Did you know that if you start a flower garden you will need to maintain it using fertilizers? If you want the best results, choose the right fertilizer type. Not all fertilizers are ideal for flowers.
You need to get specialized fertilizers for your flowers. Don’t allow your lilies and daisies to have stunted growth because of not providing the right nutrients.
Even with organic gardening, there are certain natural fertilizers that you can use to nourish the soil for better plant growth.
However, always be cautious of what you use on the soil as it may adversely affect the plants. You can make compost that is ideal for any type of organic plant growth.
In this article, I will share the different types of flower fertilizer types, how to choose the best type of fertilizer, and common mistakes you should avoid.
Different Types of Flower Fertilizers
Flowers need to be applied fertilizer to grow well and bloom. However, the fertilizers should be used scarcely to prevent too much chemical intake by the flowers.
Here are the different types of flower fertilizers that you should know of:
1) Completer Flower Fertilizer
This specific fertilizer supplies flowers with Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. The Nitrogen element helps promote healthy foliate growth, phosphorus encourages blooming, and potassium promotes healthy roots.
So, you get the most benefit from the fertilizers. On the fertilizer package, you will see the nutrients contained in the form of number percentage. It is abbreviated as NPK. So if you see 10-30-40, know it has more potassium and phosphorus than nitrogen.
2) Organic Fertilizers
Organic fertilizers are the best to use in your flower garden. They are natural and come from insects, small soil animals, microbes, dry matter, greensand, animal waste, plant waste, grass clippings, kitchen wastes, and compost.
Organic fertilizer helps to improve the soil rapidly. Moreover, they help prevent burning in plants and strengthen the plant immune system. They are non-toxic to beneficial insects and remain active for a long time.
However, they don’t fix severe nutrient deficiencies in flowers. Some organic fertilizers are high cost and may pose an effect to some pets when they intake.
3) Simple Fertilizer
Unlike the complete fertilizer, the simple fertilizer only contains one major nutrient. You can choose which element you mostly want: Nitrogen, phosphorus, or potassium.
The advantage of simple fertilizer is that it can either be organic or chemical fertilizer. Always opt for simple organic fertilizer.
4) Foliar Fertilizer
These are a unique type of fertilizer as they are absorbed through the leaves. However, it is not recommended for all flowers. Some have waxes and hairs on the leaf surface that prevent nutrient uptake. You can use foliar fertilizers to address potassium deficiencies in your flower garden.
If your plants are showing signs of chlorosis, your plants may be having iron deficiency. But, you can use the right foliar fertilizer to solve that; they supply specific minerals.
5) Chemical Fertilizer
These are the least recommended type of fertilizers because of their chemical content. Chemical fertilizers are created by combining inorganic chemicals to form compounds like ammonium nitrate and magnesium sulfate.
They are cheap, readily available, and are taken up by annual flowers quickly. However, too much of it can cause burning in the flowers and reduce the soil quality. They come in the form of pellets, powders, and concentrates.
6) Slow-Release Fertilizer
These are specific for organic fertilizers. This is because organic matter takes time before decomposing in the presence of soil microorganisms. The slowest acting includes the insoluble mineral fertilizers.
If you prefer fertilizing your plants slowly, use this kind of slow-release fertilizer. It releases in weeks or months. It is ideal for houseplants and outdoor containers.
How to Choose the Right Flower Fertilizer
First, you need to investigate the deficiency in your flowers to know the best fertilizer to help them bloom. This is because you may treat it as a wrong issue that will be disastrous. The fertilizer you should use depends on if it is an annual or perennial flower.
- To stimulate blooming, choose fertilizers with high phosphorus percentage. If you need a stronger root system, choose one with more potassium. For lush foliage, choose more nitrogen content.
- If you want to add nutrients to annual flowers fast, you can use chemical fertilizers because of their fast intake.
- Foliar fertilizers are ideal if your flowers have a potassium or iron deficiency. They are designed to meet a specific need and help you correct certain deficiencies and strengthen weak plants.
- Organic fertilizers are ideal for microbe thriving, soil modification, environmental conservation, and reduction of the use of harmful chemicals.
- Simple fertilizers are most ideal if you want to supplement one specific nutrient.
- Slow-release fertilizers are ideal for houseplants and outdoor containers as they release nutrients in a couple of weeks or months.
Always determine what your plant is lacking before you decide to use any fertilizer.
Common Mistakes With Application
- Don’t use lawn fertilizers on flower gardens. This is because they contain too much nitrogen that can be harmful to your flowers.
- Don’t apply any fertilizer if you haven’t tested the soil. Always test your soil every two years, but if it is bare land, make an effort to test it first before adding any fertilizer.
- The most ideal time to fertilize flowering perennials and trees is during early Spring.
- Don’t over-fertilize as it may have different adverse effects on the flowers. Mostly when dealing with the complete fertilizer.
- Too much water-soluble fertilizer can cause the excess nutrients to leach out of the soil and damage the ecosystems and pollute drinking water.
There are four different ways of applying fertilizer:
- Broadcast – With this method, you apply fertilizer before planting. This is done by spreading the fertilizer evenly on the ground while mixing it with the soil.
- Band Application – In this method, the fertilizer is applied on the side of the rows before planting.
- Side Dressing – This is ideal for plants grown in sandy soils due to the dissolved nutrients caused by fast drainage.
- Foliar Application – It is the spraying of the fertilizer solutions on the foliage of plants. The nutrients are readily absorbed by the leaves because they are dissolved in water and then sprayed.
To apply flower fertilizer, mix the granular fertilizers in the soil at planting time, then broadcast fertilizers in the soil. For established plants, you should then mix them into the top inch or two of the soil.
Choosing the Right Fertilizer
Providing enough fertilizers to your plants will help increase nutrients in your soil and plants. The organic fertilizers include animal waste, bone meal, cottonseed, and other natural materials, while the chemical fertilizers are artificially made products.
The next time you see a deficiency in your plants, consult an agricultural officer to know the best fertilizer to use and purchase one for your flowers. You can also investigate on your own and treat the issue.