What Does Fertilizer do for Plants?
Plant fertilizer provides necessary minerals to plants, such as nitrogen and potassium. Plants need minerals to grow. Without fertilizer, your plants will have limited growth. Every plant needs fertilizer; there is even fertilizer for grass.
According to Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis lack of nutrients can even alter root anatomy. They state that lack of fertilizer “will influence the root’s ability to explore larger soil volume and reduce nutrient and water availability and uptake.” Overall, lack of fertilizer means less root volume, water, and plant growth.
How Often to Fertilize Plants
Knowing when to fertilize all of your plants can be hard to remember. The answer is different for each plant, so it requires a lot of research. Some plants need fertilizer every month during their growing season, such as roses. On the other hand, there are plants like cacti which only need food 2-3 times per year. Doing research and grouping plants together by how often they need food is crucial.
For outdoor plants that get hit by the sun, the general rule is to fertilize every two to three weeks. Outdoor plants grow much faster and get flushed with more water, so they need more fertilizer. If you’re wondering how to fertilize indoor plants, you only need to fertilize once or twice during Spring and Summer. Indoor plants grow more slowly and don’t dry out as quickly. Too much fertilizer can burn leaves.
How to Fertilize Plants
Fertilizer containers should have instructions on them. There are a few types of fertilizer out there:
- Liquid fertilizer – The most common, liquid fertilizer is the easiest. Just pour around the stem of your plant.
- Water-soluble powder – Powder is just liquid fertilizer with an extra step. Dilute it with water. Water your plants and feed them at the same time.
- Plant food spikes – Plant spikes are the longest lasting. Just stick them in your soil and they will break down over time. They are slower acting due to not being broken down, but they can last months. These are a good option for the plant parent with limited time.
For liquid fertilizer, make sure not to pour it on the plant itself. Fertilizers can be harmful if not flushed through the soil. Pour water around the base of the plant. Be sure to dilute the powder as much as possible so that large particles do not clog the roots.
Fertilizer for Crops
For fruits and vegetables, you should take a different approach to fertilization. For instance, if you are looking for fertilizer for potatoes, the answer will be different. They need a lot more nutrients to produce healthy food. Mixing organic matter into your soil regularly is a must. Organic matter can include animal feces, leaves, mulch, or any other decaying animal or plant material. Check your local plant nursery, or search for any farm near you.
Which Fertilizer is Best for Plants?
The best fertilizer for indoor plants – Miracle-Gro plant spikes are one of the best indoor plant fertilizers offered at big box stores. They are also mess-free.
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