Marianne's Response

Fertilizing Indoor Plants

How do I use the Osmocote Plus for indoor plants. I have several plants in 6,8,10 inch pots but am unsure how to calculate the fertilizer application for them. Thank you! Is there perhaps another product I need to purchase that is better suited to smaller indoor plants?


Posted by Loral Valley on November 23, 2019

Marianne's Response

It can be confusing to determine how much fertilizer to use for any plant but when you use a slow release plant food like Osmocote you don't have to worry. Unlike liquid plant food the nutrients will be released very slowly so there is much less of a chance that you will give your plants too much food and cause any damage. Potted indoor plants do not need much fertilizer especially during the winter when sunlight is low and they go rather dormant. I use the pinch method for potted indoor plants. I just pinch a few granules of Osmocote between my two fingers and place this small amount on top of the soil. One pinch for small 4 inch pots, 2 pinches for 6 inch pots up until I get to a plant in a gallon size pot. Then I use half of a teaspoon of Osmocote in one gallon pots. I very gently work the granules into the top layer of soil using my finger so I don't damage any surface roots. You don't need to be precise as the plants will take and use only what they need and the nutrients will be release very slowly over the next 6 to 9 months. I have found that Osmocote works great for indoor orchids as they do not like too much fertilizer and just a pinch of Osmocote once a year keeps potted orchids happy. Just keep in mind the smaller the pot the less fertilizer to use and relax because gardening is an art not a science - there is no perfect answer when it comes to growing tips because each environment is so unique. Don't be afraid to experiment, add extra water to some plants or move them to a brighter location and just see what happens. You will learn from your mistakes and soon you will be able to look at a potted plant and tell by the color of the foliage if it needs fertilizer or more sun and by the texture of the foliage if it is thirsty.   Keep growing, Marianne Binetti