plants with fertilizer
PLNTS summer
5 minute read

Why do my plants need nutrition (during the warmer months)?

With caring for plants come many responsibilities, your green friends are counting on you to make them thrive after all. This can be challenging, but as we know the rewards are more than worth it. Unfortunately plants are not able to vocally tell us what they need, so we have adapted to read the subtle signs of plants to know what they need. Which is quite an accomplishment, we are proud of you! In this blog we will grant you some extra information about nutrition, within the highlight our favourite plant nutrition, our own PLNTS food. :) So if you are keen on knowing more about what nutrition does for your plant and how it works, you may keep on reading.

What are the needs of my plants?

Plants in pots can survive without extra nutrition or fertiliser. But that does not mean that extra nutrition is not necessary. Just that extra bite will ensure that the plant develops new growth faster and stays healthy and very beautiful. Hi handsome! So when we talk about feeding plants, that’s not exactly what we do because plants can feed themselves quite well. What you as a PLNTSparent do is fertilise the plants and provide them with certain nutrients they need to grow well.

There are 16 different elements that plants need for healthy and strong growth. Quite a large menu, right? Carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen are the foundation for photosynthesis. Those are required in large quantities. Plants get these from air and water. Plants also need relatively large amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These elements are called the primary nutrients, and this is why they form the basis for most fertilisers.

Calcium, magnesium and sulphur are needed in smaller quantities. These are the secondary nutrients. Although they are usually present in sufficient quantities in soil, they may be lacking in soil-less mixtures, especially those with few ingredients.

The micronutrients (yes.. you guessed it) are needed in even smaller amounts! They include iron, manganese, copper, boron, molybdenum, chlorine, and zinc, and perhaps others. Researchers are still studying the nuances of plant nutrition. This proves that sometimes it really is a challenge when it comes to feeding your plants.

The different types of fertilisers.

Now that you know why to fertilise houseplants and what nutrients plant fertilisers should contain, it’s time to look at the different types of houseplant fertilisers to determine which one is right for you! 😊

Liquid houseplant fertiliser

Liquid fertiliser for houseplants needs to be applied to your plant a little more often than granular fertiliser, but liquid fertiliser is still our personal favourite. Then, of course, our own PLNTS nutrition. It is 100% biodegradable, non-toxic, and even comes in a recyclable bottle. Love your PLNTS, love your planet! Liquid fertilisers also come with a reduced risk of fertiliser burn. Good to know right?

**Our liquid PLNTS nutrition exists of 5 main components: **


This component is considered to be the most important of the whole nutrient package. This has to do with the fact that this component is essential in the formation of protein, which is what the tissue of the plant is made of for a big part, So nitrogen actually makes sure your plant stays healthy.


Ammonium enhances plant growth and supplies nitrogen to the plant.


This component is really easily absorbed by the plant. Applying nitrogen as ammonium nitrate or calcium nitrate therefore provides an instant nutrient supply. The negative charge of nitrate carries along positively charged nutrients such as magnesium, calcium and potassium.


This component is important for the plant's ability to use and store energy. Which is also important within the process of photosynthesis. So it makes sure your plant is able to grow and develop beautifully!


This component strengthens the plant, it makes the plant more resilient from diseases and strengthens their root system.

Another benefit of using liquid fertilisers made from naturally-occurring ingredients is that in addition to providing your plant with nutrients, they also act as growth enhancers. They are full of dozens of micronutrients each of which plays a vital role in the health and vigour of your green family!


Granular houseplant fertiliser

Granular fertilisers for houseplants are found in one of two formulations: as loose, granular pellets or as compressed fertiliser spikes. Pelletized granular fertilisers for houseplants are sprinkled on the surface of the soil. Compressed fertiliser spikes are pushed down into the soil to come in close contact with plant roots.

The best pelletized and compressed granular house plant fertilisers are made from naturally derived ingredients. These include dehydrated worm castings, bone meal, blood meal, rock phosphate, and other animal-, mineral-, and plant-based ingredients. Synthetic chemical-based granular fertilisers are available for houseplants too. Though we recommend avoiding them. A quick check of the ingredient list on the label tells you what the fertiliser is made from. Good to know and watch, if you don’t see an ingredient list at all, it’s a synthetic fertiliser. Better leave those on the shelf!

Slow-release houseplant fertilisers

Slow-release houseplant fertilisers are made from a synthetic source of nutrients. The liquid nutrients are encapsulated in a coating. This coating breaks down slowly and releases the nutrients in low doses over a long period of time. Products like these mean you’ll be fertilising less frequently. This is very handy because it means you don’t have to fertilise your plant as often. But keep in mind that they are often made of a non-environmentally friendly ingredient.

We can recommend our Osmocote fertiliser granules. By mixing them into your potting soil, they will release nutrients very slowly and in a very controlled manner over a period of six months. This way, your plant is always provided with sufficient nutrients during this period. But doesn't a plant need different nutrients in the summer and winter? Osmocote can help you with this too. When the ambient temperature is warmer, the grains release more nutrients than when it is cold. You can spread the fertiliser granules over the potting soil but you can also add them while repotting. In both cases, do this once every 6 months to keep the nutrient level up.


Why do my plants need nutrition especially during the warmer months?

This has to do with the fact that houseplant don’t have a constant stream of nutrients coming in from the soil. That is why we fertilise our plants during the warmer months. Why only in the warmer months you may ask. Well, this has to do with the fact that they are actively growing during spring and summer. Also with the longer days, plants are exposed to more sun, and require additional growth nutrients to stay healthy and create new growth. During autumn and winter the amount of light is not sufficient for the plant, which makes the plant grow less fast since it can not create lots of energy for itself from the light. That is why they don’t need extra fertiliser, during the colder months.

When should I fertilise my plants?

It is difficult to know when your plants need fertilising, a little puzzle! There is no clear signal from your plant except perhaps a slowed or stagnant growth, which many PLNTSparents hardly notice. It’s a pity plants can’t talk, isn’t it? So, instead of waiting for a signal from your plant, you need to take matters into your own hands! We have made a handy schedule for you, it is based on the growth cycle of plants.



  • Start fertilising your plants about 8 weeks before the last expected spring frost
  • The first three fertilisations should be carried out with half the recommended amount.


  • When summer arrives, it is time to switch to a slightly different menu! To a more regular fertilisation programme for your plants.
  • Base the frequency of summer fertilisers on the type of fertiliser you are using.
  • Follow this schedule whether you move your houseplants outside for the summer or not.


  • About 8 weeks before the first expected autumn frost, reduce the amount and frequency of fertiliser (reduce by half).


  • This season is the easiest! You do not have to fertilise your plants in winter. Plants are not able to grow actively in winter and therefore should not be fertilised. If you do, it can lead to fertiliser burning and brown leaves and you would of course prefer to avoid this!

However, there are two exceptions to these rules:

  1. If you live in a climate where it does not regularly freeze in winter, you can continue to fertilise your plants throughout the winter. Just make sure that you do this at half the strength and frequency of your summer applications. This has more to do with the light level which is different in winter than with the temperature.

  2. And if you live in a tropical climate where it is always warm, you can fertilise your houseplants all year round and follow the summer fertilisation schedule!

That probably was a lot of information to endure. But we hope it will help you become an even more skilled and knowledgeable PLNTSparent than you already were! If you would like to ask us any additional questions or would like to know more about a certain subject, don’t be afraid to reach out to us. We love to share our knowledge and experience with you and otherwise do the research, so you won’t have too! Thank you so much for making the time to read our blog and we hope you will enjoy our next one as well. :)


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06 agosto 2023