Houseplants need fertilizer at every stage of their development. A lack of nutrients will harm flowering and growth as well as the appearance of the plant. If you wish, you can find a wide variety of composts in flower stores. But you can also prepare your own high-quality fertilizer with the materials you have on hand — in this article. You will learn to make your own homemade fertilizer for indoor plants!
FERTILIZING YOUR INDOOR FLOWERS
Early fertilization of potted plants is essential for proper development, good growth, and lush blooms. The whole problem is that potting soil contains only a supply of certain nutrients, and these nutrients are further depleted over time. If you don’t give your plants enough nutrients at least twice a month, they will starve to death after a while. This will inevitably lead to a decline in ornamental value.
You can make your own nutrient mixture in your own kitchen. You can make it from all kinds of scraps: eggshells, onion skins, coffee grounds, banana peels, water from a fish tank, spilled tea leaves, etc. Fertilizers made from organic materials saturate the substrate with nutrients, sterilize it, and promote beneficial microorganisms.
WHEN TO APPLY FERTILIZER
Domestic crops have increasing and decreasing requirements for different micro and macronutrients throughout the year.
Spring is the awakening period for all plants, and houseplants are no exception. This is when they grow faster and produce flower buds. Therefore, you should add nutrients to your plants in the spring. Feed every 2–3 weeks until the bushes bloom. At the beginning of spring, you will need a nitrogen-rich fertilizer. Then, shortly before flowering, their need for potassium and phosphorus increases.
Please note! You should not add a liquid nutrient mixture to a dry substrate. Make sure you water heavily before fertilizing.
In summer, flowers also need regular fertilization because they need to consume many nutrients and energy to bloom. Currently, they need potassium in particular. Therefore, fertilization should be done twice a month.
If foliar fertilization is to be done, nutrients should not be allowed to drip onto the inflorescence. This will cause brown spots to appear and reduce the attractiveness of the flowers.
As fall approaches, it is recommended to reduce the amount of watering and frequency of fertilization greatly. Otherwise, the flowers will not be adequately prepared for their resting period. In the fall, houseplants are especially in need of phosphorus.
Fertilize every four weeks and cut the previous summer’s fertilizer application in half. However, there are exceptions to this rule — for houseplants that bloom in autumn. The shrubs can then be given the same fertilizer as in the summer. It is recommended to use granular fertilizers with a slow-release effect.
During the frosty winter months, almost all indoor flowers are dormant. During these months, it is recommended to keep them cool. During this time, plants not only rest but also open their flower buds.
During this period, no feeding is done, and watering is reduced. But even in this case, there is an exception: crops that bloom in winter. Fertilization of such plants is carried out once in 15 days, and fertilizers include phosphorus and potassium.
HOME FERTILIZER — HOMEMADE FERTILIZER FOR INDOOR PLANTS
Gardeners who have been cultivating plants at home for many years already have recipes for “homemade fertilizers” with very simple ingredients. This environmentally friendly and efficient fertilizer is surely a “must-have” for any home flower.
Almost all houseplants love sugar. This is because it contains only glucose and fructose. However, glucose provides energy to the plant and allows it to absorb organic compounds better. However, it needs the right amount of carbon dioxide to be assimilated. If not enough is given, it can lead to mold.
To prevent this, the use of EM nutrients is recommended. Experts recommend using medicinal glucose or lump sugar as a substrate fertilizer. One glucose tablet or sugar cube can be used for every 0.25 Gal (1 liter) of water. This feeding should not be done more frequently than every 30 days.
Yeasts are quite popular in indoor floriculture. This is because they contain many of the hormones involved in regulating cell division. In addition, yeast is also high in thiamin, B vitamins, and coenzymes.
Thanks to these vitamins and minerals, the mineralization process of organic matter is much faster. They also promote the production of key macronutrients and improve the important function of microorganisms in the soil mixture. The composition of yeast and compost is very similar.
Preparing a nutrient solution is easy: dissolve 1 gram of yeast and 1.5 tablespoons of sugar in 0.13 Gal (0.5 l) of water, which should be slightly warm. Do not apply fertilizer more frequently than every four weeks. The fertilizer can be used for both leaf and flower crops.
3. Coffee grounds
This is great for plants that prefer a slightly acidic soil mixture. The fact is that spiked coffee helps to lower the pH. If the coffee grounds are well dried and mixed with the substrate during transplanting or planting, this will improve the looseness of the flowers and the drainage. Such fertilization enriches the soil with nutrients and improves its quality and positively affects the beneficial microflora.
4. Making tea
Moringa tea can also be used as a nutritional product and should be dried first. This not only has a strong nutritional effect but also improves the structure of the soil. Often, the dried tea is incorporated into the potting soil or a new container as part of the transplanting process. Up to a third of the total substrate should be dried and brewed.
Violets are very fond of tea fertilizers made from brewed tea leaves. This is because the flower buds will form faster and take longer to bloom. Alternatively, you can put mulch on the surface of the substrate in the pots so that the water evaporates much more slowly.
Stale slices of bread can also be used to fertilize your flowers. Cut it into small pieces and leave it out in the open to dry. Pour warm water over the bread crumbs to make a nutritious mixture. Cover the container tightly with a lid and place a heavy object on top. Let the mixture sit for at least 7 days.
To make the mixture more nutritious, you can add to it weeds that are usually freshly picked. After a week, strain the mixture. Water the plants twice a month, not more often. But don’t forget to dilute the “nutrient mixture” with water before fertilizing, in a ratio of 1:10. This feed is suitable for all houseplants.
6. Banana peels
There are various recipes for banana peels. But the most popular is the infusion. To prepare it, take fresh peels, finely chop them and pour them into a glass jar. The jar is also filled with freshly boiled water. 24 hours later, the infusion is ready. Dilute the filtered infusion with water (3:1). The plants should be fertilized with this mixture every 2 weeks.
The sufficiently dried banana peel should be crushed into powder form. It is then added to the substrate to improve its structure. The peel is rich in potassium, which is especially important for spring and summer flowering crops. This fertilization gives the plants the strength they need to extend the flowering period.
7. Citrus peels
The peels of citrus, grapefruit, orange, and lemon have many vitamins on them. Thus, they provide nutrients and help sterilize the substrate. To make the infusion, you need to combine freshly boiled water with fresh peels. After half a day, the fertilizer should be ready.
The strained infusion is used for root fertilization of domestic plants. You can also use a sprayer to moisten the shrubs. It will control a range of diseases and pests (including spider mites).
Contains a large amount of calcium. To make a nutrient solution, crushed eggshells should be placed in a jar filled with water — 6 eggshells per 0.25 Gal (1 liter) of water) to make a nutrient solution. Cover the jar with gauze. Leave the mixture in a warm place for 1 week.
Dilute the infusion with clean water (10:1). Fertilize houseplants with a ready-to-use fertilizer. It is most useful for flowers that react negatively to the acidification of the soil mixture.
9. Onion husks
Onion husks can be made into fertilizers and insect repellents. They can also be used as a fertilizer for all domestic crops.
For a healthy decoction, combine 0.13 Gal (0.5 liters) of water with 15 grams of husks for a healthy decoction. The mixture should be boiled over low heat for a quarter of an hour (15 minutes), followed by a four-hour steep. The filtered decoction can be applied to the shrubs with a sprayer or used as a root dressing.
10. Potato broth
After the potatoes are cooked, the pot of water remains full of nutrients. It can also be used to nourish the flowers. In addition, the potato’s starch provides energy for the plant
This fertilizer has a positive effect on the development of the root system. After the tubers are cooked, dilute the rest of the decoction with water (1:3) while still warm. It is important to note that no salt should be added to the decoction. Ornamental plants with thick, fleshy leaves respond very well to this solution.
11. Aloe vera juice
Aloe vera juice has a strong antibacterial effect. It also strengthens the plant’s immune system, promotes its growth, stimulates the regeneration process of damaged tissues, and enhances its vitality.
The juice is obtained from the leaves of the aloe vera plant and the shrub should be at least four years old. Cut off a few leaves, put them in a plastic bag and store them on a shelf in the refrigerator. after 7 days they will release the maximum amount of juice when processed. Run them through a meat grinder and squeeze out the juice. Dilute half a teaspoon of the juice in 0.13 Gal (0.5 l) of water. Water the shrubs twice every 7 days.
12. Cigarette ash
Cigarette ash can be used as a fertilizer in the same way as wood ash. Mix the ash with half a tablespoon of water 0.7 Gal (0.25 liters). Fertilize the plants twice a month with this mixture.
This solution contains phosphorus and potassium. Therefore, the plants will need it when they form buds and bloom. It should also be used in autumn so that the plants can better survive the winter. Cyclamen, fuchsias, begonias, and geraniums respond best to ash fertilization.
13. Aquarium water
Aquarium water is a source of many nutrients that can improve the development and growth of domestic flowers. It is recommended for use as fertilizer from the beginning of spring through the latter part of summer.
Such water normalizes the acidity of the soil mixture and helps to infest it with beneficial microflora. Thus, it improves the quality of the substrate. Due to its high nitrogen content, crops wake up from hibernation more quickly and begin to grow actively.
You can also use budget remedies from pharmacies found in almost every home to prepare fertilizers for houseplants. Unfortunately, some of these remedies are so potent that they can only be used once a year, sometimes even less.
1. Toothpowder (toothpaste)
Tooth powder has long been used to fertilize flowers, not just for brushing teeth. To make the fertilizer, you need to mix 0.5 tablespoons of water with 8 tablespoons of wood ash and tooth powder and 4 tablespoons of copper sulfate. Stir the mixture thoroughly until the ingredients are completely dissolved.
First, dig out the substrate very gently at the roots. Moisten the stems and roots with the mixture. After this, the substrate in the pot should not be moistened for a week. Experienced growers recommend keeping the shrubs in the dark, cool place during this time. The roots can then be completely cured of rot.
2. Succinic acid
Succinic acid is a tablet that can be freely purchased in any pharmacy. It actively stimulates plant growth. It is also used to resuscitate severely injured flowers that have died.
It is also a source of vitamins and trace elements. A solution consisting of 1.3 Gal (5 liters) of water and half a tablet is used as a root dressing. One bolt should last for 12 months.
3. Castor oil
Houseplants are also given Castor oil, which produces a large number of buds on the shrubs. From March to the second half of July, nourish the plants with Castor oil.
Prepare a nutrient solution consisting of 1/2 teaspoon and 0.13 Gal (0.5 liters) of water. This nutrient solution is used twice a month on the substrate. Make sure you prepare a new mixture for each application.
Iodine is a chemical element that can’t find in its pure form in nature. It is usually part of a complex compound. But it is very important for houseplants. It promotes plant growth, improves flowering abundance, and provides protection against certain diseases. Iodine also helps to ward off some pests.
Iodine is essential for all plants grown in the home. It is commonly included in most mineral complexes. It is also used as a preventive measure against powdery mildew, fungal diseases and to prevent weakening of the immune system of flowers. A nutrient solution is obtained by mixing 1 ml of the preparation with 0.1 Gal (0.35 l) of water. The mixture can spray shrubs as a top dressing for adult flowers and seed disinfection.
Ammonia contains a large amount of nitrogen. However, it can be absorbed well by houseplants. This gives them a boost of vitality and vigor.
To make the nutrient solution, mix 0.13 Gal (0.5 liters) of water with half a tablespoon of nutrient solution. As soon as the nutrient is applied to the roots, changes can be seen: the leaf plates become more powerful, the brightness of their color increases, and the process of setting the buds is accelerated. This mixture is also able to kill pathogens in the soil mixture.
6. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is used for plants that grow in acidic soil mixtures such as azaleas, hydrangeas, and camellias. If you systematically apply Vitamin C solution to the roots of these plants — 0.13 Gal (0.5 liters) per half tablet — you can ensure that they develop properly and grow well.
For other household crops, such a nutritional mixture is recommended: 1/2 tablet of the preparation and 0.5 tbsp of sugar and dry yeast per 0.13 Gal (0.5 l) of water. 24 hours after the infusion is sufficient. Dilute the mixture with clean water in a 10:1 ratio.
To treat houseplants suffering from atrophy, combine 0.52 Gal (2 liters), 50 tablets of Vitamin C, and half a teaspoon of copper sulfate. Dilute the mixture with water at a ratio of 1:5. This solution is applied regularly every 8–12 days.
7. Potassium permanganate
Manganese contains high amounts of manganese and potassium, which are needed for proper development and good growth of indoor flowers. However, potassium manganese contributes to the acidification of soil mixtures and is, therefore, most often used in nutritional formulations for begonias, hydrangeas, and clovers.
Such a solution has a powerful disinfecting effect, and it is also used for pest control. There is no specific dosage in the preparation of nutrient solutions. The concentration of the solution is influenced by the type and conditions of the flower and the lack of active micro-and macro-nutrients. The prevalent mixture has a pinkish color. It should use it every 30 days.
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