In this post, I will describe fertilizers and supplements I currently use for all houseplants at different stages: cuttings, lightly rooted plants, about-to-bloom or blooming hoyas, and mature plants. No deep dive into the pros and cons of the products. Just some thoughts and observations. Everything I mentioned here (except Dr. Earth 751) has been used for over three years and even longer for some products. The full list of products is provided at the end of this post.


I will start with the cutting stage. During propagation, for any plant, I soak the media (either sphagnum moss with perlite or tree fern, or coco chips, or whatever mix I use for propagation) in Root Wizard. I am 100% positive; it works: roots appear much faster, and the number of root hairs/root mass is noticeable compared to plants rooting in a damp medium without additives. Foliar feed is an important part of my propagation process (will describe it later in this post).

Soak medium for propagation: One Tablespoon of Root Wizard per Gallon of water.

Root Wizard

I continue to water cuttings with Root Wizard for two more weeks, adding HB-101 Plant Vitalizer into the watering solution. Susan Schwarzenegger (Koko Ranch Nursery) mentioned HB-101 (liquid) in one of her propagation videos. Young roots on cuttings are delicate, and a common fertilizer can burn the root hairs. HB-101 is a plant vitalizer. More information about HB 1010, what it is, and what it does to plants can be found here:

Water Cuttings: One Tablespoon Root Wizard and Two to Four Drops of HP 101 per One Gallon of Water.

HB-101 Plant Vitalizer

After two weeks, I water cuttings that could be lightly rooted by then, with four drops of HB-101 and Kelp every watering (Maxicrop Seaweed, RAW Kelp, or Nitrozime). Seaweed mix can leave stains on the leaves; overhead watering will lead to not so much aesthetically pleasing look of a plant.

All three fertilizers are made of Ascophyllum Nodosum ( If I have more than one type of Kelp Fertilizer, I will change it with every watering.

 Water lightly rooted plant (either of those, but I prefer RAW Kelp for young plants):

MaxiCrop: 1 tsp per Gallon (0-0-17; Ascophyllum Nodosum and Potassium Hydroxide)

Nitrozime: 1 Tbsp per Gallon (0-4-4; Ascophyllum Nodosum Extract and Phosphate)

RAW Kelp: 1/16 – 1/8 tsp per Gallon (0-0-1 Ascophyllum Nodosum)

RAW Kelp

Slow-release fertilizer.

I have used Nutricote slow-release fertilizer previously by adding several beads into a pot with fresh cuttings. It is convenient, and this fertilizer does not burn plants like other brands (so they say). I occasionally add it into pots with more mature plants, especially philodendrons and monsteras. There are several “versions” of Nutricote. 18-6-8 for 180 days is the one that is most popular for houseplants. I noticed salt build-up would form on the soil particles on top of the pots (no other fertilizers are added during watering or present in the soil).


Mature plants: Hoyas and Aroids.

I water plants with RO water. This is one of the reasons Cal-Mag is added to every watering (with some exceptions). I mix half of the recommended dosage of the fertilizer or supplement. Also, I do not stop feeding plants during periods of slow growth.

Following is the watering solution that I mix into 3 Gallon Water Sprayer without a nozzle (everything is half-strength):

  • Seaweed,
  • Cal-Mag,
  • reCharge,
  • Gnatrol WDG (to kill Fungus Gnats Larvae and prevent further pest reproduction).

More about Pest Management is written in this post: How I combat Pests.


About once a month, I add MSU Orchid Fertilizer 13-3-15 (Greencare ) for Reverse Osmosis water. This is a broad-spectrum fertilizer developed at Michigan State University. It is made for orchids but works great for most hoyas, too. Other houseplants will receive MSU K-Lite. It has Cal-Mag already, so I will skip adding it as a separate supplement.

MSU Tezula Plants Fertilizer

Mature hoyas in my collection will have about half a teaspoon of Insect Frass for a 4” pot on top of the soil. I add bugs’ poop several times a year or when repotting/changing the soil.

Here is my thought process: what could be the closest natural fertilizer for hoya, hugging a tree trunk with its roots? What is there on a tree? The residue of degrading and rotting leaves in the crevices. Insects run along the tree branches, leaving their waste.

All that good stuff is watered by rain and digested by microbes and bacteria. And the end product is what the epiphyte consumes. Therefore, Insects Frass and reCharge are in my feeding plan.

Insect Frass

For most eriostemmas and some terrestrial hoyas, an extra “treat” (that is more a necessity) would be crushed Oyster shells. As with insect frass, I mix some with soil. It is between ¼ and ½ of a teaspoon for a 4” pot.

Crushed Oyster shells add organic calcium and trace minerals that will be degraded and released slowly with time. To make it work in the potting soil (to become available for plants’ intake), Recharge or similar products are added.

Crushed Oyster Shell

Microbes and mycorrhizae in reCharge play the main role in converting nutrients and minerals into “digestible” forms for plants. (If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend: Teaming with Microbes by Jeff Lowenfels).


Blooming Hoyas

Hoyas at the state of developing peduncles and until all the blooms are opened will receive RAW Bloom: half teaspoon per gallon. RAW Bloom is a water-soluble blend of essential elements. They recommend adding Ca-Mag while using RAW Bloom, which is already in my watering mix.

Foliar Spray for Blooming Hoyas

As a foliar spray, I use Tiger Bloom. Mostly for Hoyas, because none of my Philodendrons or Monsteras or even Alocasias have ever presented anything even close to blooming.

Tiger Bloom has lower pH, allowing the solution to penetrate the leaf cuticle more easily. The feed absorption is more sufficient because of that.  Which also works (getting inside) on the top of the leaf, not only underneath through stomata.

This mix is one-fourth teaspoon of Tiger Bloom from FoxFarm in RO, or distilled water (or both), in an amber glass spray bottle (8oz), once a week.

Raw Bloom

Foliar spray for cuttings

will be Clonex Mist from Hydrodynamix International. A ready-to-use bottle is a good choice if you have just several cuttings to work with. If the number of cuttings is more than several hundred, I recommend buying a concentrate.

It is also a good idea to spray the mother plant before taking cuttings from it. More information about the Mist and rooting Gel is posted on this page: Clonex Mist.

Due to the different processes of photosynthesis, Philodendrons and Monsteras will get their foliar breakfast at the beginning of the day. Hoyas will receive the foliar feed close to the time the lights will go off.  Their stomata are opened when it’s dark.

Foliar Spray Fast Fix.

If I have a plant that looks like it needs more food or an extra boost, I will do a foliar spray about every three to five days. This plant will remain on the counter or someplace where the airflow is sufficient, and I can look at it often to see if there are any changes.

Spraying the leaves of the plants should be accompanied by a good breeze or air movement to let the foliage dry faster. Who wants mold or fungus on the leaves or stems?

The foliar spray I am currently experimenting with is Dr. Earth 751 Liquid Solution Pro Biotic 3-3-3. I recently started adding this fertilizer/feeder and can’t say it works magic… yet. I need more time to watch the plant under that “treatment/feeding” to make any conclusions.

This will be everything I have in my plant cabinet and what I regularly use.


 Cuttings and rooting plants

Root Wizard

HB-101 Plant Vitalizer

RAW Kelp

Watering and foliar feed for blooming hoyas

Tiger Bloom (foliar spray)

RAW Bloom (soil drench)

Foliar feed for cuttings and juvenile plants and stock before propagation

Clonex Mist Ready-to-use, or

Clonex Mist Concentrate

Mature Hoyas  (soil additives)

Insect Frass

Crushed Oyster Shells (eriostemmas and calcium-lovers)


Mature Hoyas (watering)

MSU Orchid Fertilizer for RO Water




Gnatrol WDG


MSU K-Lite

Seaweed (Nitrozime)


Gnatrol WDG


Amber Glass Spray Bottles 16 oz

HB 101 Plant Activating Agent

Earthworm Castings

Clonex Mist 750 ml

Dr. Earth 751 Liquid Solution Pro Biotic 3-3-3