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What you need to know about fertilizers and micronutrients

What you need to know about fertilizers and micronutrients

Do your plants look unhealthy despite good care? Perhaps they are lacking in micronutrients.

The lack of such valuable substances as iron, zinc, copper, manganese, causes certain changes in the growth of indoor flowers.

As a result, your pet loses the ability to actively develop, blossom and bear fruit.

What you need to know about houseplant fertilizers

For growing plants, mineral and organic fertilizers are always used. They are the suppliers of essential nutrients. In the substrate, their number gradually decreases, therefore, mineral fertilizers are applied to replenish the balance. Plants bloom and develop poorly without regular feeding. To a greater extent, plants consume nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and trace elements.

NPK elements action

Nitrogen (N) - formed as a result of decomposition of organic substances, is consumed by plants in the nitrate form. Together with the sap of plants, it is transferred to the leaves and, in the process of photosynthesis, turns into protein. Nitrogen promotes the growth of leaves and stems.

Phosphorus (P) - stimulates the growth and development of the root system. Participates in the process of flowering and fertilization, increases resistance to diseases.

Potassium (K) - participates in the process of fruit formation, the accumulation of starch and reserve nutrients. With a lack of potassium, plants cannot assimilate nitrogen. For almost all indoor plants, potassium-rich fertilizers are used as top dressing.

Microfertilizers - boron (Bor), iron (Fe), copper (Cu), magnesium (Mg), zinc (Zn), molybdenum (Mo) and so on. They are consumed by plants in very small quantities. With a lack of them, plants begin to hurt and develop properly.

Forms and composition of fertilizers

Liquid fertilizers are used for all indoor plants. Top dressing is carried out every 15 days, from April to September. Each type of fertilizer has its own period of action.

Granular fertilizers. Dissolve slowly, long duration. The batteries pass through the capsule membrane under the influence of irrigation water. The granules laid out on the surface of the substrate provide the plant with nutrition throughout the year.

Fertilizers in the form of sticks. They are very practical, they release nutrients for a long time (2-3 months). They are used in spring or summer. Placed in the substrate at a depth of 3 cm, closer to the wall of the pot. The distance between the sticks is 10-15 cm. Before use, the substrate is highly moistened (watering is carried out). Ideal for post-transplant applications.

Fertilizer composition. All-purpose fertilizers contain the essential nutrients in equal amounts. It is recommended to use its own fertilizer for each type of plants, where the manufacturer sets the optimal ratio of nutrients.

Standard houseplant fertilizers fall into two groups: flowering plants and non-flowering plants. Fertilizer for non-flowering plants stimulates the growth of leaves and stems, and for flowering plants it promotes flowering.

Methods and terms of application of fertilizers. It is not recommended to feed the plants in the winter. Do not exceed the specified dose, as there is a possibility of burning the root system. Fertilizers are always applied to a wet substrate.

Signs for feeding. The main symptom is the cessation of growth of a young plant. Discoloration of the leaf blade, from green to pale yellow. With a lack of nitrogen, the leaves turn yellow at the veins, and the leaf blade itself remains green.

Plant diseases arising from the violation of the content of trace elements in the soil

Chlorosis. With this lesion, the leaves of the plant twist upward, the amount of chlorophyll in them decreases. There are many reasons for these changes. This is the excess content of chlorine in the soil, with the constant introduction of increased doses of potassium chloride into the soil. And the high content of carbonates, and the associated lack of iron. Sometimes the disease develops with a sulfur deficiency. When a disease occurs, first you need to find out its cause. In case of iron deficiency, three hundred grams of iron sulfate must be added under each plant bush. With a lack of sulfur in the soil, the plant can be cured by adding two grams of sulfur under each bush.

Brown spot is caused by a lack of magnesium in the soil. The browning of the edges of the leaves is characteristic, due to dying off. To get rid of spotting, plant fertilizing with magnesium sulfate, dolomite flour is used.

Lack of nitrogen manifests itself in slowing down the growth and development of leaves, stems, flowers. Then the color of the leaves changes. Changes start from the lower leaves and work up to the next tier of leaves. The leaves of the lower row darken and fall off. The most characteristic signs for nitrogen deficiency are: a decrease in the number of flowers, their fall, an acceleration of the vegetative cycle, a sharpening of the angle of position of the leaves in relation to the stem.

Potassium deficiency. The leaves turn brown, wrinkle and curl downward. Growth retardation is characteristic of plants. Drying of buds and leaves is also possible.

Phosphorus deficiency causes brown spots on young leaves. The leaves themselves are dark greenish in color with a purple tint. The spots are located mainly on the lower leaves. The edges of diseased leaves are bent up. The process of plant reproduction often suffers: the process of plant budding and the formation of inflorescences slows down, the flowers fall off. Often, with a lack of phosphorus, dwarf forms of the plant grow.

Lack of calcium. Young leaves are much lighter in color compared to the leaves of the lower rows. There is also a change in the shape of the leaves, the fall of flowers. With an advanced form of the disease, the leaves turn into a rotting mass.

Copper deficiency. Copper is a very important trace element in the life of plants, which is part of many enzymes. With its lack, all vital processes are disrupted: respiration, photosynthesis, all types of exchanges, violation of water metabolism, as a result of this, the plant loses its former elasticity, for no apparent reason begins to wither. The first signs of copper deficiency are whitening and curling of the leaves.

Boron deficiency affects all types of metabolism, is involved in the outflow of glucose and starch into fruits. With a lack of boron, young shoots are the first to suffer. Boron deficiency often occurs with irregular irrigation and with excessive application of nitrogenous fertilizers to the soil.

Manganese deficiency often develops due to the high content of calcium carbonates in the soil, which interferes with the absorption of manganese. Often, due to a lack of manganese, gray spot develops, which can lead to the death of the plant. Old leaves are covered with yellow specks; specks of light greenish or whitish green appear on the second layer of leaves.

Sulfur deficiency causes impaired growth and development of all parts of the plant, the leaves change their shape, the stems lengthen, the flowers fall off.

It should be noted: if nitrogen, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium are deficient, then the lower layer of leaves is damaged, and if all other elements are lacking, the leaves of the upper layer are damaged.

Proper growth, gorgeous flowering and regular fruiting of plants depend on a balanced nutrition of micro and macro elements.

It is worth noting that an oversupply of fertilizers is no less dangerous than a lack of them. Therefore, the general rule applies - it is better to underfeed than overfeed.

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