The Q&A Archives: Brought Indoors 14 Annuals From Outside. Need To Fertilize?

Question: There are the 14 kinds of plants I "saved" and brought in the basement (grow lights are on 16 hrs.per day, about 6 inches to 1 ft.directly above). Lobellia, lantana, goldfish, geranium, snapdraggon, marigold, wax begonia, double flowering begonia, impatient, gardenia, chrythansium, jasmine, mexican heather, oregano and magnolia. I know the magnolia and the gardenia like Miracid, and I think Miracle Grow can go on everything else. Should I fertilize? Some of them look a little anemic. All but 1 marigold died. Soil is very dark and rich.

Answer: Based on your description I am unfortunately unable to tell you specifically why your plants are looking a bit off, but they will be going through an adjustment period as they acclimate to being indoors. You will need to watch them and let them dictate how much fertilizer is needed based on their appearance and growth rate. In general the plants you listed tend to prefer bright sunlight outdoors and may slow down considerably under artificial lights. They will probably change their needs for water, too, depending on their growth rate and on the temperature. If they grow very little, they will need little if any fertilizer. In any case do not be tempted to exceed the amounts listed on the label! You may want to check through the Q&A for more specific information about the individual types you are trying -- good luck with your plants!

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