How to use Plant Runner + what it does and why it matters
Contrary to common belief, fertiliser is not food. Nope. Think of it like taking a supplement for a diet that's missing a little somethin' somethin' - and if you're an indoor plant - you're likely missing something.
In their native home, growing outdoors, our coveted indoor plants would be foraging with their roots to get all the minerals they need from their natural environment. But stuck in a pot indoors with us - they need your help. Plant Runner to the rescue!
If you take your plants seriously then we both know how much their health matters to you. Likewise, fertilising should be an important part of your plant care routine. It not only makes your jungle healthier, but they look better, grow better, and protect themselves better from pests.
So it's up to us to provide the nutrients our plants can't get for themselves. Sure, our plant babies will survive if all we provide is light and water, but there's a difference between survive and thrive. Help your plants thrive with Plant Runner. Signs your precious plants need a boost include slower growth, washed out colours, reverting variegation, pests and diseases.
How to use Plant Runner
Easy peasy. Give the bottle a quick shake then squeeze the included dropper top and it'll suck up 1ml in to the pipette. Drop in 1ml per 1 litre of water, and that's it! You're ready to water as usual.
No special prep, no mixing up powders, easy. 1/4 teaspoon (1ml) per 1 litre of water.
Feed (fertilise) when plants are actively growing.
For most plants that'll be spring and summer when it's warmer and daylight hours are longer. Some plants continue to grow through winter but for most you can take a break on the fertiliser front over autumn and winter. Make the call based on the individual plant. Fertiliser matters more for faster growers than the slow-and-steadies.
Look for the N:P:K ratio on the label (more about what they do below).
Don't forget the micros. They're still important, your plant just needs less of them than the macros.
And always read the directions to prevent fertiliser burn.
What matters in fertiliser
It's all about that N:P:K ratio. N stands for Nitrogen. P for Phosphorus. And because P was taken, K is for Potassium (don't ask us why, we're not scientists). Those 3 are the macro nutrients plants need (macro is what they need in larger amounts, they need small amounts of micro nutrients too).
The higher those numbers are in the ratio, the greater percentage of that nutrient is in the fertiliser. Examples might be 10:10:10, or 12:2:12, or 30:0:10. These are all different ratios of N:P:K designed for different purposes and plants.
What do nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium do for plants?
Nitrogen is all about that green. Foliage! This nutrient is a major component in chlorophyll, primarily responsible for leaf growth. Plants absorb more nitrogen than any.other.nutrient. Full stop.
Phosphorus goes from roots to fruit with flowers in between. When buying fertiliser for fruiting and flowering plants like citrus, you'll find the number in the middle of the ratio will be higher.
Potassium reminds us of eating bananas after the gym. For plants it's to do with strength too. Potassium makes plants stronger. We think of it like an immune booster. It helps them fight off pesky pests and potentially disastrous diseases, as well as protecting against cold weather, low humidity and dryness, and helps them build up reserves to get through the dormant period during winter too. It keeps the plant's functions performing their best. Potassium also impacts a plant's uptake of carbon dioxide.
As for indoor plants, fertilisers for flowering houseplants like African Violets and Orchids will have a higher Phosphorus ratio, compared to foliage plants which need more Nitrogen, or more commonly, a similar level of Nitrogen and Potassium, but lower Phosphorus.
Plant Runner has all that. But wait, there's more! Plant Runner also contains micronutrients (also called 'Trace Elements') which is why it's considered a complete fertiliser for indoor plants. The micros support the macros and your plant's the winner on the day.
What are the different types of fertiliser?
So many options! Let's take a look at 4 of them:
Slow release fertiliser Like the name says, these guys are in it for the long-haul. More a wet and forget approach. Typically lasting 3 to 6 months, this type slowly releases nutrients into the soil over time. More popular with outdoor plants as it's harder to get the dose right for potted plants indoors, so can have a higher risk of over-fertilising.
Chemical fertilisers are made from minerals and have precise balanced ratios and quantities of macro and micro nutrients. This one's a popular option for indoor plants as you have total, exact control over exactly how much you're giving your plant babies, and when they receive it. These are the fastest acting type of fertiliser too. They mainly come in a more concentrated form compared to organic fertilisers, usually applied after first diluting them by adding to water. This type you tend to apply more often, such as weekly or fortnightly during warmer months with more daylight hours, and less or not at all during dormant, cooler winter months.
Organic fertilisers are typically the most mild type. Because they come from natural animal or plant sources, they can sometimes get a bit stinky as the organic matter decomposes. Common sources include 'blood and bone', chicken manure, bone meal, blood meal, seaweed, fish meal, worm castings or animal manure. Sources vary in the N:P:K ratio and tend to be lower overall, less concentrated, and less consistent in the levels provided. We'd use an organic fertiliser as a longer-term solution as the immediate uptake of nutrients is lower.
Foliar sprays are a great 'fast fix' for plants especially if they're suffering from a deficiency as plants take in nutrients faster through their leaves than their roots. You can get these as a ready to spray formula, or simply dilute a suitable liquid fertiliser to half or quarter strength and apply with a spray mister. We wouldn't typically recommend foliar sprays as a long-term solution though as leaves can't get enough nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus through foliar feeding compared to through their roots.
What's in a bottle of Plant Runner?
Nitrogen: (N) 12%
Phosphorus: (P) 2%
Potassium: (K) 12%
Not for human consumption. Shake well before using
Keep out of reach of children & pets.
Store in a cool dry space.