Ensuring you have the best food for plants to keep your flowers, fruits, vegetables and other garden plants healthy is a must. It's an essential for anything you're going to grow in a contained environment to make sure they're getting all the must-need nutrients. Plus, you can feed some to outdoor plants to give them a boost, too.
We all know that plants need the right amount of light and water to grow but if you want to give them a helping hand, food for plants will work wonders. It will ensure your seeds and seedlings get off to the best start in life by providing them with all the key nutrients they need to flourish. Not only that, but it will make sure perennial and biennial plants grow back stronger with their blooms bigger and their colours more vibrant and brighter.
Best food for plants at a glance:
• Top choice: Miracle-Gro All Purpose Concentrated Liquid Plant Food - view on Amazon UK
• Best plant food for long-term results: Gro-Sure 6 Month Slow Release Plant Food - view on Amazon UK
• Best supermarket plant food: Sainsbury's All Purpose Plant Food - view on Sainsbury's
• Best plant food for indoor and outdoor use: Phostrogen Organic All Purpose Liquid Plant Food - view on Robert Dyas
Your indoor houseplants will benefit the most from being fed plant food as they require a bit more TLC to keep them healthy and happy. Although contained plants in pots and baskets as well as some plants in borders and beds will require regular feeding, too. The best food for plants will make sure your plant is getting all the essentials they need and replenish what the soul may be lacking.
Whether you're growing flowers in a window box, fruit and veg in grow bags or lush greenery in an outdoor pot, we've rounded up all the best food for plants that will ensure they have everything they need for healthy growth.
Best food for plants
The Miracle-Gro All Purpose Concentrated Liquid Plant Food will help you create a wonderful green
- Claims visible results in just seven days
- Renowned for its 'grows twice as big' results
- Needs to be used every one-to-two weeks while plants are actively growing
Best plant food for long-term results
Just one application of the Gro-Sure 6 Month Slow Release Plant Food will provide your plants with
- Gives plants an instant boost and then slowly releases nutrients for six months
- Promotes healthy foliage and long-lasting blooms
- Not designed for fast results
Best plant food for tomato plants
Need a helping hand to grow your tomatoes? This Vitax Ltd Liquid Tomato Feed will do the trick.
- Can be used for growing indoor or outdoors
- Perfect for a healthy crop
- Some reviewers reported slow progress
As well as the right food, you'll want to make sure you've got the perfect starter trays, compost, and pots for producing your own toms. Take a look at our 'how to grow tomatoes at home' buyer's guide for expert advice and product recommendations.
Best supermarket plant food
You can pick up Sainsbury's All Purpose Plant Food at the same time as doing your weekly food
- Great for all plants but especially fruit
- Makes up to 400 litres
- New product so no customer reviews yet
Best plant food for indoor and outdoor use
Endorsed by the OFG, Organic Farmers & Growers Association, the Phostrogen Organic All Purpose
- Perfect for both indoor and outdoor plants
- Can be used on baskets, beds and borders
- Can be fiddly and messy pouring the solution into the cap to measure the correct amount needed
Best single houseplant plant food
If your favourite houseplant is in need of a bit of TLC, you need to get the Baby Bio Original
- Ready to use solution
- Provides feed for a month
- Single plant application only
Best plant feed for results
Improved root initiation and growth, better stress tolerance and increased crop yield are just
- Ideal for general plant use
- Improves root initiation and growth
- You need to make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after use to avoid irritation
Plant food FAQs
When is best to feed plants?
Not sure when you should feed your plants? Miracle-Gro has some tips that will help you know what signs to spot and the best time of year to start.
Start in spring
They recommended preparing your garden or pots in early spring, or whenever the last frost is. By feeding your plants the moment you plant them, you can give them a strong start by giving them the vital nutrients they need directly at their roots.
Already-establish perennial flowers and herbs will also need food for plants as they begin to emerge at the start of the growing season. This is to encourage a healthy growth. You'll just want to be careful not to disturb the roots or any new growth that has already started to come through.
Plants experience a burst of early growth when they're first planted, but you'll want to ensure they can keep up that momentum throughout the year. By feeding them regularly, even in summer, you'll replenish the nutrients they need throughout the growing season. This will coax your plants into growing their best and producing the biggest blooms and harvest.
Keep an eye out for hungry plants
If your plants are starting to have pale or yellowing foliage, fewer flowers, droopy, limp or weak stems, and just showing general signs of slower growth than usual, you may have a hungry plant on your hands. These are all signs that the soil is short on the nutrients you need, and if you've been watering regularly and haven't had problems with insects or disease, chances are your plants need feeding.
Is food for plants necessary?
Plant food is used to improve growth and ensure brighter, more vibrant blooms and greenery, but you may be wondering whether plant food is necessary if you're making sure they have enough water and light in the first place.
Food for plants may not be needed if the soil is rich enough in all the nutrients your plant needs to stay healthy. However, contained plants in pots and hanging baskets, for example, tend to soak up these nutrients more quickly than those in beds and borders. So, because of this, you may find that these need more of a helping hand to replenish what has been lost from the soil. And if you notice any of the signs of a hungry plant we mentioned in the FAQ above, that will be your cue to feed it.
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Rosie Floyd is a Homes and Garden Product Writer for Modern Gardens, specialising in outdoor living. Before joining the team at Bauer, Rosie spent almost three years writing content for a garden buildings company so knows her stuff about garden sheds, rooms and offices and how to make the most of your outdoor space.