Is there anything as pleasant on the eye as fresh blooming flowers on an early spring morning? The vibrant colors and effervescent aroma of fresh flowers are sure to brighten up your day. Growing your own flowering plants at home allows you to experience just that!
If you are a gardening enthusiast or a newcomer to the home gardening business, you will likely want to be well versed on fertilizer for flowering plants in a pot.
For your homegrown plants, you need to be that extra bit attentive for them to keep on giving you the bounties of nature. And one of the major ways you can help your homegrown flower garden blossom is by fertilizing them with care.
What Are Fertilizers Made of?
The easiest way to describe the composition of fertilizers is through N-P-K. The letters refer to Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium, respectively. Every bag, bottle, or container of fertilizer will have 3 numbers printed on it, e.g., 10-5-5. The numbers represent the percentage of each of the ingredients.
The nitrogen helps to bolster foliage and leaf growth. Phosphorus supports flower and fruit development. Potassium helps to build root strength.
The Basics of Fertilizing
Before applying any fertilizer, you first have to know what to avoid and what is ideal. A simple planning phase before applying your fertilizer can save you a lot of work later.
First, identify your need. Figure out what you want to achieve by applying the fertilizer. If you’re just planting a flowering plant, your fertilizer needs will be a lot different than when you want to treat the discoloration of leaves.
For your indoor potted plants, you generally want a fertilizer that’s on the lower end in terms of the ingredients. A 5-5-5 mixture can be thought of as a good baseline for your all-purpose needs.
If you want to have a higher rate of a flower blossom, you should look for a fertilizer that has something near a 5-10-5 ratio. If you also want to enjoy the greenery of your indoor plants, you can use a fertilizer that has a 10-10-5 ratio.
Generally, you don’t need to worry much about root growth. But if you are planning to plant something with weak roots, you can use a 5-5-10 mixture.
Also, keep in mind that without a proper guide, it is very easy to over-fertilize, which will cause ‘plant burn.’ Absorbing too much of the basic fertilizer compounds can damage your plant severely.
Available Types of Fertilizers
At your nearest gardening supplies store, you will be able to find lots of different types of fertilizers. However, you must be careful to choose which kind you will use on your potted plants. Here is a detailed description of the different types of fertilizers you can use for your potted flowering plants.
1. Complete Granular Fertilizer
This is by far the least time and effort-consuming way of making sure your flowering plants get what they need. There are a variety of complete granular fertilizer mixtures from different brands available for purchase at any gardening store.
These fertilizer mixtures come in 5-5-5, 3-3-3, 4-5-4, and many other combinations which are ideal for potted plants in an indoor setting. In addition to these components, complete fertilizers also contain essential minerals and vitamins that are also very beneficial for plant development.
2. Simple Fertilizer
Instead of purchasing a complete fertilizer, you can have the soil you will use to plant your flower tested for any deficiency in any of the N-P-K elements. If there is a specific deficiency, you can purchase a simple fertilizer to fulfill that deficiency.
In many countries, such as the United States, a soil testing service is provided by the concerned department of the government for a very low cost.
3. Complex Fertilizers
These fertilizers are full of complex molecules that generally have one of the three basic elements in them. These fertilizers are created in bulk in factories and are readily available and affordable.
The downside to using complex fertilizers is that overusing them is very easy, and they can cause devastating damage to your plants. They can also damage the quality of the soil and ruin the long-term health of your plants.
4. Organic Fertilizers
Organic fertilizers are made of natural things, as the moniker suggests. Compost of leaves and vegetation, dung and manure, rotting food, composted tea leaves, crushed eggshells are some of the most commonly used organic fertilizers.
Such fertilizers have great benefits over the other types mentioned here. There is a considerably lower chance of organic fertilizers causing the plant to burn when overused, whoever they certainly can in some cases. They also promote long term wellbeing of the plant and helps improve the soil quality.
5. Liquid Fertilizers
Liquid fertilizers can be a lifesaver for emergency care of your plants. They certainly also can be used as a regular fertilization method for your plants. Because liquid fertilizers are absorbed through the foliage as well as the roots, sometimes they are called ‘Foliar Fertilizers.’
These fertilizers come in both chemical and organic variety. Some specialized liquid fertilizers are also available for managing certain deficits, such as iron deficiency in plants. Other types are available for different plant-related needs.
6. Slow-Release Fertilizers
Slow-release fertilizers are generally used for yard plants to service them through a longer lifespan. As potted plants seldom have long life cycles, it is questionable whether you should use a slow-release fertilizer for your potted plant.
However, if you do want to keep your potted flowering plant for a long while, applying a slow-release fertilizer during planting will let you be more nonchalant with your plant care, as the basic compounds will slowly release into the soil over time, giving much-needed nutrients to your plants.
Hopefully, now you have a good enough idea about the fertilizer for flowering plants in pots or containers for them to have a healthy life and a productive blossom. Use the fertilizers with proper caution, and your indoor plants will bring vivacious sights and colors into your life.