I will be honest, fertilizing is one of the most boring topics to discuss for beginners. However, you cannot expect vigorous flower bloom without getting some dirt in your hands.
Essentially, you have to know the primary elements and their function. Otherwise, it is throwing rocks without even knowing the direction.
So when I realized how wrongfully I treated my plants without knowing, I set my foot down. Maybe you are doing the same thing! What if you are feeding the plants multivitamins but still has no sign of buds.
I will let you in on everything I have learned. But first, what on Earth is the N-P-K ratio!
Understanding N-P-K Ratio
Do not just head for the conclusion before hearing out the basics. I mean, you cannot know what fertilizer to use to encourage flowering if you have no clue what the ingredients are.
By now, you may have bought a few products to feed the plants. Have you noticed the N-P-K ratio analysis each package keeps talking about? Pay heed to that!
There are about 16 different nutrients a plant takes in for healthy growth. You already know some – oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, etc.
Of course, I cannot name all the other 13 nutrients; I am not that expert. However, three particular elements have stuck with me since they are crucially responsible for filling in the deficiencies.
These are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. They are the infamous N-P-K that appears on the package as digits. Now the numbers are the percentage ratio of each element presence.
The main question is, how do I know which N-P-K to choose for my plants? Whatever happens, phosphorus (P) must have a higher rate than the rest to encourage flowering.
As for nitrogen and potassium, one promotes sturdy growth while the other increases stress tolerance and color/texture. It is just the short version of their capability, really.
Types of Fertilizers
Below are a few of the methods I have attempted and attained positive outcomes. You should also pick an option you find most convenient.
When I first got foliar fertilizer – it is liquid formulation – I figured what more do I need; it is super simple! But little did I know that some leaves would act like warriors and defend the entryways with waxes and hairs.
So the matter remains unresolved but not for all. Even if you wish to use the spraying method, do it with a single-nutrient fertilizer. Potassium is one of the examples that the plants absorb right away via foliar application.
You can address such deficiency by noticing yellowed leaves. With the help of foliar fertilizers, it can rapidly fulfill the iron insufficiency.
We all love the word organic. There seems to have some kind of automated spell bounded to the term. It is no different when it comes to organic fertilizers either.
They are not just excellent for flowering but also enhances the soil structure! This is my all-time favorite way to feed nutrients to my floral plants.
So what can you use as organic fertilizers? First of all, they are made from living things. Do not go around asking living humans for such nutrients, though.
Believe it or not, we are surrounded by decayed matters – dead leaf molds, manure of farm animals, seaweed, fish emulsion, alfalfa meal, composts, and many more! I like to use fish-meal and composts for the most part.
If you are looking for non-living organic fertilizers, greensand is a nice way to start. There is also rock phosphate that supplies a high amount of phosphorus to the plants.
The best thing about this method is that it stays active longer than the rest. Besides, it poses no toxicity to the bees and does not burn the plants as some fertilizers do after a period.
However, your plants will not exhibit immediate results, so do not lose the temper.
Here is the first thing you have to know about chemical fertilizers. They are made from inorganic materials. These materials are then used to create magnesium or ammonium nitrate compounds.
The second point you should keep in mind is that chemical fertilizers offer diverse ranges of preparation. They can be in the form of powder, concentrated liquids, or granules. The choice is yours!
When should you rely on such a nutrient type? Just because they are inorganic and chemical-based does not mean they are harmful. Sure, you must never lose control and apply excessively.
Conversely, they are available everywhere and affordable. This kind of fertilizer is an excellent remedy for plants that grow flowers yearly.
You must be wondering about organic fertilizers since they are slow-release as well. Yes, any fertilizer that takes time in acting falls in this group. In that case, consider that almost all types are slow-release fertilizers.
The reason I have included it here is to make you understand why they perform bit by bit.
If you have a flowering plant, you are a gardener, no matter how inexperienced you are. But not all gardeners have time to maintain their exquisite creation.
That is when you apply the slow-release formulated feeds that discharge nutrients for months or weeks.
These fertilizers are generally coated rock powder or potash to regulate the timely release.
I apply this fertilizer before going out of town for a week or two. There had been many times I quietly had to hand over the watering can to my neighbor with a nod and disappear.
A simple fertilizer contains only one of the N-P-K elements. So you should purchase it only after a soil test.
If the test reveals a deficiency of a particular nutrient, go directly for the simple fertilizer aisle. The single ingredient will help nourish the missing element with a boost.
Remember that packages might use different names for every three nutrients. All you have to do is check the ingredient list. Nitrogen-based simple fertilizers consist of ammonium sulfate or urea.
If you see ground mineral phosphate or superphosphate, you already know that it is all about phosphorus. Lastly, potassium is just potash!
It does not always have to be chemical; you can use an organic form of simple fertilizers, as well.
The bottom line is you want to see the flowers you eagerly long for! That does not mean plants are magical, you know.
So check the soil, meet the absent nutrients with proper fertilizers, and secretly talk to them. I have seen a significant change in performance once these requirements eventually were met.
Keep caring for the plants, and they will reciprocate the love with vibrant flowers. Do not lose faith.