The Best Fertilizers for Helping Blooms
The main soil nutrients that support bloom in plants are somewhat different or used in different ratios that those that tend to support foliage and root growth. In general terms nitrogen rich fertilizer supports healthy foliage growth while potassium underpins root health and flower development. Phosphorous plays a role by encouraging abundant blooming and fruiting in plants, shrubs and trees. Fertilizers that contain both macro and micro nutrients can round out the nutritional support of plants and are a bonus in any formulation.
Espoma's organic line of Tone fertilizers are widely used to induce bloom in a range of plants and specialty Tones are blended for use on roses, bulbs, flowering trees, fruit trees, annuals, perennials and acid loving plants. Espoma products contain macro and micro-nutrinets derived from a range of organic sources including kelp, fish emulsion, potash, bone meal, greensand, manure, magnesium and beneficial microbes.
Synthetic complete fertilizers with a relatively low nitrogen content and relatively high phosphorous content are ideal to boost flowering in most plants. Excess nitrogen will drive foliage growth at the expense of flowering and should be avoided when trying to encourage flowering. Scotts Bloom Booster is a slow release formulation with a guaranteed analysis of 10-16-10. Choose chemical fertilizers with a higher middle number in their formulations to encourage blooming.
Acid Rich Fertilizers
Many flowering plants including gardenias, azaleas, rhododendrons, magnolias, camellias and dogwoods thrive in acid rich soil sand benefit from acid rich fertilizers. A widely available and proprietary formulation is Scotts MirAcid is water soluble complete fertilizer formula with a guaranteed analysis of 30-10-10.
Facts On Fertilizers
Fertilizer replenishes plants and soil with essential nutrients. Plants receive these from air and water. Fertilizer packaging shows nutrient content in three numbers that represent a percentage of each mineral. This number is the N-P-K ratio. N stands for nitrogen, P stands for phosphorus and K is for potassium. A fertilizer with a label of 5-10-20 has 5 percent nitrogen, 10 percent phosphorous and 20 percent potassium. Excess nitrogen in the soil from synthetic fertilizers can also lead to weed growth. Organic fertilizers work slower than synthetic fertilizers and release nutrients over time as bacteria breaks them down for plant absorption. Garden stores sell organic fertilizers in large bags with very low N-P-K ratios compared to the pellets, spikes and liquid concentrations of synthetic fertilizers.
- University of Florida IFAS: Fertilize Appropriately
- Espoma: Organic Fertilizer Products
- Sunset: A Crash Course in Fertilizers
- University of Idaho Extension: Fertilizing Basics
- Rutgers University: New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station: Soil Fertility
- Earth Friendly Gardening: Organic Vs. Non-organic Fertilizer Ingredients