Feed your plant

Feed it and love it

You need to do more than just water your plant to keep it alive – most plants need feeding, too. It’s also worth spending a few minutes each week examining and grooming your plant – it will thrive on your attention.


All plants need food to thrive. Carnivorous plants capture prey to feed on, but most house plants will need to be fed. You should start feeding your plant a few weeks after you get it home, or around a couple of months after it has been repotted. In the spring and summer, add a liquid houseplant fertilizer to your watering can – usually around once a month. Be sure to follow manufacture’s instructions and don’t be temped to add extra overfeeding can damage the plant. Its best to feed when potting mix is already moist – that way it will reach the roots directly and won’t drain away. Alternatively, add slow release pellets or spikes to the mix as more low-maintenance approach – they’ll release aa little food every time you water. Don’t feed houseplants in winter, unless they are winter-flowering.

Extra care

Get to know your plant by spending a minute or two every week examining it and making sure it looks good. This is not only an important way to keep it healthy, but will mean you’ll spot signs of problems more quickly when they occur.


Wipe your plant’s leaves (especially those with large leaves) with a clean, damp cloth to keep them dust-free, as dust can keep light from getting to the leaves. Set palms in a lukewarm shower in winter, or a rain shower in summer. Fuzzy-leaved or prickly plants are best cleaned with a soft paintbrush.


Remove old leaves and deadhead flowers – this will encourage more blooms and will prevent dead petals from landing on the foliage, causing it to rot.


Prevention is better than cure. If you notice that your plant is looking slickly, check your care regimen and look for signs of pests or diseases before they have a chance to cause significant problems.

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