How Often Should I Give My Houseplants Plant Food?

Unlock the full potential of your indoor garden by learning how often you should give your houseplants plant food. In this post, we provide valuable guidance on the right feeding schedule to ensure your plants receive the nutrients they need.

If you’re curious about the best soil for your indoor plants, our article on what soil is best to use for indoor plants offers helpful advice.

Key Takeaways
Regularly fertilizing your indoor plants can help promote healthy growth and prevent nutrient deficiencies.
The frequency of fertilization depends on factors such as the type of plant, the type of fertilizer, and the season.
Always follow the instructions on the fertilizer package and use a balanced formula.
Consider using organic or slow-release fertilizers for a more sustainable and long-term approach.
Remember to water your plants thoroughly before fertilizing to avoid root burn.

For those planning to transplant their plants, don’t miss our expert tips on when to transplant houseplants. Dive deep into the world of plant care and nurture your houseplants with the optimal feeding routine.

Check The Instructions On The Plant Food Label

The first thing you need to do is check the instructions on the plant food label. This will tell you how much fertilizer to use, and will help you avoid making mistakes when it comes to feeding your plants.

A second way to stay safe is by not using more than is recommended. If a package tells you that it’s okay for normal houseplants, then don’t use more than that amount unless otherwise directed by an expert or manufacturer of those products.

In addition, be wary of fertilizers containing chemicals harmful to plants (such as fertilizer containing herbicides). 

If a product contains these chemicals for example, if they’re listed among its ingredients you should probably stay away from using this type of fertilizer around your houseplants because it could kill them over time!

“Fertilizing indoor plants is crucial to keep them healthy and thriving, but the frequency of fertilization may vary depending on several factors. Check out our article on how often do you need to fertilize potted plants to learn more about the proper timing and frequency of fertilization for your indoor plants.”

Consider The Plant’s Size And Growth Rate

When it comes to feeding your houseplants, there’s one thing you need to know: the growth rate of your plant matters.

If your plants are young, small or in a small pot, they’ll need more frequent feedings than older plants that have outgrown their pots. 

Similarly, if they’re growing quickly (like succulents and cacti) or you have lots of them under your care (like bonsai), they’ll also benefit from regular meals.

Think About The Time Of Year

Depending on how long you’ve had your plants, how old they are and what their environment is like, the frequency at which you fertilize will vary.

For example, if you’re growing your houseplants indoors and have them in a sunny window or near a lamp that gives off enough light for them to grow, then they might need more plant food than when they’re outdoors.

If you have an indoor plant that’s been grown in low-light conditions—like under fluorescent lights or LEDs—it may take longer for it to adjust to brighter light outdoors. This can be tricky since more fertilizer means faster growth but also less time before needing another dose!

“Keeping indoor plants healthy and lush doesn’t have to be a chore. There are several indoor plants that are easy to maintain and perfect for busy plant lovers. Check out our list of 15 indoor plants that are easy to maintain to find the perfect low-maintenance plants for your home or office.”

Factor In Your Climate And Seasonal Changes.

When you’re deciding how to feed your houseplants, consider the climate and seasons.

Seasonal changes affect the amount of light, nutrients and water that a plant receives. This also affects its growth rate, which can impact how often you should fertilize your plants.

The time of year you fertilize can also depend on whether or not it’s winter in your area (which is usually considered from October through March). 

If it’s winter and there are no additional light sources such as sunlight or indoor lights, this will reduce the amount of energy available for root development and leaf growth. 

Thus, watering may be enough because soil moisture tends to stay constant throughout most winters due to freezing temperatures outside.

When selecting when to fertilize for best results: consider what season it is; if possible consider using natural light sources such as sunlight instead of artificial ones like lamps or fluorescent bulbs.-

Think About How Long You’ve Had The Plant

There are two ways to approach this question:

If you’ve had your plant for a long time, it may be used to being fed regularly. In that case, you’ll want to increase the amount of plant food you give it (and check whether there are any instructions in the packaging on how often to feed it).

However, if you’ve had your plant for only a short period of time and/or if its leaves seem pale or brownish-yellow and limp, then chances are good that proper fertilization is what’s needed for recovery. 

In this situation, cut back on how much fertilizer you give the plant until its condition improves (and then increase from there).

“Houseplants are a great way to bring life and color to any space, but keeping them alive can be challenging for some. Fortunately, with a few simple tips and tricks, you can ensure that your indoor plants thrive. Check out our article on 13 tips to never let your houseplants die for some expert advice on plant care.”

Get To Know Your Plant’s Watering Needs

The first step to knowing when and how much to water your houseplants is to get familiar with their watering needs. 

Check the soil for dryness, but also check the leaves and potting mix for signs of rot or mold. 

If you have a large plant, look at its size to determine if it needs more water. Finally, consider your climate and whether you are using a schedule for watering that differs from what has been recommended by an expert (or if you’re just winging it).

Ask Yourself Whether You’re Using A Fertilizer That’s Too Strong

You may be using too much fertilizer or the wrong type of fertilizer. It’s important to know that excessive nutrients can burn your plant’s roots and cause them to rot. 

Check out our guide to the best houseplant fertilizers for more information on how to choose the right one.

If you’re not sure whether or not your plants are getting enough water, look at their soil and leaves. If the soil is dry but there’s still some moisture left in their leaves, then it’s probably time to give them a drink before adding any fertilizer!

Analyze Your Soil (Or Potting Mix)

Now that you’ve figured out the basics of plant food, it’s time to start analyzing your soil. You can do this by digging up a small sample of your potting mix and setting it aside for testing or by purchasing an instant soil test kit at your local garden center.

How often you need to fertilize depends on a few factors, including:

  • The type of plant (some plants are more sensitive than others)
  • How large your container is (smaller pots dry out faster than larger ones)

“The right soil is essential for the health and growth of your indoor plants. With so many options available, it can be challenging to choose the best soil for your plants. Check out our article on what soil is best to use for indoor plants to learn about the different types of soil and which one is best suited for your indoor plants.”

Confirm That You’re Using Fresh Fertilizer

Before you even start to consider how often you should feed your houseplants, there’s one important thing to check: the age of the plant food. If the fertilizer is more than a year old, it will be basically worthless to your plants. 

In fact, if you can’t remember when you bought it or what kind of plant food it was (and most people don’t pay attention to this), then it’s probably too old.

Always buy fertilizer that has an expiration date on the package—most fertilizers have a shelf life between 5-10 years for optimal freshness and effectiveness.

Take A Look At How Much Light Your Plant Is Getting

The amount of light that your houseplant receives is a big factor in how often you should feed it. If you have a plant that needs 12 hours of sunlight each day to grow, then it’s going to need more frequent feeding than one that only needs 6 hours of sunlight per day. 

To find out what kind of light your houseplant gets, take note of where it is placed and how much natural light comes into the room during the daytime. 

This will give you an idea about whether or not your plant will benefit from being fertilized regularly (i.e., once a week) or if it can go for longer periods without any nutrient boost at all (like once every two weeks).

If you’re unsure about how much natural light enters into your home or office space, try looking up some information online about “daylight hours” in your area so that you can better plan when best to fertilize certain types of plants based on what they require most—or least—to grow healthily long term!

Find Out If Your Plant Has Been Repotted Recently

If you’ve recently repotted your houseplant, the answer to this question will be different. Check with the person who sold you the plant or a professional if you can’t remember when it was last repotted. 

In most cases, if a plant has been repotted within two years of purchase, it may need more fertilizer than usual. 

If it’s been over two years since its last repotting, it may need less fertilizer than usual until its roots have had time to grow out into the new soil and become established again. 

In some instances where plants are recently potted in very sterile soils and given little light or water at first (to encourage root growth), they may require more fertilizer than normal until their root systems reach maturity; this is particularly common with succulents such as jade plants (Crassula ovata) or snake plants (Sansevieria trifasciata).

See If Your Pot Is Holding Too Much Water

If you’re watering your plants regularly and they still aren’t growing, it’s possible that your pot is holding too much water. 

Potted plants need to be watered regularly, but if the pot is too small, it will hold too much water. Likewise, if the pot is too large (like a 5-gallon bucket), it will dry out quickly and not give plants enough time to soak up all of their nutrients from their soil.

To check whether or not your plant has been over-watered: Check the soil before watering again. 

If there are no signs of dampness in the soil at all no sign of moisture on top or even when you dig down to several inches below it’s probably best not to give any more water until some moisture appears on top of the dirt.


If you’re still worried about your plant, take it to a nursery or garden center for a professional opinion. 

The staff will be able to tell you whether the plant needs more food, water or sunlight. They’ll also be able to offer suggestions if they know what type of plant it is and how often it should receive care.

“Indoor gardening is a great hobby, but it can be overwhelming for beginners. If you’re new to indoor gardening, start with plants that are easy to care for and maintain. Check out our list of 18 great indoor plants for beginners to find the perfect starter plants for your indoor garden.”

Further Reading

For more information on caring for your indoor plants, check out these helpful resources:

How to Water and Feed Houseplants: This article provides practical tips on how to water and feed indoor plants to keep them healthy and thriving.

How to Feed House Plants: This resource offers advice on the different types of plant food and how to choose the best one for your indoor plants.

How Often to Fertilize Indoor Plants: This blog post provides valuable information on the frequency of fertilization for indoor plants based on different factors.


How often should I fertilize my indoor plants?

The frequency of fertilization for indoor plants depends on several factors such as the type of plant, the type of fertilizer, and the season. As a general rule, fertilize your indoor plants every 2-4 weeks during the growing season and reduce to once a month during the dormant season.

How do I know when to water my indoor plants?

The frequency of watering indoor plants depends on several factors such as the type of plant, the potting soil, and the environment. A good rule of thumb is to water your indoor plants when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.

How much light do indoor plants need?

The amount of light indoor plants need depends on the type of plant. Some plants require bright, direct sunlight, while others thrive in low-light environments. Research the light requirements of your indoor plants to ensure they get the right amount of light.

How do I choose the right type of pot for my indoor plants?

Choose a pot that is slightly larger than the plant’s root ball and has drainage holes to allow excess water to drain. Consider the material of the pot as well; clay pots are porous and allow air and moisture to penetrate the soil, while plastic pots retain moisture.

How do I prevent pests from attacking my indoor plants?

Pests such as spider mites and mealybugs can infest indoor plants and cause damage. To prevent pests, regularly inspect your plants for signs of infestation, isolate new plants for a few weeks, and keep your indoor environment clean and free of debris. You can also use insecticidal soap or neem oil to control pests.