When determining which type of fertilizer is best for indoor palm trees, you have your pick between slow-release, granular, liquid, or spike fertilizer. I’ll tell you which to use for your indoor palms to perk them up!
Which fertilizer is best for indoor palm trees? A slow-release fertilizer is best for indoor palm trees. The fertilizer should contain a macronutrients ratio of at least 3:1:3, with 3 for nitrogen, 1 for phosphorus, and 3 for potassium. The gradual release of ingredients will sustain your indoor palm tree for a while.
This guide to indoor palm tree fertilization will cover all your options in-depth. I’ll recommend my favorite fertilizers on the market and tell you how often to apply them along with providing the homemade indoor palm tree fertilizer recipes I mentioned in the intro, so be sure to keep reading!
This Is the Best Palm Tree Fertilizer for Your Indoor Garden
Going back to what I said in the intro, slow-release fertilizer is ideal for indoor palm trees. You can feed your palm once and then skip the fertilizer for several months in most cases.
Here is my favorite slow-release fertilizer for indoor palms as well as some other great fertilizer products for your consideration.
The Best Slow-Release Indoor Palm Tree Fertilizer – Miracle-Gro Shake N’ Palm Plant Food
If there’s one indoor palm tree fertilizer I would recommend the most, it’s Miracle-Gro Shake N’ Palm Plant Food.
You can feed this particular fertilizer to palms that you grow in any type of environment, be that in a container or even outdoors in the ground.
The compost in the Shake N’ Palm plant food will reach the soil. The microbes that live there will take the compost content in the fertilizer and use it to stabilize and support your palm tree’s roots.
The healthier the root system, the lusher and fuller your indoor palms will be.
Additionally, the Miracle-Gro Shake N’ Palm plant food contains magnesium and iron. Indoor palm trees specifically will benefit greatly from adding additional amounts of magnesium and iron
These micronutrients are used specifically to keep your palm’s beautiful fronds from curling or turning yellow.
What I really like about the Shake N’ Palm plant food is how easy it is to use. You don’t have to moisten your palm’s soil before applying, which isn’t something you see often with fertilizer.
All you have to do is open the fertilizer jug, twist the applicator cap, and open the spout.
Take care to get within the drip line, staying away from the foliage and trunk of your indoor palm. Then blend the fertilizer into the soil with a clean gardening tool and you’re done!
Even better, since the Miracle-Gro Shake N’ Palm plant food is a slow-release fertilizer, you don’t have to reapply it again for three months.
The Runner-Up – Espoma Palm-Tone Plant Food
Variety is the spice of life, so I want to leave you with another option to consider for your indoor palm tree’s fertilizer. That is Espoma Palm-Tone plant food.
Containing a 4-1-5 ratio of macronutrients, Palm-Tone is an organic, all-natural slow-release fertilizer for indoor palms and hibiscus plants.
Utilizing Espoma’s exclusive Bio-Tone formula with microbes, your palm should grow long, luscious, and healthy-looking fronds you can be proud of.
Plus, the use of natural ingredients means you don’t have to worry about chemicals potentially affecting your indoor palm.
Depending on the height of your palm tree, Espoma has different recommendations on how much fertilizer to use.
For a very small indoor palm, use ¼ pounds or ¾ cups of fertilizer. Smaller trees need half a pound or 1 ½ cups.
A medium-sized indoor palm requires a pound of fertilizer or three cups and a large palm needs 1 ½ pounds of Espoma fertilizer or 4 ½ cups.
When applying, mix the fertilizer directly into the soil. Ensure the fertilizer remains six inches or further from the trunk. Water your indoor palm’s soil when you’re done.
You can then wait three months before having to reapply this fertilizer.
The Best Palm Tree Fertilizer Spikes – Jobe’s Fern & Palm Fertilizer Spikes
If you don’t want to deal with liquid or granular fertilizer for your indoor palms, I certainly don’t blame you. Spills can be messy, and if you get any fertilizer on your palm’s foliage, the fronds could be damaged.
Fertilizer spikes are a quick and easy alternative that will feed your indoor palm. Jobe’s Fern & Palm fertilizer spikes are my top pick for indoor gardeners due to the low cost and the great value for your money.
For under $10, you get 30 fertilizer spikes in a blister pack. You can’t beat that!
Each fertilizer spike includes a pre-measured quantity of ingredients your indoor palm needs to grow and thrive. You don’t have to worry about overfertilization when using spikes, which is a nice feeling.
So what’s in each of these fertilizer spikes, you ask? The spikes contain a 16-2-6 ratio with 16 percent total nitrogen. Up to 10.5 percent is water-insoluble nitrogen and another two percent is nitrate nitrogen.
The six percent is soluble potash and two percent is available phosphate. The formula also contains 0.2 percent chlorine.
You will need more than one fertilizer spike depending on the size of your indoor palm tree’s pot.
If the pot has a diameter of four inches, then use two spikes. For pots with a diameter of six inches, three spikes are required.
An eight-inch pot diameter calls for four spikes, a 10-inch pot needs five spikes, and a 12-inch pot diameter requires six fertilizer spikes.
To insert the spikes into the soil, push it between the edge of your palm’s pot and the stem. Don’t bury the spike, as it only has to be just under the surface about midway down into the soil.
Be sure to remove and replace the fertilizer spikes once every 60 days. Th fertilizer spikes should pull out easily since you didn’t lodge them beneath the soil.
The Best Granulated Palm Tree Fertilizer – Jobe’s Organics Granules Palm Plant Food
Granular fertilizer is another appealing option for your indoor palm tree. The granules are usually lower-cost when you buy in bulk. Plus, the fertilizer won’t settle out when put in storage.
If you’d prefer a granulated indoor palm tree fertilizer, I’d recommend Jobe’s Organic Granules palm plant food.
One bag contains four pounds of fertilizer. The sustainable and biodegradable ingredients won’t harm your indoor plants or the environment, so you can feel good about applying this granular fertilizer each time you use it.
The Biozome is a Jobe’s exclusive. Comprised of Archaea and Mycorrhizal fungi as well as bacteria, these healthy fungi and bacteria increase the number of microorganisms in your indoor palm’s soil.
The goal, according to Jobe’s, is to help your indoor palm better resist drought, insects, and disease. Further, your plant’s root mass should be greater and its soil quality higher.
Apply the granulated fertilizer at your indoor palm’s dripline along the palm canopy length.
You can measure for the palm canopy length by determining the space between the palm frond with the furthest reach and then the middle of the palm’s trunk.
- If the furthest palm frond is two feet away, then use a cup of granular fertilizer.
- At three feet, apply three cups, and at four feet, apply five cups.
- If the furthest frond is all the at five feet, then apply eight cups.
Distribute the palm tree fertilizer evenly across the soil, ensuring the stuff gets into the soil well. Then water your indoor palm. Reapply the fertilizer every two to three months.
Homemade Fertilizer for Palm Trees – 3 Recipes to Try
Although the indoor palm tree fertilizers I recommended in the above section are made of organic ingredients that are safer for your indoor garden and the environment, I can understand how maybe using commercial fertilizer can make you reluctant.
By making your own homemade fertilizer for palm trees, you can rest assured that all the ingredients in the fertilizer meet your standards for quality and safety.
Here are a few DIY indoor palm recipes to follow to ensure your indoor palm gets the nutrients it needs through homemade fertilizer.
Recipe 1 – Tea Leaves, Kelp Meal, Bone Meal, Dolomite Lime, and Seed Meal
This meal-based homemade organic fertilizer for indoor palm trees mixes in under an hour, so it’s quick and convenient to prepare.
The first DIY indoor palm fertilizer recipe quantities call for:
- 1 cup of tea leaves
- 1 cup of kelp meal
- 1 cup of bone meal
- 1 cup of dolomite lime
- and five cups of seed meal
Why these ingredients? Kelp meal contains micronutrients and the three macronutrients that any growing palm needs. The inclusion of bone meal can help a young plant grow fast.
Dolomite lime or calcium magnesium carbonate contains about 10 percent magnesium and roughly 20 percent calcium.
Tea leaves release tannins into the soil that can prevent or limit the severity of a fungal or bacterial infection.
Seed meal, the main ingredient of this homemade indoor palm fertilizer, releases nutrients gradually like a commercial slow-release fertilizer would.
Recipe 2 – Water, Epsom Salt, and Wet Vegetable Waste
This next DIY indoor palm fertilizer recipe is what I call the Easy Peasy Down and Dirty homemade indoor palm fertilizer mainly because it only has a few ingredients.
The second, and much easier, homemade palm fertilizer recipe calls for:
- 1 liter of water
- 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt
- And as much wet vegetable kitchen waste as seems appropriate
Epsom salt can encourage your indoor palm to develop bushier foliage, and the salt maintains the lush green foliage of your palm as well. The salt is derived from hydrated magnesium sulfate that contains sulfur and magnesium.
Wet vegetable kitchen waste can include vegetable stalks, leaves, and other parts that you don’t eat. As compost, the scraps contain potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen.
After making this indoor palm tree fertilizer, you should apply it monthly.
Recipe 3 – Soybean Meal, Bat Guano, Cottonseed Meal, Feather Meal, and Kitchen Waste
The third and final do-it-yourself indoor palm fertilizer recipe calls for roughly an equal amount of each of the 5 ingredients:
Don’t worry if you don’t have all five ingredients or about measuring a perfect 1 to 1 ratio. This homemade recipe is more of a plant food catalyst then fertilizer.
It’s really just to bulk up the richness of the palm trees soil while giving it an organic boost of nitrogen.
- Soybean meal
- bat guano
- cottonseed meal
- feather meal
- kitchen waste if you have it
Try using leafy vegetables, whole grains, kelp, beet, and spinach peels and stalks especially.
Soybean meal contains upwards of seven percent nitrogen, making it a great ingredient for a homemade indoor palm tree fertilizer.
Bat guano, which is bat fecal matter, enriches your palm’s soil.
Cottonseed meal releases macronutrients slowly
Feather meal is another great source of nitrogen.