Should I use fertilizer? When do I apply?
Yes! You should absolutely fertilize houseplants. Plants outdoors growing in the ground have access to all of the nutritious things found naturally in the soil but houseplants are limited to what is in their pots.
If you recently purchased your Costa Farms plant the soil is fresh and has recently been fertilized so it is best to wait about 3 months before applying your first dose. When a plant is repotted with a fresh, high-quality potting soil mix fertilizer doesn’t need to be added. Potting mixes today are fortified and generally include fertilizer along with other enhancements. Within a few months, however, the plant will use up the nutrients in the soil mix, so you'll want to start adding your own.
Houseplants should be fertilized only during the growing seasons, spring and summer. During fall/winter plants slow their growth/water usage due to the shortened day so fertilizer use should be stopped.
When applying any fertilizer, it is important to read the label and follow the directions. Too much fertilizer is often worse than not fertilizing at all. Over-fertilization will slow growth, weaken plants, and make them more susceptible to infestation and disease. It can also lead to the plant’s early death. Signs to look for include oddly stunted growth, burned or dried leaf edges, wilting, then collapse or death.
Before fertilizing any plant take the time to learn about your plant’s specific needs. Each type of plant is a bit different in the nutrients it needs to thrive.