Since the roots of houseplants are trapped and unable to go elsewhere, unlike in-ground plants that can look ‘elsewhere’ for food, they’re counting on you for feeding!
Houseplants need fertilizing with an all-purpose plant food, such as Schultz® Liquid Plant Food, Schultz® All Purpose Slow Release Granular Plant Food, or Bonide® 10-10-10 Liquid Plant Food. How much your plant will need will depend on how large the plant is, the size of its root ball, and what kind of houseplant it is.
You’ll want to fertilize during the growing season (Spring, Summer, and Early Fall). That way, the plant can use it’s energy to absorb the fertilizer properly and grow.
Research your specific plant and make sure to follow the instructions on the fertilizer package!
Bat guano, or dung, has a long history of use as a soil enricher. It is obtained from only fruit and insect-feeding species of bats. Bat guano makes an excellent fertilizer; it’s fast-acting, has little odor, and can be worked into the soil prior to planting or during active growth.
What Do They Use Bat Guano For?
There are several uses for bat guano. It can be used as a soil conditioner, enriching the soil and improving drainage and texture, and a suitable fertilizer for plants and lawns, making them healthy and green. It can be used as a natural fungicide and controls nematodes in the soil as well. In addition, bat guano makes an acceptable compost activator, speeding up the decomposition process. With so many uses, why would you not use bat guano?!
How to Use Bat Guano as a Fertilizer
As a fertilizer, bat guano can be used as top dressing or worked into the soil and can be use fresh or dried. Typically, this fertilizer is applied in smaller quantities than other types of manure.
Bat guano provides a high concentration of nutrients to plants and the surrounding soil. According to the NPK of bat guano, its concentration ingredients are 10-3-1. This NPK fertilizer analysis translates to 10 percent nitrogen (N), 3 percent phosphorus (P), and 1 percent potassium or potash (K). The higher nitrogen levels are responsible for fast, green growth. Phosphorus aids with root and flower development while potassium provides for the plant’s overall health.
Note: You may also find bat guano with higher phosphorus ratios, such as 3-10-1. Why? Some types are processed this way. It’s also believed that the diet of some bat species may have an effect. For example, those feeding strictly on insects produce higher nitrogen content, whereas fruit-eating bats result in a high phosphorus guano.
We hear this question daily. All plants – annuals, shrubs, perennials and trees need proper nutrients to grow, stay healthy and look good. But there are so many fertilizer choices it is easy to be discouraged and end up choosing the easy route – a slow-release fertilizer. Apply it once and be done with fertilizing for the season.
Sounds easy, right? While great for many plants (shrubs) it is not the best for your annuals and hanging baskets. They need more than a slow-release fertilizer can give them. They are best fed with a water-soluble fertilizer.
Water soluble fertilizers are fertilizers that can be dissolved in water and makes it is easy to control the precise amount of nutrients available to your plants. Soluble fertilizers usually have N-P-K numbers listed on their label. The N is for nitrogen, the P is for phosphorus and the K is for potassium or potash.
Of the 16 (12 of which are contained in water soluble fertilizers) known elements necessary for plant life, N-P-K, are the three that are of the most importance and always listed on water soluble fertilizers, in that order.
- Nitrogen is the most important of the nutrients and is essential to the production of chlorophyll and is responsible for leaf growth, as well as, overall size of the plant.
- Phosphorus is necessary for photosynthesis and provides for energy transfer within the plant and is associated with the fruiting or flowering stages of growth.
- Potassium, or potash, increases chlorophyll levels, helps plants make better use of light and air and increases growth by cell division.
The ultimate goal of fertilizing is to supply your plant with the right amount of nutrients. Applying a water soluble fertilizer to the annuals and perennials both in the ground and in containers every 7 to 14 days can make a remarkable difference.
Ultimately, your plants will only be as great as the care they receive, and while understanding the best fertilizer for the job may take a little bit of work, the rewards of healthier, longer-lasting plants is the pay off.
Worm castings are the richest natural fertilizer known to humans. That’s right: as little as a tablespoon of pure worm castings provides enough organic plant nutrients to feed a 6″ potted plant for more than two months.
Worm castings stimulate plant growth more than any other natural product on the market. Unlike animal manure and artificial fertilizers it is absorbed easily and immediately by plants.
What Can Worm Castings Be Used For?
Worm Castings can be used as an ingredient of potting soil (as plant nutrients) for plants in and around the house. It can also be used as a planting additive for trees, vegetables, shrubs and flowers and because Worm Castings will never burn plants, you can use as much of it as you like.
Benefits of Worm Castings
- Removal of toxins & bacteria
- The humus in the worm castings extracts toxins and harmful fungi and bacteria from the soil. Worm Castings therefore have the ability to fight off plant diseases.
- Assists with nutrient absorption
- The worm castings have the ability to fix heavy metals in organic waste. This prevents plants from absorbing more of these chemical compounds than they need. These compounds can then be released later when the plants need them.
- Works as a barrier in undesirable soil pH levels
- Worm Castings act as a barrier to help plants grow in soil where the pH levels are too high or too low. They prevent extreme pH levels from making it impossible for plants to absorb nutrients from the soil.
- Stimulates plant growth
- The humic acid in Worm Castings stimulate plant growth, even in very low concentrations. The humic acid is in an ionically distributed state in which it can easily be absorbed by the plant, over and above any normal mineral nutrients. Humic acid also stimulates the development of micro flora populations in the soil.
- Increases water retention
- Worm Castings increase the ability of soil to retain water. The worm castings form aggregates, which are mineral clusters that combine in such a way that they can withstand water erosion and compaction, and also increase water retention.
- Reduces carbon and increases nitrogen in soil
- Worm Castings reduce the acid-forming carbon in the soil, and increase the nitrogen levels in a state that the plant can easily use. Organic plant wastes usually have a carbon-nitrogen ratio of more than 20 to 1. Because of this ratio, the nitrogen is unavailable to plants, and the soil around the organic waste becomes acidic.
How to use Worm Castings:
Use 20 to 30% Worm Castings with sand as an excellent germination mixture. It will also ensure continuous and lush growth for about three months, without you having to add any other plant food.
As a Soil Conditioner
If you hoe a layer of barren soil, add a layer of Worm Castings and give it some water, you will be surprised at the growth of your first season’s plants.
As a Fertilizer
Sprinkle Worm Castings around the base of plants or lightly dig it in, and then add water. They can also be sprinkled on a large scale with a spreader. Remember: you cannot use too much Worm Castings, they cannot damage your plants.
As a Liquid Fertilizer
Worm Castings can easily be mixed with water. Use 1 cup Worm Castings for every gallon of water and wait 1 week. This liquid mixture can be used as an excellent fertilizer or leaf foliate spray. It also helps to control insects. Many people prefer this method of application.
We have known for hundreds of years that earthworms are the best way to improve plant growth and to increase plant yield, such as fruit.