Philodendrons are one of those no-fuss foliage plants that has garnered a lot of attention for its easy-going nature and vibrant vines. Like most plants, philodendrons too can benefit from a quality fertilized used in the correct way.
Below you can read my take on the best fertilizers for philodendron plants along with a short review of each. I’ve also addressed some common fertilizer related questions that you may find useful if you do decide to use a fertilizer for philodendron.
Top 5 Fertilizers for Philodendrons
Below you can read about the various types of fertilizer products from fertilizing capsules to liquid fertilizers I’ve chosen that I consider the most suited for fertilizing philodendrons.
– EarthPods Premium Indoor Plant Food
They come in capsules that you simply stick into the ground and contain a special formulation of organic plant nutrients, soil humates, trace minerals and beneficial soil root fungi.
Simply stick a capsule into the root zone, then water the plant, so the capsules can break down and slowly release fertilizer for a quick uptake by the plant’s roots.
EarthPods are suitable for indoor or outdoor plants, creating rich loamy soil if used over time. As an eco-friendly and sustainable fertilizer, it supports strong root growth, healthy and vibrant foliage growth, and strong stem development.
Earth Pods should be used every 14 to 21 days. For small plants, use only 1-2 capsules at a time, for medium plants use 2-4 capsules, while for large plants you can use between 4 to 8 capsules at a time.
I particularly enjoy these fertilizer capsules because they’re very easy to use, you don’t have to bother with dosage or dilution.
– Miracle-Gro Indoor Plant Food
Miracle-Gro has been topping fertilizer lists for a long time and rightfully so — this is a popular plant food that delivers quick results. It’s a liquid fertilizer that can be applied diluted or undiluted, depending on the fertilizing needs of your plant.
For philodendrons, I recommend you dilute it to half-strength and see how your plant reacts. You don’t want to go in too strong to avoid fertilizer burn or mineral build-up in the soil.
This Miracle-Gro fertilizer has been formulated specifically for indoor houseplants. It’s an all-purpose fertilizer, so you can use it for a variety of houseplants, including herbs and other edibles.
The instructions on the label direct you to apply this fertilizer directly to the soil once a week. As I mentioned this can be a bit too much for your philodendron which isn’t a heavy feeder, so if you’re going to use it weekly, make sure to dilute it to half-strength.
You should fertilize sparingly in winter, not more often than every 4 weeks. You can even skip fertilizing if it looks like your plant is doing great and needs no extra boost.
– EasyPeasy Liquid Indoor Plant Food
Another great liquid fertilizer for philodendron plants is the Easy Peasy Liquid Indoor Fertilizer. It’s formulated as an all-purpose fertilizer with NPK liquid nutrients with added sulfur for best results.
The instructions on the Easy Peasy fertilizer label provide dosage information. The fertilizer needs to be diluted and used during the normal watering regimen.
It’s important to follow these instructions and never use the fertilizer undiluted because it will cause fertilizer burn and you risk damaging your plant.
For plants that are prone to fertilizer burn or that aren’t heavy feeders, go ahead and dilute the fertilizer to an even weaker solution than what it’s advised in the instructions and see how your plant reacts.
Whether you want to give your philodendron plant a boost or you have other houseplants that could use a little fertilizing, you can go ahead and try the Easy Peasy liquid plant food.
– Joyful Dirt Premium Concentrated All Purpose Organic Plant Food
Joyful Dirt is an organic plant fertilizer that can be applied directly to the soil (in small quantities) or it can be mixed into water and used during watering. When applied undiluted, it should be followed by watering.
This all-purpose organic plant food contains Mycorrhizae Nutrients for better nutrient uptake. It also diminishes the plant’s susceptibility to diseases.
Joyful Dirt can be used both indoors and outdoors. It’s a veritable all-purpose plant fertilizer, allowing you to use it for all fertilizing needs including houseplants, flower gardens, veggies and herbs, and even for your lawn.
Because of its concentrated formulation, it’s enough to add one tablespoon to half a gallon of water.
As per the instructions of the label, you can use Joyful Dirt monthly or with every watering if your plants require it.
Another advantage of this fertilizer, it’s that it’s safe for kids and pets, so you don’t have to worry about using this fertilizer in your home or garden.
– Indoor Plant Food by Aquatic Arts
Another houseplant fertilizer that you can use with great results for your philodendrons is the one made by Aquatic Arts. It’s specially designed for feeding potted plants whether you want to stimulate root growth or bloom growth.
This fertilizer includes nitrogen, phosphorus and other nutrients needed for healthy plant development. Dilution instructions mention using 1 tablespoon to every 2 cups of water.
Although it has a gentle formulation, you should not use the product undiluted, especially not on your philodendron. Instructions on the label mention that you can use the diluted fertilizer every time you water your plants.
If your plant has brown spots or yellowing leaves, and you’ve excluded all other possible reasons why (excess sun, pests, overwatering, etc.), you’re probably dealing with a nutrient deficiency and this is where Aquatic Art’s Indoor Plant Food can come in handy.
Other plants you can use this fertilizer with include African violets, peace lilies, Cacti and succulents, snake plants, and many others to promote vibrant leaf growth, sturdy roots and stems, and colorful blooms.
How Often to Fertilize a Philodendron Plant?
Philodendrons are not heavy feeders, but they do benefit from a bit of fertilizing, especially during the growing season.
Using a quality fertilizer will help your philodendron to grow larger and more vibrant leaves. As for how often to fertilize, it depends.
If you’re using a slow-release fertilizer like the Earth Pods I mentioned above, you may get away with fertilizing your philodendron only once a month, especially if your philodendron is otherwise healthy.
If your philodendron is doing poorly, has a stunted growth and it’s simply not developing normally, you may need to use a fertilizer every 2 weeks, or even weekly if it’s a heavily diluted fertilizer.
Follow this regimen in spring and summer and cut back on fertilizing in fall and winter. I usually fertilize only every other month outside the growing season.
Remember that fertilizing does not substitute for plant care deficiencies. You still need to make sure your philodendron gets the right soil, the right amount of water and sun, and of course the right temperature.
How to Use Fertilizer on a Philodendron Plant?
Once again, depending on the type of fertilizer, you’re going to need to take a different approach. For example, you need to stick fertilizer capsules into the soil, close to the roots, while liquid fertilizers are usually used diluted in the watering can.
As a general approach — and this goes for any houseplant fertilizing — don’t pour the fertilizer undiluted into the soil, unless it’s a capsule or an already diluted formulation that’s gentle enough to be used on its own.
Another thing to be careful about is not to pour the fertilizer close to the stem, nor should you pour it on the leaves. Pour it evenly around the soil, just as you would when watering.
Can Too Much Fertilizer Harm a Philodendron Plant?
Overfertilizing can harm your philodendron and any other houseplant. Both adding too much fertilizer at once and using fertilizer frequently can cause fertilizer burn.
Signs of fertilizer overuse include wilding, drooping leaves, browning leaf tips or margins, limp, browned or blackened roots, yellowing leaves, and slow to no growth.
Some of these symptoms may be indicative of other issues, so it’s best to rule those out as well. Therefore, make sure you follow fertilizer dilution and frequency recommendations to prevent problems associated with fertilizer overuse.
You should also regularly ‘flush’ the soil of your philodendron by putting the pot under slowly running water for a few minutes to give it a good soak-through and flush away any mineral salt deposits.
Can You Use Aquarium Water to Fertilize Philodendrons?
If you want to recycle aquarium water and put it to good use, you can use it to water your houseplants with it, including your philodendron.
Aquarium water needs recycling because of the accumulation of ammonia, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, which are harmful to your fish, but act as nutrients for plants.
If you regularly change your aquarium water, these nutrients will be diluted enough to safely use as a fertilizer for your philodendrons.
Many fertilizers are available for houseplants, but the ones I discuss in this article are the best for your philodendrons.
Always use them as directed by the label to prevent fertilizer burn. And remember — fertilizing does not substitute for general plant care. Your plants need optimal temperature, light, watering, and soil to develop normally.