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  • How Do You Know What Fertilizer to Use?

    Just like us, plants need food/nutrients to survive and thrive. Choosing the right fertilizer for your indoor or outdoor plants is easy once you understand just three little numbers listed on every fertilizer. Each fertilizer will show three numbers on the package that represent the percentage of a certain ingredient.

    The first number listed is the percentage of nitrogen the fertilizer contains. Nitrogen is essential for growth of foliage and helps the plant produce lush, tender, green leaves (or grass blades). If the plant doesn’t have enough nitrogen the foliage will turn a yellow-green color (chlorosis) and there will be little or no growth.

    The second number listed relates to phosphorus. Phosphorous is needed to stimulate root growth and also promotes the development of flowers, fruits, seeds. A deficiency in phosphorous can result in slow or stunted growth and purplish discoloration on leaves.

    The third and last number listed on the fertilizer is the percentage of potassium. This nutrient gives the plant vigor to tolerate changing weather conditions; essential for Southern landscapes. Potassium helps resist disease and assists the plant in the food manufacturing process. Without enough potassium plants will likely have week stems and slow growth.

    An easy way to remember what the three numbers on fertilizer so is: up, down & all around. A Pike Nurseries Associate can also help you select the right fertilizer for your plants.

    See more articles about: Problem Solving, Gardening for Beginners, Garden Care