Fertilize Houseplants To Encourage Their Spring Fever

Houseplants are smart. They instinctively sense the longer days of spring, which tells them that light levels are now sufficient for a growth spurt. Plants respond to improved light levels by sending out new buds and shoots. You see, plants get spring fever, too.

We can encourage this natural spring growth by fertilizing houseplants now. Fertilizer will provide the extra nutrition needed for increased growth of stems and leaves.

Fertilizing houseplants during winter isn’t generally recommended, except for flowering plants like African violets. Doing so can force-feed plants at a time when they just aren’t hungry, because of diminished growth caused by short, dark winter days.

But spring is the time to resume feeding. Beginning in March, houseplants benefit from fertilizing monthly through August. Or twice a month, if you fertilize at one-half the labeled rate. Then in September, stop fertilizing. Plants sense the shortening autumn days and begin to slow growth, which requires less nutrition.

Water soluble fertilizers like Miracle Gro are handy, and the label tells how much for indoor plants. Another option is to apply slow-release fertilizer in March, which will usually carry the plants all the way until fall. One such product is Osmocote.

So let’s listen closely to our houseplants in spring. I think I hear their stomachs growling.

Happy Gardening!