When to feed your indoor plants

Keep them looking as good as the day you bought them.
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You’ve brought indoor plants home from the market or splurged at your local nursery.  They’ve flourished for weeks and you’re feeling proud but, how to keep them looking this good? 

Indoor plants are the silent achievers of home decorating, filling our rooms with life and quietly purifying the air. Depending on your choice of variety, they will need a lot or a little care over time to keep them looking as good as the day you bought them. 

Watering regularly is the most important factor to ensuring their survival. Beyond that however, it’s important to habitually give a little extra TLC to your beloved green friends. One way to kill your houseplants is by neglecting to feed them. Encourage growth by feeding them with fertiliser on a regular basis and by repotting them into larger vessels as they grow beyond the limits of their current one.

Coastal living room with a large indoor plant tree in the corner
(Credit: Photography: Mindi Cooke | Styling: Kylie Jackes)

Eventually, plants will take up all the available nutrients from the soil they sit in and need a boost. “If you’re not replenishing the soil, the plant has nothing to thrive on,” says Morag Barron, co-owner of Little Leaf Co.

When to feed your houseplants

The best time to nourish your houseplants is when they’re actively growing. You’ll know your plant is going through a growth spurt when you spot new foliage emerging. Fertilising every time you repot the plant into a larger vessel will also help to keep your plant healthy and thriving. 

Indoor houseplant on a kitchen bench
(Credit: Photography: Suzi Appel | Styling: Michelle Hart)

Best indoor plant fertiliser

“People are time poor, so an all-purpose slow-release fertiliser is the best way to go,” she says. “Scatter it around the base of the plant every 6 weeks or so and give it a good drink, then every time you water, it’s refueling the soil.” Morag recommends Langleys Troforte as a slow-release fertiliser. “It’s affordable and really easy to use. We saw results in just a week when we started using it.”

Dusting the leaves is important too, she advises, “Plants like to have nice clean leaves. A watering can is OK, but nothing beats a good soak under a soft spray, in the shower or out in your yard. Just be careful to avoid the heat of the day.”

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