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When to feed your houseplants

As part of the essential care series, lets take a look at feeding your beloved houseplants.

Imagine, you got your first few plants in spring, they were looking lush and leafy and green and made you and your home space feel happy and refreshed.

It’s now coming up to Autumn and you’ve nailed when to water your houseplants but now you’re worried they’re looking a bit lacklustre, how are they going to make it through winter! The poor little guys are probably getting a bit hungry by now! So let’s take a look at feeding your houseplants. 

When I started feeding my houseplants in the right way with the right stuff, it was like they’d gone up a level in the houseplant game. They not only looked happier and continued to put out new growth, I was more confident in their health and longevity. There are a few different ways you can give your houseplants a good snack, let’s take a look at these below and decide which will be best for you.

What to feed with

Liquid Houseplant Fertiliser

  • This is probably the first thing you thought of when we started talking about plant food. The little bottles that you drop into the watering can and pour on in the hope it’s doing something? I converted to a new houseplant food a few years ago and I haven’t looked back, one that you can’t get in the supermarket and is the only one of it’s kind. Called Liquid Gold Leaf, it is just that, liquid gold for your houseplants. It contains every essential nutrient your houseplants needs, with no baddies or extras, with the addition of fully soluble calcium, which is essential for plant growth but no other liquid plant food is able to provide. Use according to the instructions either when watering, as a foliar spray for the leaves or if you’re testing out hydroponics or semi-hydroponics it is also suitable.

How to feed them

  • So we’ve got the best plant food around, now how to make sure our plants eat up and leave clean plates? I’ve found the best way to ensure my plants are getting all their nutrients is to use the bottom watering method. This basically means you’re not pouring your plant food straight down the drain, but the plants can sit in and drink up as much as they need. Just be sure to let them fully drain afterwards before placing them back in their spot.
  • Another great way to get nutrients to your plants is when you re-pot them. The fresh compost will have fresh nutrients in, especially if you add in a bit of worm poo like I mentioned here.
  • If your plant doesn't need a full re-pot but you still want to juice it up, you can top dress the plant with fresh compost or even just go straight in with a sprinkling of worm poop on top, and water through from the top to help the goodness trickle down. This is especially good if you’ve got a large plant that would be a mission to re-pot, top dressing is a great way to keep big plants happy.
  • As briefly mentioned above, using a foliar spray is also a good option for a small snack once a week or so. Simply dilute the solution of Liquid Gold Leaf to the appropriate ratio, as mentioned on the bottle, using the little pipette it comes with. This is where our Hilda Mister is perfect to make up your own foliar spray. Spray your plants leaves liberally and job done, your plants will thank you and grow on happily.

When to feed them

  • I try to keep this simple as there’s enough going on in life - When to feed your houseplants? I start in Spring and finish up around the beginning to mid Autumn. If a plant is looking peaky in winter I might give it a little feed to pep it up and see if that helps. I feed using the bottom watering method every other time I water, so it ends up being around once a month during what’s called ‘the growing season’ (Spring-Autumn). It does take a bit longer to water this way so if the last time I watered my plants was a quick, in-and-out-job-done, I know this time is time to feed too.
  • I like to use the foliar spray in-between waterings to keep the plants happy, but to be honest, I do miss this every now and then and my plants are still ok! The most important thing is to find a method and routine that works for you and your plants and maintain that, rather than trying to do something you’ll forget after a few weeks and stop. That won’t be of much use to your plants.

Feeding your plants is often the missing link I see when people ask for help with their houseplants. Choosing a good quality feed (Liquid Gold Leaf for me, or nothing!) and giving it to your plants throughout the growing season will transform your houseplant oasis and keep you calm, knowing your plants have got everything they need!