How and how to feed indoor plants at home
Indoor plants growing in limited soil conditions require additional top dressing. The state of plants, their health, growth, flowering period depends on the intake of nutrients to the roots. Fertilizers of various types overfill the shelves of flower shops, however, at home, you can also prepare no less useful and effective dressing from improvised means at home.
Why is feeding necessary?
In natural conditions, when plants live in the open ground, they constantly receive from the soil the mineral substances they need for growth. The inflow of minerals in this case is practically unlimited, since due to the natural processes of dying and decomposition of other organisms, the earth is constantly replenished with various nutrients. Therefore, plants practically do not experience a deficiency of minerals.However, indoor flowers growing in pots are in a limited amount of soil. They consume almost all the nutrients from the soil in about two months, even if the pot is very large. After this, the plants can observe symptoms of deficiency of certain minerals.
Important! Fertilizing is needed for indoor plants to fill the deficit of mineral substances that are necessary for their full vegetation.
Depending on the vegetation period the flower is in or what problems it has, the type of fertilizer that it needs differs:
- nitrogen fertilizers - to build green mass at the beginning of active growth;
- phosphate and potash fertilizers before and during flower formation - from the moment of laying the buds to the formation of buds;
- potassium - to counter fungal diseases;
- calcium - for the strength and fortress of emerging young shoots and stems;
- magnesium - for timely flowering and the formation of strong leaves;
- iron - for bright coloring of leaves and flowers.
- growth becomes faster and more active;
- a more abundant leaf mass is formed with bright and juicy leaves;
- the flowering period begins on time, flowering is plentiful and longer;
- the color of buds and leaves becomes more intense;
- the plant acquires an aesthetically attractive appearance;
- health improves, the flower looks strong.
When to fertilize plants
When transplanting to a new soil, the flowers do not need to be fed for some time, since the soil is significantly enriched with all the necessary useful elements. However, over time, it is depleted, and plants begin to suffer from a lack of minerals.
The fact that the flowers need fertilizer and it's time to feed them is evidenced by such signs:
- slowdown in growth;
- delayed flowering period or its absence;
- weakening of leaves - they become thin, small, lethargic, weak;
- pallor and loss of brightness of the color of leaves and flower petals;
- falling of leaves;
- yellowing of the tips of the leaves, the death of the leaves, the formation of spots on them;
- increased susceptibility to various diseases;
- poor resistance to parasites and fungi.
This phenomenon can occur two months after a flower is transplanted into a new soil. But if you start the home garden, you will need to make much more effort to resuscitate it.
A temporary measure of salvation may be a transplant of plants into new soil.But sometimes this is undesirable or even impossible due to the physiological processes that occur with the flower - for example, during flowering or fruiting.
Important! Minerals are required not only for growth, but also for flowering and fruiting. Therefore, if you know when your flowers will begin to produce buds, start feeding them a couple of weeks before this point - then they will bloom much more abundantly and brighter.
Soil fertilizer can be dispensed with except in the dormant period - in winter, when all life processes slow down and growth stops. In the spring, the process of rapid vegetation begins. It is during this period that top dressing is most needed.
Basic feeding rules
Despite the benefits of top dressing, its overabundance will be no less harmful than deficiency. Excess in the same way slows down growth and gives plants a painful appearance, and sometimes can even lead to their death.Therefore, regardless of whether you use fertilizers from the manufacturer or natural, prepared at home, you must take into account the basic rules for applying dressing for indoor plants:
- Always consider the individual plant nutritional requirements. Different species require different fertilizers. Even the same flower in different periods of growth will require a different composition of minerals.
- Always top dress according to the instructions, if it is from the manufacturer, or the recommendations of experienced gardeners if you use folk remedies. This will avoid root burns and an overabundance of certain nutrients.
- Follow your fertilizer schedule. Usually, plants need to be fed at regular intervals on the same day. It is advisable not to violate this rule, then the flowers will systematically receive additional nutrition in the dosage they need.
- Choose the time for feeding. Doing this on sunny days is undesirable; it is best to fertilize in the evening or in the morning. In the daytime, this can be done only if the day is cloudy and not hot.
- Liquid fertilizers should always be diluted with water according to the dosage specified in the instructions.
- Liquid fertilizers can only be applied to moist soil. When applied to dry soil, root burns are possible.
- You can not feed the plants immediately after transplanting into new soil. The minimum period after transplantation is 2-3 weeks.
- If after a transplant a flower looks very strong and healthy for a long time, then do not rush with fertilizers. In this case, they can be made after 3 months.
- Do not feed those instances in which symptoms of any disease are observed, especially if it is parasites living in the soil, or root rot.
Types of fertilizers for indoor plants at home
All types of fertilizers for indoor plants are divided into two main groups - organic and mineral. In addition to this, it is often customary to attribute natural fertilizers to a separate group, which are easy to prepare at home from improvised products and materials.
Such fertilizers are natural, representing organic compounds of animal and vegetable origin. The most common are:
- bird droppings (chicken, goose, duck, pigeon);
- wood ash;
- bone flour.
Important! When decomposed, organic matter releases minerals into the soil similar to those found in industrial mineral fertilizers.
These are various finished inorganic concentrates, produced in different forms:
- nitrate: sodium, calcium and ammonia;
- ammonium sulfate;
- potassium nitrate;
- potassium sulfate.
- simple superphosphates (up to 20% phosphorus);
- double superphosphates (up to 50% phosphorus).
However, in addition to these basic components, complex nutrition may contain other minerals. Typically, manufacturers call such dressings universal, as they contain not only the basic minerals needed by the flowers, but also additional ones (magnesium, boron, sodium, molybdenum, calcium, iron, etc.). Universal fertilizers are most often suitable for all types of indoor plants.
Natural fertilizers are the same organic matter, only accessible to everyone. It represents the means present in each house and suitable for feeding indoor plants.It acts in the same way as a special organic top dressing - getting into the soil, decomposes, loosening the earth and releasing various mineral components.
Important! Different products contain a different composition and quantity of certain minerals, so you need to select home dressing for each specific plant and depending on its needs.
Regular crystalline sugar is great for feeding flowers. You can use both cane and beet sugar.
The benefits of sugar for plants are its high glucose content. It is glucose that is necessary for growth, energy, the active course of all life processes in plant tissues, the movement of juice from the roots to the top and leaves. Ways of application:
- Take a tablespoon of sugar, sprinkle it on the surface of the earth, pour over it.
- Dissolve a tablespoon of sugar in 0.5 l of water. To water flowers.
However, keep in mind that glucose is useful and becomes a building material only if an important condition is met - contact with carbon dioxide. Otherwise, in its absence, the sweet soil becomes a hotbed of mold. Therefore, sugar must be added to the ground in conjunction with preparations containing effective microorganisms (EM preparations) - only in this case, top dressing will have a positive result. In addition, such preparations (for example, Baikal EM-1) stabilize the microflora of the soil, inhabiting it with beneficial microbes.
Ash is a natural substance that contains a whole complex of minerals needed by any flora. Ash contains almost all the substances that flowers need for full growth.
Most of all, natural ash contains potassium and calcium, but there is practically no nitrogen in the composition. Therefore, such a fertilizer is not suitable for the formation of a dense deciduous mass. But application to the soil before flowering and fruiting contributes to more abundant flowering.However, you can not use any ash. So, the ash obtained from the combustion of coal is not only useless, but also harmful. It is also unacceptable to use ash, in which harmful materials are present - polyethylene, polystyrene foam, roofing material, rubber.
It contains the largest amount of potassium and is ideally suited for feeding wood ash obtained from:
- and you;
- pine trees.
- potato tops;
- sunflower stalks;
Ways of application:
- Prepare an aqueous solution in which 1 tbsp. a spoonful of ash is stirred in 1 liter of water. Water the flowers with this solution once a week.
- When transplanting houseplants or during the initial planting, evenly mix the ash with the ground.
Did you know? Cigarette ash is good for flowers! It can be used as top dressing. In fact, cigarette ash is a plant-based tobacco ash with a rich mineral composition, which also contains metals and salts.
Using cigarette ash, the main thing is not to overdo it; the composition of such ashes is very concentrated. To prepare top dressing, it is enough to dissolve about 15 g of ash in 1 liter of water. Such fertilizer can be applied only up to 4 times during the year. During flowering, the frequency can be increased up to 1 time per month.
From yeast it is possible to prepare a nutrient solution for flowers, and by mineralization it will be equated to full-fledged complex mineral fertilizers.
Yeast acts as a growth promoter for plants. They contain many useful substances, including hormones that accelerate growth and are responsible for the differentiation of cells.However, the main benefit of yeast is that it is primarily fungi. Once in the soil, they create a favorable environment for the development of the natural microflora of the earth, which significantly increases the number of beneficial bacteria. Bacteria, in turn, begin to actively process organics, from which minerals - phosphorus and nitrogen - are released into the soil as a result of this processing. However, the amount of potassium and calcium is significantly reduced, therefore it is recommended to always supplement the yeast with ash - it will make up for the deficiency of consumed minerals and disinfect the earth.
Despite the fact that yeast is quite viable, they are still vulnerable to more resistant bacteria. Therefore, you need to work with this material, observing cleanliness. Also minimizes the effect of yeast, their combination with the following fertilizers:
- bird droppings;
You can prepare top dressing from both pressed and dry yeast.Cooking Methods:
- Conventional (pressed) yeast. Take a piece of 10 g and 1 tbsp. spoonful of sugar, then dilute the ingredients in 1 liter of warm water.
- Dry yeast. In 10 liters of warm water dissolve 3 tbsp. tablespoons of sugar and 10 g of dry yeast.
Video: Yeast for feeding indoor plants
The resulting dressing can water the flowers once a month. However, due to the large amount of nitrogen formed, such fertilizer is applied only during the period of active growth - when the aerial part is rapidly forming.
Did you know? Thanks to yeast top dressing, the rhizome can increase up to 10 times! Fertilizer acts so quickly that after three days the growth of the plant is noticeable.
The benefits of this fertilizer are controversial. Some gardeners consider crushed egg shells as a good top dressing, because it contains a fair amount of calcium. However, this statement is doubtful.Inshell calcium is in a state in which plants simply cannot absorb it. In addition, an excess of such material adversely affects the condition of the flowers and causes chlorosis in them.
However, eggshells can be used as drainage.To do this, you need to grind it, but not too finely so that it does not look like powder. Then pour a layer of about 2 cm onto the bottom of the pot. Such drainage will prevent root decay and loosen the soil well.
If you still want to make fertilizer from the eggshell, then use the following methods:
- Prepare the infusion. To do this, crush the shell to a powder state and fill it with boiled water. Leave to insist for a period of 5 days to 2 weeks. After that, the flowers can be watered with infusion, as usual, as the earth dries.
- Grind the shell into powder and mix with soil during transplantation.
- Boil the eggs, and water with the water remaining after cooking, water the flowers.
Important! Egg shells reduce soil acidity, which is not suitable for some types of indoor plants.
Decoctions of vegetables
Fertilizing indoor flowers with a vegetable decoction has not been thoroughly studied. As an official tool, such a decoction is not used, and it somehow does not noticeably affect the flowers. However, some gardeners who have tested this top dressing, say that such a fertilizer certainly does not harm. The main thing is that the broth does not contain salt and spices.
The banana peel contains a large number of useful minerals:
- Wash the banana peel and cut into pieces, lay them on the bottom of a liter jar so that they fill the jar halfway. Fill the rest of the tank with clean water. Leave to insist for a day. After this time, strain the water, discard the peel, and add the rest of the water to 1 liter. This tincture can be watered flowers with a frequency of 1 time in 2 weeks.
- Dry the banana peel. Grind to a powder in a blender or coffee grinder. Mix the resulting powder with soil during transplantation in a ratio of 1 to 10. Water the soil well. Once a month, you can add a little banana powder.
Garlic for indoor plants is not so much fertilizer as effective protection against various pests and parasites. This remedy is most effective against:
- spider mite;
- fungi and others
Video: Garlic water for watering indoor plants
- Infusion from the head of garlic is prepared based on 1 liter of water. Take a head of garlic, peel, chop and mix with water.
- Close the jar with a lid and place it in a dark place.
- Wait up to 5 days, then strain the liquid.
- The resulting concentrate in its pure form is not added to the pots, it must be diluted - 1 tbsp. a spoonful of garlic concentrate is diluted in 2 liters of water. After which the plants can be watered 1 time per week.
Such top dressing is considered a biogenic stimulant - an organic, natural remedy that effectively stimulates growth without causing addiction, and has no side effects.
Aloe juice is used as a growth activator. It is suitable not only for flowers during the growing season, but also for the germination of seeds and cuttings. Cooking method:
- You can only use old aloe, which is 4 years old or more. In such an aloe, there is already a sufficient concentration of nutrients, the deficiency of which is experienced by young plants.
- Cut the leaves, wrap them in cling film or plastic bag and refrigerate for 10 days.
- At the end of the period, grind the leaves and squeeze the juice from them. Dilute 1 teaspoon of juice in 1.5 liters of water. Water the indoor flowers once or twice a week.
Important! The most effective aloe juice, which was aged in a dark and cold place. If this condition is not met, its effectiveness declining factor of.
How and how to water flowers
Not all water is suitable for watering indoor plants. So, water from the water supply is undesirable for irrigation, because it contains a fair amount of lime and chlorine. Therefore, it is recommended to use purified, filtered, settled or melt water.
Some top dressing with natural fertilizers can sometimes, according to the rules of use, replace watering with clean water. These include:
- banana peel;
- aloe juice.
Watering any indoor flowers is carried out in accordance with the following rules:
- Watering is necessary according to the requirements of each particular plant: some of them need excessive or abundant watering, while others need moderate or rare.
- In winter, you need to water in the morning, and in the summer in the evening.
- Drainage is mandatory for all plants, as it prevents moisture congestion at the bottom of the pot and prevents rotting of the root system.
- The leaves of not all plants love water. Some can be watered only in a pan, while others need spraying of leaves.
- You can not spray flowers during the day, especially if they are in direct sunlight. This leads to burns on the leaves, as drops of water concentrate the rays on the surface.
- Sometimes it happens that when watering, water immediately flows from the bottom of the pot. This suggests that the earth is too dry and dried out, and the liquid simply does not get inside. To save such a plant, its pot must be placed in a basin or bucket of water until the earth gets wet. Then you can continue the planned watering.
- The higher the air temperature and the brighter the lighting, the more frequent watering is required for the flowers.
Did you know? The frequency of watering depends on the material of which the pot is made! So, in a ceramic pot, the soil dries much faster than in a plastic pot.
Video: Watering indoor plants
For the active growth of indoor plants, good rooting, the formation of plentiful foliage, and also so that they bloom beautifully and densely, use these recommendations:
- Use top dressing for flowers during the growing season - growth, leaf formation, flowering.
- Do not fertilize when the plant is at rest. This period mainly falls in autumn and winter. At this time, top dressing is not introduced at all, and watering is reduced. However, if your flower blooms in the cold season, then it should be fed.
- Depending on the stage of vegetation, various fertilizers are required: during the formation of plant mass, rooting, growth - nitrogen, and during flowering - potassium-phosphorus.
- Any fertilizer should be applied only to moist soil, otherwise the roots will get burned. Watering is carried out 2-3 hours before top dressing.
- Minerals from fertilizers are better absorbed if the water in which they are dissolved or which is used for irrigation is 2–3 ° C warmer than room temperature.
- Use tap water only after settling. Moreover, it is necessary to defend such water for at least 3 days.
- Coffee grounds from sleeping coffee, as well as tea brewing, can be used as a baking powder if mixed during transplantation.
- The depleted soil is well enriched with a decoction of nettles.
- Aspirin will help increase the immunity of indoor plants if one tablet is dissolved in 1 liter of water and the flowers are sprayed with this liquid.
- Castor oil will make the buds more colorful and thick if water is added to the soil during flowering with a teaspoon of castor oil diluted in it.
- If the colors do not have enough light for full growth, place mirrors around them - the amount of light will increase due to reflection in them.
Important! Lighting affects plant metabolism. In winter, short daylight hours and the lack of natural light provoke a slow absorption of nutrients by flowers, which makes feeding impossible.
Indoor plants growing in confined spaces are more in need of fertilizing with organic and mineral fertilizers than those that grow in open ground. To keep the flowers healthy and strong, it is not necessary to spend money on purchased funds. Many homemade products and materials are an excellent source of all the necessary elements for plants - nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.