Fertilizing Philodendron

To ensure that your philodendron thrives in your home, you may eventually need fertilizer. Fertilizer becomes important when potted plants have used up the soil’s nutrients and need a boost. This article will guide you on feeding your philodendron plant. Each species may have its own variation of these requirements, so tweak these general rules as necessary according to your plant’s unique needs. 


Why Fertilize Philodendrons

There are many benefits to fertilizing your philodendron plant in addition to improving its overall health. Fertilizing can help increase the plant’s growth rate during spring and summer. It can also make your philodendron appear more full, lush and beautiful. Providing food to your plant can increase the brightness of its foliage color. Philodendrons rarely bloom indoors but there are types of fertilizers that can help to encourage blooming.

How Often To Fertilize Philodendrons

Wait at least one month before fertilizing a newly transplanted or young philodendron. Then, fertilize 1-2 times per month during the spring and summer when the plant grows the most. Fertilizer is rarely necessary in the winter. If your plant needs a boost from fertilizer in the colder months, you can apply a feeding no more than every 6 to 8 weeks. Over-fertilizing may cause a “burn” that causes a plant’s health to decline.

How To Tell If Philodendron Needs Fertilizer

If your plant looks otherwise healthy but has yellow-tinted foliage, it might be suffering from a lack of nutrients. Chlorosis, a deficiency in magnesium and iron, can cause yellowing leaves. You can solve this problem by adding chelated iron for plants to your fertilizing regimen. Other signs of malnutrition include slow or leggy growth and leaf drop, especially young leaves. 


Best Fertilizer For Philodendrons

Use a high-quality, well-balanced houseplant fertilizer such as Miracle-Gro® Tropical Houseplant Food. This fertilizer is designed to encourage lush growth of foliage. What you want to look for is a balanced NPK ratio (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) like a 20-20-20 formula. These are macronutrients your plant needs to thrive along with calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. You can also use composted coffee grounds and eggshells, hard boiled egg water, or aquarium water to feed your plants. 

Philodendron Fertilizing Tips

Providing your philodendron with adequate fertilizer will ensure that you have a long-lived, beautiful specimen. Here are a few things to remember as you feed your plant.

  • Wait one month before feeding new plants
  • No need to fertilize during the winter
  • Feed one time per month, spring through summer
  • Use Miracle-Gro® Tropical Houseplant Food
  • A yellowing plant may indicate malnourishment 
  • Nutrients can also come from compost and aquarium water

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Author Chris Link - Published 3-7-2023