Foliar Feeding

How to Foliar Feed Garden Plants

Plants like humans require vitamins or nutrition in order to be healthy. One of the common ways that plants feed is from their roots because as we know plants take up nutrients along with water through their roots. But there is another way that plants can take in not only water but fertilizers and that is through their leaves. This method is called foliar feeding.

Another name for leaves is called plant foliage. So when you hear someone use this term, they are talking about plant leaves. In comparison to the pores of our skin, plants have pores in their leaves known as Stomata.

The stomata are responsible for the exchange of gasses that plants give off. They give off oxygen and we give off carbon dioxide. Plants take in this carbon dioxide, convert it to oxygen, and then release it again. That’s one of the marvelous wonders of nature. So in like manner because of these pores that plants have, they can also take in fertilizer through them.

Garden plants-/foliar-feeding
Garden Plants

However, caution should be taken when applying fertilizers using this method. Never use this method when the temperature is hot because this method of fertilizing may damage plant leaves by burning them. It is better to use this method of fertilizing in the morning or when the weather is cool.

Foliar feeding is better when the plant is in an unhealthy state. The soil ph is either too high or too low, the plant may be stressed,  suffering from root disease or it may be some other factor. Another benefit of foliar feeding is that nutrients enter the plant’s system quickly by this method

How to foliar feed your plant

When using this method it is good not only to spray the top of the leaves but also the undersides because the stomata or the leaf pores are mostly found on the underside of the leaves. It is also good when foliar feeding to feed the plants in the morning or late in the evening because the stomata close up somewhat in the day.

Here is a short video on how this is done

Foliar feeding equipment

Equipment depends largely on the size and the number of plants to be fed.  These types of equipment can be purchased from your garden center at a reasonable price. You can purchase either a hand-held sprayer or backpack sprayer as shown in the article above just before this video. And as for farmers that grow crops, they usually use the larger equipment.

I recommend foliar feeding your plants twice a month. So if you have not tried this method before, I encourage you to try it by taking a leap of faith and reaping the benefits.

Foliar feeding another way to keep your plants happy and growing.


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About the author

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Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.

1 thought on “Foliar Feeding”

  1. Wow! I have a garden where I live and I never knew that you could feed plants through their leaves. My family used to grow lime trees and we have a mango tree growing now though its not really producing much fruit anymore.

    You mentioned that foilar feeding is superior to normal feeding- what exactly are the tangible benefits? I’m curious because I may decide to change the way we fertilize our plants.


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