Jodik's questions on winter fertilization
A few days ago Jodik asked several questions concerning winter fertilization when Jane mentioned that fertilization be reduced over winter. Jane also mentioned the importance of light and the limitations of low light levels.
Several posters took issue with her suggestions So I thought I would repeat part of what I posted as I referenced several university sites. I wrote it in Word prior to posting as I didn't have time to look it up in one session. Edited version.
Jodik asks: "Who recommends withholding fertilizer over winter? Where does this recommendation come from? And why is it recommended? What are the factors involved? In what specific circumstances is this a valid recommendation?"
What Jane said concerning fertilization and light is very common advice.
Texas Aggie Extension:
"During the winter months no fertilizer need be added at all because reduced light and temperature result in reduced growth. Fertilizing at this time could be detrimental to some house plants. "
Also mentions light as most essential. SEE LINK.
Univ. Of Minnesota
"Plan to fertilize when plants grow actively, usually spring and summer's longer days. Then reduce or eliminate fertilization the rest of the year. Plants growing under fluorescent lights won't experience a seasonal change in light, so they might need fertilizer applications year-round. " Also:
"Light is the most limiting factor to good houseplant growth indoors"
Univ. Of Florida:
"No other environmental factor is more important in growing good plants indoors than adequate light."
also recommends reducing fertilization in winter
Univ. Of Missouri Extension Publication
"When to fertilize
Fertilizing once a month is adequate for most houseplants that are producing new growth or flowers. However, plants do not need fertilizer in winter when no new growth is apparent.
Do not use fertilizer to stimulate new growth on a plant located in poor growing conditions. Lack of growth is more often due to improper light or watering than to nutritional deficiencies. In such cases, adding fertilizer may actually cause additional injury.
Drop of lower leaves, overall yellow-green color or weak growth may indicate a need for fertilization. However, these same symptoms may result from poor light or overwatering, so evaluate all conditions before fertilizing more than normal."
People don't have to agree with everything they read in books or extension publication. For instance , potting mix suggestions are usually peat based with a few exceptions and few posters here have had success with such mixes.
However Jodik, particularly asks, who recommended
reducing fertilization over winter so thought I would link several sources whether you agree with the suggestions or not.
Here is a link that might be useful: Texas Univ /Aggie advice
Here is a link that might be useful: Texas/Aggie Suggestions