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Our Favorite Fertilizers for Houseplants

Updated: Jun 24, 2023

It is very important to fertilize your houseplants. The frequency and amount will depend on the species and size of plant. I will discuss in this post the different synthetic and organic fertilizers that are tried and true at The Dutch House of Plants.

Plants need 13 nutrients and minerals to thrive. The main three are called macronutrients:

-Nitrogen (N) helps the leaves and stems of the plant. It also is responsible for "greening" up your plant.

-Phosphorous (P) is responsible for strong healthy roots and blooms.

-Potassium (K) helps the overall health of the plant, allows it to uptake water, and makes it more resistant to disease and pests.

These elements are usually displayed on the front packaging of fertilizers as N-P-K.

Secondary macronutrients consist of sulfur (S), calcium (Ca), and magnesium (Mg).

Lastly, Micronutrients include iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), boron (B) and molybdenum (Mo).

Synthetic vs. Organic

Most of the readily available options are synthetic, which means it is derived from man-made materials. The pros for using a synthetic fertilizer is low cast, readily available, and fast-acting. The cons include they may use low-quality ingredients which can harm you plant.

Organic fertilizers are made from natural ingredients. This is great for your plants and the environment. However organic options can be pricey and hard to find. It also takes longer for you to see results. Organic fertilizers are often made from compost, kelp, and fish emulsion. This makes it hard to know how much your plant actually needs.

In conclusion, there are pros and cons for both synthetic and organic fertilizers. Just be aware whenever you choose.

The Winners

Here are some of our favorites here at The Dutch House of Plants:


Osmocote is a synthetic slow release formula which makes it super easy to use. Some of the fertilizer is released every time you water, so we recommend using it as directed every two months or so on most houseplants during the growing season. It not only contains the macronutrients plants need, but also many of the secondary and micronutrients.

Fertilome Houseplant Hero:

Fertilome is such a great brand. We trust all of their products and this is no exception. It is a well-balanced 10-10-10 concentrated synthetic liquid. It is recommended to mix a teaspoon with a gallon of water twice per month during the growing season. There is also a special formula for succulents/cacti, orchids, and african violets.

Jobe's Houseplant Spikes:

Another easy fertilizer to use for you folks with little time or lots of plants! These spikes are made to just push in the soil. This synthetic fertilizer is 13-4-5 and feeds up to 2 months.

Malibu Compost Biodynamic Compost Tea:

If organic products are more up your alley, we highly recommend using Malibu Compost's compost tea. Over time, this tea will improve your soil so much. It contains compost, kelp, and earthworm castings. It is recommended to apply the tea once per month during the growing season.

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