Troubleshooting Fertilizer Problems

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Blooming, Care and Culture, Growing Indoors, Growing Outdoors

Plants give you clear signs when they are receiving just the right amount of plant food. For instance, when older leaves have good color, and new leaves steadily appear, gradually attaining a size that compares with that of the older leaves, you’ve got the fertilizer routine just about right.

Before deciding that a plant is over or underfed, evaluate other variables such as light, temperature, and proper watering practices. The closer each of these conditions comes to a plant’s ideal, the better its prospects for living a long, productive life. Below I’ve listed the indicators that you’ve either over or underfed your plant.

Signs Of Too Little Fertilizer

  • Weak new growth, in which new leaves are small and pale, is a classic sign of the too little fertilizer. Plants suffering from micro-nutrient deficiencies often show usual yellowing of tissues between leaf veins, or pale leaves with darker leaf veins. When starved plants are given one or two feedings with an appropriate plant food, their leaf color usually improves quickly, becoming greener in a matter of days.

Signs Of Too Much Fertilizer

  • A very dark, lush leaf with some browning or curling of leaf edges suggests too much fertilizer. Blooming houseplants may refuse to produce buds when given too much nitrogen.
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2 Responses to “Troubleshooting Fertilizer Problems”

  1. rick trani says:

    Two years ago I bought a bromeliad houseplant (achmea)superb sensation. What a beautiful plant! It provided 7 pups before it went. The younger plants were removed transplanted and several have done ok but they grew a lot faster on the mother plant so I waited until they were a good ten inches before separating them. I’ve used different soils with them but now I’m told Orchid soil is best for this plant. I don’t put fertilizer down the cup only water and occasionally I put a diluted 10 10 10 only on the soil once a month or so. These pups grow slowly although they’re green enough and look pretty good. I put them in full sun area behind a balcony door and let a loose transparent curtain screen them. Am I right in doing this?

  2. Peter Paroz says:

    The 10,10,10 fertilizer is not ‘balanced’ for bromeliads. Try one which is listed as ‘Fruit & Flower and includes trace elements. What is the effective day length ? Light input is intensity x daylength.

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