Everything You Need to Know About When, How, and What to Feed Monstera Plants at Home
No matter what type of monstera plant you have at home, you’ll need to apply fertilizer to keep it healthy. Since monstera plants are relatively slow-growing and rarely produce fruit in a home setting, they don’t require a lot of fertilizer, but they will suffer if you leave them without nutrients. Here we’re going to cover everything you need to know about fertilizing Monstera plants at home including when, how, and what to feed your Monstera plants so they have the best chance of thriving.
- Fertilizing Monstera Plants – The Essentials
- Why Monstera Plants Need Fertilizer
- What is Fertilizer Made Of?
- Signs Your Monstera Plant Needs Feeding
- Do all Monstera Plants Typically Need Fertilizing?
- How Often Should You Fertilize Monstera Plants?
- Things to Consider When Fertilizing Montera Plants
- The Best Fertilizer for Monstera Plants
- Fertilizing Monstera Plants FAQ:
Fertilizing Monstera Plants – The Essentials
Feed your Monstera plant with a 1/4 diluted houseplant fertilizer once a month from April through September. Apply directly to the soil base to supplement your weekly watering routine. Look for a fertilizer with balanced nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK) ratio and lean on the side of underapplying rather than overapplying.
Why Monstera Plants Need Fertilizer
Plants make their energy from water, carbon dioxide, and the sun. However, they also require nutrients to help them complete necessary processes and build structural compounds.
In nature, nutrients continue to cycle through the ecosystem. In the soil, they turn into a plant-available form and are taken up by plants. However, houseplants are generally planted in an inert material such as peat or perlite which doesn’t contain any nutrients. Even if you use a soil mix that contains compost or nutrients, plants will eventually use up these nutrients and require fertilizer.
Plants require 17 different plant nutrients to thrive, but they need different amounts of each nutrient. All plants require large amounts of three elements known as macronutrients. These are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). When you see three numbers listed on a bag of fertilizer, this refers to the amount of N, P, and K.
For example, a fertilizer with 5-15-5 on its label contains 5% nitrogen, 15% phosphorus, and 5% potassium by weight. While a fertilizer with a 10-30-10 label will contain the same ratio of nutrients, it contains more of each nutrient.
Plants also require smaller doses of micronutrients as well as trace elements.
Common Types of Fertilizer
Along with being concerned about the nutrients in the fertilizer, you should also take note of the fertilizer type. The form of fertilizer you choose impacts how you should apply it as well as how fast it becomes available to plants.
Liquid fertilizer typically comes in a concentrated form that needs to be diluted with water. Once it is diluted, you can then apply it to the soil or the plant’s leaves.
Solid fertilizer is mixed into the soil or sprinkled on top of the soil’s surface. Solid fertilizers are often available in powder or granular form.
Fertilizer spikes slowly release nutrients over a period of time. It’s important to note that while these spikes make it easy to apply nutrients, they also decrease the control you have over nutrient application.
What is Fertilizer Made Of?
Fertilizers can be made from a wide variety of materials. To help understand these materials, it’s useful to break fertilizer down into organic and synthetic.
Organic fertilizer is made from materials that are naturally occurring. Some materials commonly used in organic fertilizers include composted manure, rock dust, bone meal, blood meal, and seaweed.
Organic fertilizers tend to be slower acting and lower in nutrients than synthetic fertilizers.
Synthetic fertilizer is produced in a lab. Examples include ammonium phosphate, ammonium nitrate, and potassium chloride.
These fertilizers may be quick release or slow release.
Signs Your Monstera Plant Needs Feeding
If you notice any of the following, it may be a sign that your monstera needs fertilizer.
Lack of Growth
If your plant is receiving enough light and water yet isn’t growing, it might not have access to enough nutrients.
Yellowing leaves can be an indicator of a wide variety of problems including too much water, not enough water, and a cold environment. However, they can also be a sign that your plant needs a dose of fertilizer. If all of your plant’s leaves are slightly yellow, it’s extra likely that your plant needs fertilizer.
Do all Monstera Plants Typically Need Fertilizing?
Monstera plants aren’t heavy feeders, which means you don’t have to fertilize them very often.
How Often Should You Fertilize Monstera Plants?
Before you start adding fertilizer to your monstera plants, it’s important to understand when and how often to fertilize. While fertilizer will help plants grow, applying too much can harm plants.
You should apply fertilizer when your plants are actively growing and avoid fertilizing when your plants have slowed their growth. This means you should only apply fertilizer from April through September in the northern hemisphere.
During the fertilization period, apply fertilizer once a month.
Things to Consider When Fertilizing Montera Plants
Keep in mind that not all fertilizers are created equal, and too much fertilizer will have negative consequences.
Too Much Fertilizer
If you apply fertilizer too often or apply an undiluted form, your monstera will be negatively affected.
Signs of too much fertilizer include brown or yellow leaf edges or stunted growth. Another indicator that you may be applying too much fertilizer is the presence of a crust on the soil surface, which is salt buildup from fertilizer.
Wrong Type of Fertilizer
If you use the wrong type of fertilizer, you’re not supplying your monstera with the nutrients it needs. This can lead to an excess of some nutrients and a deficiency of other nutrients.
The Best Fertilizer for Monstera Plants
Now that you know why monstera plants need fertilizer and when they need it, it’s time to understand what type of fertilizer is best.
Monstera plants benefit from fertilizer designed for houseplants. Look for a product that contains a similar amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Acceptable ratios include 1-1-1, 2-4-2, 3-2-3, and others.
Both liquid and solid fertilizers can provide great results. It’s best to not use fertilizer spikes since these can lead to problems with overfertilization.
No matter what type of fertilizer you use, make sure to dilute it. It’s better to under-fertilize your plants rather than over-fertilize them.
Ready to Use Monstera Fertilizers
Fortunately, there are many great ready-to-use fertilizers available for monstera plants. Any of these products will provide your monstera plants with the nutrients they need.
- Easy Peasy Indoor Plant Food: This liquid fertilizer contains an NPK ratio of 4-3-4. To apply, all you need to do is dilute it with water and apply it to the soil.
- Espoma Indoor! Houseplant Food: This is an organic, liquid fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 2-2-2. It also contains several beneficial bacteria that help make the organic nutrients available to plants.
- Osmocote Smart-Release Plant Food: If you’re looking to avoid applying fertilizer once a month, this slow-release granular fertilizer is a good choice. It contains eleven different essential plant nutrients.
Blending Your Own Fertilizer
While you can mix to make your own monstera fertilizer, it’s generally recommended (and a lot easier) to buy a pre-blended fertilizer. Since monstera plants don’t need a lot of fertilizer, it also makes sense to buy one product rather than three or four you have to mix.
Now that you know all about feeding and fertilizing monstera plants, you can feel confident you can provide these beauties with the nutrients they need.
Fertilizing Monstera Plants FAQ:
Should I fertilize my Monstera?
Monstera plants need feeding and fertilizing to help keep them healthy. Since monstera plants are relatively slow-growing and rarely produce fruit in a home setting, they don’t require a lot of fertilizer, but they will suffer if you leave them without nutrients.
How often should you fertilize Monstera?
Fertilize your Monstera plant once per month only from April through to September each year.
Do all Monstera plant types need fertilizer?
Monstera plants aren’t generally considered heavy feeders but all types of Monstera (including Monstera deliciosa, Monstera adansonii, and variegated monstera plants) will benefit from a regular fertilizing routine during the spring and summer months.
What should I feed my Monstera plant?
Monstera plants should be fed with a balanced fertilizer comprising nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium components in either liquid or solid form.
How do I know if I’ve over-fertilized my Monstera plant?
A common sign of too much fertilizer includes brown or yellow leaf edges or stunted growth. Another indicator that you may be applying too much fertilizer is the presence of a crust on the soil surface, which is salt buildup from fertilizer.