

your growing season will be all

year-round so you're going to be

fertilizing all year round

now when you fertilize spring is really

just the start of the season and you'll

observe this in your plants I know that

towards the end of the spring and going

into summer my plants start to become

hercule and they

really start to grow so as they've just

starting to grow in the spring it's

important to have a gentler fertilizer

so if you're using a synthetic

fertilizer which we'll get to in a

second I usually tell people to cut that

by half especially early in the season

and late during the fall as it's going

into its dormancy and again we'll touch

upon this a little bit more about when

and why to fertilize now I have a

collection of plants that are up here

right now I have two begonias here in

the back I have a tillandsia I have a

collection of succulents planted here I

have a where Nia which is a type of

succulent that is related to Hoyas and I

have another leafy variety of plant

called signo Neum and we'll be touching

upon different fertilizing schedules for

each of these plants as well we had a

lot of questions on when to fertilize

plants and the frequency of fertilizing

plants now that is really dependent on

the plant species that is in question

and in my house plant master class I

have a general guideline of 300

different types of plants that you could

refer to and when I say a guide I want

you to know that this is more of a guide

and don't take it as gospel so when you

read different kind of fertilizing

regimes online or even in the house

plant care guide you might see that some

say Oh a balanced fertilizer or this one

should be a 20 10 10 or a 10 10 10 and

again we'll go over what those numbers

mean in a second but just take that more

as guidance to provide a schedule for

you in order to be able to observe what

your plants need now I took this begonia

out of my vertical swing garden because

this is something that not only one is

outgrowing its pot and I need to

actually remove this from my vertical

swing garden and put it somewhere else

but I've also noticed that the leaves

are starting to look a little yellow

down below and this plant definitely is

in need

of some fertilizer so that's something

that I'm going to do today and to show

you how to actually fertilize not only

this plant but some of the other plants

that I have showcased here so let's talk

about the different kinds of fertilizers

on the market now I don't have every

single type of fertilizer here but

there's liquid fertilizers which

actually could be organic or synthetic

and I actually do prefer my liquid

fertilizers because it's easy to mix

into my water and put into my regular

watering regime when it comes to my

plants there is foliar spray liquid as

well such as this which I use for my

tillandsia there's more granular

varieties which I often find and see

that growers are using this one is also

a water soluble but it's granular but

it's water soluble so you put it in the

water and then it just dissolves and

then of course you have these sticks and

these could also be kind of organic or

synthetic fertilizers that you stick

very close to the stem of the plant and

then they eventually dissolve over time

so these are an example of a slow

release fertilizer then you also have

soil amendments now these aren't

technically fertilizers per se because

fertilizers have a lot of regulations if

you say that something is a fertilizer

you have to guarantee the amount of

nitrogen phosphorus and potassium or

micronutrients or other macronutrients

that are listed on the bottle and often

times when you're working with organic

amendments so these are amendments

similar to like eggshells

or if you use vermicompost which is like

a worm compost you can't necessarily

guarantee an exact n P or K nitrogen

phosphorus or potassium ratio or macro

or micro nutrient ratios because varies

depending on the types of inputs that

you're giving it so you can't

technically consider these fertilizers

even though they might be fertilizing

your plant over time and again that is

something that we'll cover a little bit

more deeply later in this video

now there has been a number of queries

about organic amendments and fertilizing

your plants and I have a couple of them

here so this is called buffalo loam and

you can see that it doesn't have

fertilizer at all on the description of

this this is called organic plant food

loose compost tea and compost tea is

something that we could actually make in

our home if we actually do composting or

vermicompost Aang these sticks are

actually not synthetic

they are vermicompost sticks so they are

an organic amendment and I have some

examples of crushed eggshells which I

have a ton of because I take care of

chickens including Kippy and they also

like to eat their own eggshells for a

calcium supplement which is another type

of nutrient that plants use I do have

however a word of caution if you are

using organic amendments in the home and

this is more because they bring on I've

found at least a presence of fungus

gnats which I never thought fungus gnats

were such a huge nuisance until I got so

many queries from all of you saying what

are these tiny little flies that are

flying into my nose holes in my eyes and

are all around my plants and some of you

actually think that they're more like

vinegar flies or anything along those

lines those are called fungus gnats and

that is a topic of discussion that I

have covered in one of my first youtube

videos that I will actually link to

above and below and that I will surely

be covering again because there are

other solutions in order to be able to

keep fungus gnats at bay but if you are

somebody who likes to use vermicompost

and I had used some of my vermicompost

and put that on the top and use that as

a slow-release you know fertilizer if

you will on my plants but those organic

amendments are a surefire way to be able

to attract fungus gnats

[Music]

so let's talk a little bit more about

what's on the bottle of a fertilizer and

I think this is really encapsulated so

well through Nina soderlund question

here I would like to have the ratios and

fertilizers explained more deeply like

why - two - or a 10-5 3 for example and

what is the difference between an

organic and a non-organic or a synthetic

fertilizer why are there ratios so

different and what does it mean if it's

a gentle fertilizer which is something

it's a term that I often use and lastly

what is in the rest of the bottle is it

just water

Nina those are all excellent questions

and I'm going to cover every single one

of those in the video so let's talk

about what those ratios those numbers

which you referred to as like 2 - 2 or

10 5 3 for example actually represent so

you could see on the back of any of

these bottles or even on the front

you'll see this is foam Organic is 2 - 2

as an indoor organic fertilizer this one

right here with the bonnie liquid plant

food is 10 10 10

this Jack's is 20 20 20 and for example

this organic Neptune's harvest is 2 3 1

and this tillandsia food is 17 8 22 so

those ratios are essentially nitrogen

phosphorus and potassium the n P and K

values and that is essentially the

percentage of each of those

macronutrients by weight of the solution

that they are in so if something is 10

10 10 that means it's a balanced

fertilizer of nitrogen phosphorus and

potassium and that is the weight in

relation to what is in the rest of the

bottle so one of Nina's questions was

what is in the rest of the fertilizer

bottle so if this is 10 10 10 by weight

of this then what is the rest of the

solution in here and the answer is it's

just filler so yes it could actually be

water it could be a lot of materials

that just have no effect

done the plant so that's why some people

actually want to go with a more

concentrated granule granules that they

could mix in with the water because

otherwise you're just paying primarily

for water or filler in a bottle so that

is something to take into consideration

when you are actually buying fertilizer

in the store organic fertilizers

essentially means that they are coming

from organic sources whereas a synthetic

or non organic fertilizer is synthesized

in a lab so if you're synthesizing

something in a lab you could concentrate

it more and get a higher number so

things that you see like a 10 10 10 like

this Bonnie's fertilizer or this Jack's

fertilizer which is a 20 20 20 or even

this tillandsia food which is 17 8 22 is

most likely a synthetic fertilizer

because those are relatively high

numbers organic fertilizers generally

have smaller ratios of those numbers so

in the case of this organic Neptunes

it's 2 3 1 and this is a fertilizer that

is based off of seaweed so again an

organic source and it's again much

gentler so Nina I hope that answers your

question as far as what's the difference

between an organic and a synthetic

fertilizer and what does a gentle

fertilizer mean in the case of the

indoor plant food for s Poma this is a 2

to 2 the cacti fertilizer is a 1 to 2 so

generally cacti fertilizers I've found

are succulent fertilizers are usually

lower in the nitrogen and a little bit

higher up on the phosphorus and the

potassium so you'll often see like a 2 4

7 or sometimes a 3 4 7 or a 0 1 1 in

this case it's a 1 to 2 and in the case

of this orchid or sometimes you'll find

african violet bloom boosters they have

a little bit of a higher p value and

again these are I'm going to go over a

little bit shortly by using some of

these as an example so this orchid

fertilizer is actually a 1/3 one so

again just recap

there so I didn't actually lose you the

difference between a synthetic and

organic fertilizer is that as an organic

fertilizer is using organic materials

whereas a synthetic fertilizer is

synthesized in a lab so you could

actually concentrate those a bit more

and that results in higher numbers so

what I often tell people that if you're

going with the synthetic fertilizer

route always cut that by half so it

might say oh this requires a half a

teaspoon per gallon of water and I

always cut it by half so about a quarter

teaspoon per gallon of water because it

is so easy to over fertilize your plants

your plants only need small minut

amounts of that multivitamin in order to

be able to complete its life cycle and

if you're over fertilizing it will

actually prevent them from taking up

other nutrients that you might be trying

to provide it in the soil so especially

if you're fertilizing them in the

beginning of this growing season like I

said in the early spring and also in the

fall as it's waning into winter you you

definitely want to be cutting that by

half if you're using synthetic

fertilizer now if you're using an

organic fertilizer these fertilizers are

really gentle you don't have to cut

those by half because they are already

very low and if you see something that's

guiding you to use a well-balanced

synthetic fertilizer like a 10 10 10 on

a monthly basis then if you're using

really just a 1 1 1 or 2 to 2 for

example you might want to be increasing

your fertilizer maybe to a weekly to a

bi-weekly basis if you catch my drift

just because you don't have to fertilize

as frequently if you're using something

that is a little bit of a higher NPK

value and if you're using something with

a lower and PK value you might want to

increase the rate that you're actually

fertilizing your plant but again like

watering it's better to be able to

observe what your plant needs and like I

said with this begonia hispid that I've

been growing I've noticed this is an

incredible grower it is just outgrowing

its

pot and its planter and I am NOT only

going to need to replant this into a

larger pot but I am also going to need

to give it some fertilizer really soon

because I've noticed that the green on

its leaves started to look I don't know

it's just starting to look a little bit

more lackluster so what am I going to do

with this I'm going to fertilize it and

because begonias are largely grown for

their foliage now they do flower and

their flowers are beautiful

I would say giving it a well-balanced

fertilizer like a 10 10 10 or a 2 to 2

depending on if you want to go synthetic

or organic or if you know that it's

about to bloom you might even want to

give it a little bit of a bloom booster

so a little bit higher in the

phosphorous but that nitrogen value is

important in order to be able to help

the plant photosynthesize so sometimes

foliage plants that are not really grown

for this their flower like the Singhania

is going to require a little bit more of

nitrogen so you could oftentimes give

these plants something a little bit

higher in nitrogen like a 2010 10 or a

2-1 one for example again if you're

going the organic route or you could

just give it more of a well balanced

fertilizer so it's really up to you and

you could see how quickly your plant is

growing because it's probably going to

be using those macro and micro nutrients

relatively quickly now as far as the

rest of the values go of nitrogen

phosphorus and potassium if you have a

plant that flowers and has grown for

their flowers you might want to up the

phosphorous value because phosphorus is

used in bud and flower formation so if

you have an African violet for instance

or if you have an orchid that's why

these fertilizers are called more bloom

boosters that's why if you turn it over

you'll see that it's 1-3-1 and there's

more in that phosphorus value because

that has more input into growing the

buds and the flowers within the plants

now potassium in general is just for

healthy plants it helps create a

sturdier plant and it helps also in

disease prevention so if you have a

plant that is prone to disease then I

would HIGHLY encourage you to be

proactive and being able to fertilize

your plant during the growing season

now nitrogen phosphorus and potassium is

not the only nutrients that plants need

there are other macro and micro

nutrients that those plants need in

order to be able to fulfill their life

cycle and that is something that I go

way more deeply into including the

deficiency that plants exhibit without

those micro and macro nutrients in the

house plant master class so if you want

to dive more deeply into that then you

could go to a house plant master class

calm but for this basics video I'm only

going to be concentrating on nitrogen

phosphorus and potassium and touching a

little bit upon the other macro and

micronutrients one thing that I really

want to reiterate when it comes to

fertilizing is less is more I mean

oftentimes when we think of like oh

we're giving our plant a multivitamin

you want to be able to douse it with

lots of fertilizer but that is only

going to burn the plant as I'd mentioned

earlier plants only require minut

amounts of this stuff so you want to be

very frugal when it comes to fertilizing

your plant and we'll get to shortly how

to actually fertilize these plants but

let's just look a little bit more

closely on each of these fertilizers

because I think that sometimes we want

to follow the messaging on the bottle

and that's not always great to do and

for instance and I don't mean to pick on

this one but this is Bonnie's liquid

plant food it's a balanced fertilizer it

says 10-10-10 so that means nitrogen

phosphorus and potassium but I had to

laugh at this because it says feed every

time you water your plant and I think

that's a little bit presumptuous because

in many cases if some of my plants are

in a my south west facing window which

gets an intense amount of light I often

find myself watering my plants sometimes

three four times a week even especially

in the summer months and that would be a

lot of time fertilizing my plants not to

mention that a lot of the plants in my

south west facing window are succulents

and cacti which require such small

amounts of fertilizer

as a matter of fact I'm growing this

hernia which again as I mentioned it's

in the Jolla family and I noticed it's

about to bloom and I will probably only

fertilize this once per year so once

annually and I'm probably going to give

it less of a cacti fertilizer and more

of a bit of a bloom booster just to help

with the bloom that is about to burst

open on this one as well as these

succulents you know these I'm not

fertilizing as regularly maybe on a

monthly even sometimes by monthly basis

so this one I kind of feel is a little

presumptuous so if you're going to use

something like this which is a synthetic

fertilizer then I would cut it by half

and I would disregard the feed every

time that you water and go species by

species with your plant as to when is

going to be the best time to water that

plant and fertilize that plant and again

I have a helpful guide a 300 house plant

care spreadsheet in the house plant

masterclass and if you sign up for my

email I have a 30 planet care

spreadsheet there and if you buy my book

how to make a plant love you then you'll

get also a 50 care plant spreadsheet

before the pre-order is done so let's go

to Jack's because this is also a

synthetic fertilizer because as we know

it has this higher rate of NPK value

which is 20-20-20

but what's interesting about this one is

that it has it says right below it with

micronutrients which is great because a

lot of synthetic fertilizers don't

always have micronutrients so if I turn

this on the back here

I could see it also has boron copper

iron manganese molybdenum and zinc and

these are all very integral to the

existence of plants and to help a plant

through its lifecycle these are just a

small selection of micronutrients that a

plant needs but I love the fact that

Jack took the time to put micronutrients

which is great doesn't even know if the

guy is name is Jack but Jack's I meant

the brand and as far as organic

fertilizers go oftentimes organic

fertilizers will have micronutrients but

they won't be listed on the

and the reason for that is because when

you are using organic ingredients as I

mentioned before it's very difficult to

guarantee that it has a certain amount

of micronutrients but if you turn on the

back of any of these organic fertilizers

BIOS boma you'll also see in addition to

the N P and K in this case this one also

has calcium which you could get from

eggshells it also has some really

helpful bacteria so a lot of bacillus

which is found in soil and is helpful

for plants and also Trichoderma now if

you're not familiar with petrenko derma

is a type of fungus that actually forms

a symbiosis with plant roots and helps

in disease prevention so that is awesome

that a lot of these organic brands are

incorporating some of these helpful

prebiotics and fungal fungal symbiosis

with the plants and that brings me to

the next statement of organic versus

synthetic fertilizer what is better so

plants don't really recognize whether

you're giving them a synthetic or

organic fertilizer however if you're

trying to build up all those helpful

microbes in your container then you

might want to stick to organic

fertilizers because synthetic

fertilizers really don't help build that

up for those organisms so let's actually

start fertilizing some of these plants

now you'll notice I have a gallon jug of

water here and the reason why I do that

is that it I don't often know exactly

how much water that I'm putting in my

watering can but in a gallon jug that

you know that you you have a gallon of

water and a gallon jug so I'm going to

use some of the organic fertilizers here

by a stoma and these again are just kind

of two to two so again a really gentle

fertilizer and all you need to do is

shake it up a little bit and it's about

four pours per gallon so that's what I'm

going to do here and again each one of

these might have a different set of

criteria so just because I'm pouring

four of these in here it doesn't mean I

would pour four of these in here you

just have to read the back

and then again if you're using synthetic

to cut that by half so I'm just gonna

give this a little shake and now I'll

pour this into my watering can alright

so the way that you want to fertilize is

to do it while you're watering your

plants so I do have a question here of

you know when should I actually

fertilize you know do I fertilize after

I water it or during when I water it and

so I would say during watering your

plant but you have to make sure that you

water that plant thoroughly and again

this goes back to how to water a plant

episode which I'll link to above and

below as well but watering your plants

early is important because your plants

not only drink the water but they take

up the micro and macro nutrients through

their root tips and through their root

hairs

so you don't want the plant actually

having all of that fertilizer to

surficial e next to the parts their

roots that are not going to be taking up

those macro micro nutrients anyway what

would happen then is that you're going

to actually be burning the plant and

that actually could kill your plant as

well so what I'm gonna do here with this

begonia which has only been fertilized

once this season is just to water it

pretty thoroughly all the way around and

it's taking the plant a little while to

soak all the way through see a little

spider who's running for his life here

as well and yeah and so that's just

soaking down and I want to make sure

that it's going to be as thorough as

possible what I'm looking out for is

just a little bit of water in the base

of this plant and well that one's taking

its deer time walking through down

through the soil I'm going to water this

begonia hiss Pitta again really

thoroughly and wait for that to go all

the way down so you want to make sure

that you're getting that fertilizer all

the way down to the root tips and the

root hair in order for that those micro

and macro nutrients to get all the way

up into the tips of the plant and the

larger the plant the quicker that it's

growing the more it's going to be taking

on

those micro and macro nutrients same

thing here with this plant this is my

Singhania and again because this one is

primarily grown for its foliage more

than its flowers you might decide to

have something that's a little bit

higher in the nitrogen right now I'm

just giving it a balanced fertilizer so

I just have this it's poured out into

the basin and maybe a little bit too

much and I'm going to pour this out into

my sink because you don't want your

plant sitting in that and the reason for

that is if it's taking up this water

with all the excess salts then you could

actually be burning your plant I see

just a little bit of water that's come

through the base here and just a little

bit of water that has come through the

base here so those would be perfect

pours and what I would consider a

thorough watering of these plants

now what about foliar feeding because I

know I had some questions there and a

tillandsia is a great of example of a

foliar feed or because it has no roots

even the roots that it does have it

doesn't use it to really take up

nutrients it uses it more to kind of

cling to trees so how you want to foliar

feed this is not by spraying it with the

direct fertilizer but either soaking it

or misting it with water thoroughly

first and then allowing the plants

damata to really open up and then accept

a few squirts of the tillandsia

fertilizer mix now I also sometimes will

soak this in water usually not this one

because I don't have a big enough vessel

to soak this one but some of the smaller

tillandsia

I'll soak in you know clear glass and I

will have filtered water or distilled

water and then I'll put in some drops of

this and kind of shake it up and let

them sit in that so they're actually are

getting their fertilizer while they're

soaking up their water and the reason

for that is the way that these guys work

in nature is that they are in these

treetops and as the rain comes down it

washes this almost like this compost tea

really you know it washes all these

nutrients off the leaf some of the

rainwater has

these micro and macro nutrients and the

plant is absorbing that fully early so

most plants I would not suggest feeding

fully early because a lot of plants with

roots are taking up those nutrients

through their roots and their leaves are

less designed to be able to take up

nutrients so foliar feeding all of your

other plants is probably going to be a

waste I'd stick to ones that focus on

the roots now what happens if you don't

have a tillandsia fertilizer like this

for a spray bottle well you know what

it's very easy to make a dilute solution

of fertilizer whether it's gentle

fertilizer or something a little bit

closer to the NPK value of this foliar

feed and just actually reduce the amount

of it put it in a spray bottle a

clean-out spray bottle that you have in

your home and you could have your own

tillandsia fertilizer so one of the last

sections that I'd like to go over today

is when not to fertilize your plant and

I think the first point I'd like to make

is encapsulated in a story of a friend

of a friend who I had gone over to their

house and she had mentioned that the

succulents her succulents hadn't been

doing well and had died recently now

mind you these succulents were on the

interior of her space not next to any

type of light source so that is probably

what started to kill these plants but

she said well I fertilized it thinking

that the fertilizer would actually

revive the plants and instead the plants

actually died quicker and that is one

thing that I want to share with you is

that if your plant is at death's

doorstep

then do yourself a favor and don't

fertilize it because fertilizing that

plant will only make it suffer even more

you really want to diagnose the plant

and why it was suffering in the first

place and it's not always because of a

micro or macro nutrient deficiency now

it could be that the plant is exhibiting

signs of stress and it is because of

micro or macro nutrient deficiencies and

that is something that I go over more

deeply in the house plant master class

and then you'll start to be able to get

an eye for what those deficiencies are

and be able to you know try to resolve

it with a specific type of

fertilizer so for instance if there is a

calcium deficiency within your plant

which again I've actually gone over that

some plants grow in limestone areas like

some of my Hoyas and I started to

sprinkle some oyster shells or in some

cases if you have crushed eggshells this

is a great organic slow release

fertilizer that you could use and will

mimic a little bit more of the calcium

within limestone and that could actually

help make the plant grow better because

it's a little bit more akin to the

environment that it's used to growing in

so what are some of those other times

that you should not be fertilizing your

plant and one of those is the dormancy

season so if you're somebody who lives

in the Northeast like myself in the

winter is usually the dormant month for

most of your plants they are not growing

as quickly as you would want them to

grow when it's spring summer and even

fall additionally I do have to say that

some succulents actually go dormant in

the summer so they're really hot and dry

months so I actually find that some of

my plants lose their leaves in the

summer months and they start growing

them again in the fall and winter months

so then you're fertilizing regime would

actually be reversed so it's growing

season is typically in the dormant

season for most of your other foliage

plants for example so that is something

that you need to look out for and I go

through dormancy in a lot of different

general of succulents in my house plant

master class which you can refer to as

well what are some of the other times

that you shouldn't be fertilizing your

plant well when it's dying when it's

going in its dormancy and if you haven't

watered it so you wouldn't want to go in

with your plant and just dump the

fertilizer bottle on dry soil again

that's going to cause the same types of

problems that if you only surficial II

watered it with fertilizer and it would

actually start to burn the plant stem

and root and it can actually affect the

plant's overall health and maybe even

kill it so that is important you want to

be fertilizing when you're watering the

plant

but not all the time when you're

watering the plant don't necessarily

follow

bonnie's advice of fertilizing every

time you water your plant that will be a

surefire way to also kill your plant and

[Music]

finally I have a great question here by

is Lala mow I am worried about over

fertilizing my plants how do I know if

they already have fertilizers mixed in

when I purchased them and I think that

is such a great question and one that we

often don't think of I usually tell

folks not to fertilize their plants at

least four four five or six months after

they purchase the plant from the garden

center of the nursery or the plant shop

and the reason for that is largely

because that plant probably already has

fertilizer those growers want to grow

their plant out really quickly

they're giving them optimum conditions

like they are ready for the Olympics

before they get into the garden center

or the nursery because they want you to

buy their plant and so they probably

have been giving that plant a ton of

fertilizer then you bring it home and

you're not giving it optimum conditions

any longer you're giving it a little bit

more of like McDonald's and that plant

is going to have all this extra

fertilizer in the soil and it's not

going to be able to take it up as

quickly because it's not growing as

quickly as it was in the greenhouse or

the nursery before it actually got to

you so I usually advise people to hold

off on fertilizing that plant at least

for the next four to five or six months

and then if it's in its dormancy season

after that four or five or six months

then you don't need to fertilize it at

all for that year until the growing

season starts again and it will have

probably then exhausted the fertilizer

so sometimes you'll see or notice these

kind of colored almost plastic looking

balls they might be like blue or green

or yellow it really depends on the color

but those are usually slow release

fertilizers those are fertilizers that

kind of break up over time and it could

be both organic or synthetic fertilizers

for example these little vermicompost

sticks that you stick right

to the soil which I could do actually

for this one I will do that for this

right here and I'll just stick that

right down into the soil and that will

start to dissolve over time and probably

over the course of two to four months

would be my guess if you buy those

fertilizer sticks I will also say it's

better to go the organic route because

having those little synthetic fertilizer

sticks again that is a lot of salts and

nutrients in one little stick and if

you're sticking that right next to your

plant and only one location then you're

basically having this quick buildup of

salts on your plant so I would highly

recommend that if you're going to go the

stick route with a slow release

fertilizer that you're using an organic

version so I really hope that's helped

you de mystify fertilizing and remember

it is so important to be able to get on

a schedule to fertilize your plants

especially as you start to acquire more

of them in your life they are going to

really appreciate those extra added

lifts of micro and macro nutrients that

you're giving them and you will only be

benefiting in return with lush foliage

and beautiful blooms if you have other

questions when it comes to fertilizing

then feel free to ask them in the

comments below and if you've been

enjoying these house plant 101 back to

basics episodes then let me know by

giving these videos a thumbs up and

subscribing to the channel it helps

other house plant lovers like you find

plant one on me and videos like this and

remember you could always follow my

personal journey on my Instagram at

homestead Brooklyn and on my blog at

homestead Brooklyn com

you