Garden flowers need nourishment to grow healthy. They produce their own food through photosynthesis but do benefit from a good nutrient solution. Plant fertilizers help flowers achieve optimum growth and produce an abundance of blossoms and seeds.
Two main categories of plant fertilizers exist. Organic fertilizers come from living things such as decayed plant matter or animal manure. Inorganic or commercial fertilizers are manufactured from nonliving materials such as potash and phosphate deposits.
Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are important plant nutrients. All flowering plants need nitrogen for growth and good foliage development. Phosphorus is necessary for root growth and potassium benefits blooms.
Different flowers need different fertilizers. Evergreen shrubs such as azaleas and camellias best benefit from a rhododendron-type fertilizer. Perennials and annuals can be fed with a rose or general garden fertilizer.
Different flowers have different feeding schedules. Feed rhododendrons twice a year--in March and in June. Annuals and roses flourish if they are fertilized once a month throughout their growing season. Feed perennials in the spring and summer.
Plant nutrients must be placed a few inches away from the base of the plant to be effectively reached by feeding roots. Fertilizers should not be sprayed directly on plant foliage except when correcting nutrient deficiencies.
Excessive fertilizing can lead to the decline of a plant's health and make the plant more susceptible to diseases.
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About this Author
Loraine Degraff has been a writer and educator since 1999. She recently began focusing on topics pertaining to health and environmental issues. She is published in "Healthy Life Place" and "Humdinger" and also writes for Suite101. Degraff holds a Master's degree in Communications Design from Pratt Institute.