Soil nutrients are one of the most important factors for growing flowers and blooming plants. Even the most well-watered and care for plant will fail to bloom if the proper soil components are not there. Fertilizers are available in either liquid form or a dry granular form.
Granular Fertilizer Advantages
Granular fertilizers offer several advantages over liquid fertilizers. The biggest advantage is that they last longer. Some lower cost, basic granular fertilizers will only last for one month after application. However, most gardeners and plant enthusiasts choose granular fertilizers that dissolve slowly and last between three and six months depending on the formulation. Look on the fertilizer packaging to see if it says the words “slow release” or “time release.” These fertilizers have ingredients that make them dissolve slower.
Understanding Fertilizer Numbers
The three main nutrients needed by blooming plants are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK). The levels of each of these are listed on the front of the fertilizer package in a three-number ratio, such as 10-20-15. These numbers represent the percentage of the bag that consists of each of the three nutrients. Evaluate granular fertilizers based on the numbers in this ratio, rather than any arbitrary labels, such as “all-purpose”.
The Best Fertilizer Numbers for Blooming Plants
Locate the first number in the three-number listing on the front of the fertilizer packaging. This represents the level of nitrogen the fertilizer contains and should be as high as possible if the blooming plant has a lot of foliage, such a shrub.
The second number on the package, which represents the level of phosphorous, should be high any time that you are planting new blooming plant as well as bulbs, since phosphorous promotes deep, strong root development.
Examine the third number on the fertilizer package, which represents the level of potassium. This number should always be high for all blooming plants because plants use potassium to create larger blooms.
While it’s important to look for high numbers you can see that blooming plants really need high levels of all three major nutrients. Avoid fertilizers that have zeros in them, as well as any with single digit numbers. According to the Gardening Advisor website, the best granular fertilizer for blooming plants is one that has numbers of 10-10-17.
Flower Fertilizers, Gardening-Advisor.com