A necessary and vital nutrient for the growth of plants, nitrogen is a component of all general-purpose garden fertilizer mixtures. It is responsible for plants' ability to perform photosynthesis and utilize the nutrients present in the soil. Too much nitrogen is not a good thing; at the very least, it can burn plants and set back their growth and maturity by weeks. It can even be fatal in large amounts.
Lush, Rapid Growth
After feeding plants with high-nitrogen fertilizer, you'll notice them putting out new growth rapidly, especially grass and other foliage plants. Nitrogen stimulates the plant to kick into high gear. High-nitrogen fertilizer is recommended for garden vegetables such as spinach, lettuce and other greens, since the foliage is the edible portion of these plants.
Dark Green and New Leaves
Plants that are deficient in nitrogen often develop faded leaves, including some with a yellowish cast. A dose of high-nitrogen fertilizer usually greens these leaves up right away while encouraging the plant to grow new leaves and stems.
Fewer Flower Buds
Plants fed high-nitrogen fertilizer will develop many new stems and leaves but few flower buds. Some types of plants may stop producing flowers, and therefore fruit, altogether if they are given too much nitrogen. When growing vegetables and flowering perennials, stop giving them fertilizer that contains nitrogen soon after they begin to set flower buds.