Choosing the Best Fertilizer for Every Type of Plant

Apr 4, 2019 | Landscape Supply, Uncategorized

When you wander down the fertilizer
aisle at your local landscape supply or floral store, chances are your eyes go
wide as you take in the numerous options available. With so many options,
choosing the right fertilizer for your flowers is both a confusing and
frustrating process. You want to choose the best fertilizer for your specific
flowers, but where do you even begin? Thankfully, Kurtz Bros., is here
with some information and tips to help you pick the fertilizer that
gives your plants and flowers the nutrients they need to flourish all season
long.

Different Types of Fertilizers

The first step to choosing a fertilizer is understanding a bit more about the
different options available.  Complete fertilizer is one type you can use,
as this product has the three main elements that plants need to thrive, which
are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). Pay attention to the
label, as the nutrients will be listed in NPK order for the percentage
contained. A 20-20-20 complete fertilizer will contain 20% of each nutrient.
For flowers, you typically want more phosphorus when compared to other
ingredients because the added phosphate boost helps roots become established.

Chemical fertilizer is another option. This is a less expensive option that combines
inorganic chemicals to create compounds like magnesium sulfate and ammonium
nitrate. These fertilizers are best used for fast growing plants like annuals
flowers because the nutrients are absorbed very quickly. However, over
application can cause burning so it’s important to use caution when spreading.

 Foliar fertilizer is another product that you may see on the shelves. This is a liquid
nutrient that is absorbed through the leaves of plants. Though not all plants
absorb nutrients well this way, it can be a rapid way to inject some nutrients
into the plants because they are quickly absorbed. Potassium is one nutrient
that is typically absorbed fast, so you can use it to address potassium
deficiencies in your flower garden.

Another type of fertilizer that people are turning to is organic fertilizers. This type
of fertilizer comes from living things like leaf molds, fish, and animal
manure. It can also come from non-living things like greensand and phosphate
from rocks. While these fertilizers are more limited in composition and can be
more expensive, they won’t burn plants and can even help strengthen their
immune systems. You wouldn’t use these to fix a nutrient deficiency, but they
are a great soil additive to help keep plants healthy and thriving.

If you are looking to fix a single nutrient deficiency after a soil test, you will
want to purchase simple fertilizer. This type contains only nitrate, phosphate
or phosphorous and is designed to improve your soil.

Best Fertilizers for Hydrangeas

When you plant your hydrangeas, look for a spot in your yard that gets full morning sun and some sparse shade during the afternoon. You will want at least two to three hours of sun in the morning to allow them to grow nicely. Hydrangeas also need the right soil composition and nutrients to help them thrive. It is best to use a granular or
slow-release fertilizer that has a high concentration of phosphorous to
encourage a full bloom. You will want to apply the fertilizer in the spring or
very early summer and be sure not to over-fertilizer because it can decrease
bloom production and leave you with big green leaves instead.  

Best Fertilizers for Poinsettias

Poinsettias are most well-known for signaling the holiday season, but if you want to keep them thriving year round, it is important to know when and how to fertilize poinsettias. For these plants, you can use any high-quality all-purpose fertilizer. It will be easiest to administer a water-based fertilizer, but you can also have success with dry fertilizer. After you fertilize your poinsettias, be sure to water it
thoroughly to avoid the risk of burning the roots and damaging the plant.

Best Fertilizers for Arborvitae

An arborvitae is a narrow-leaf evergreen tree that many people use to add some greenery in their yards and landscaping. These trees are also great to use for hedges since they grow quickly and typically have a full body. However, these trees are not cheap so you should care for them properly. Mature trees generally do not require
fertilizing, but when just planted it’s a good idea to give them some essential
nutrients to encourage strong growth. If you know your soil is deficient in a
certain nutrient you can get a simple fertilizer, but the best bet for
arborvitae would likely be a complete fertilizer specifically designed for
trees. You will also want this to be a slow-release granular variety so it
lasts for a period of time.

Best Fertilizers for Peace Lilies

Peace Lilies aren’t too greedy when it comes to nutrients. That being said, it’s always a good idea to apply fertilizer when the plant is growing and generating blooms. Any water-soluble plant fertilizer will work, but a 20-20-20 ratio diluted to one-half or quarter strength is best. You need to be sure to water after fertilizing and never apply
fertilizer to dry soil as it can burn the roots and damage the plants. 
Two to three applications through growing season are plenty for Peace Lilies.

Kurtz Bros., Has the Fertilizers and Other Floral Supplies You Need!

Keeping your plants, trees, and flowers healthy and thriving is something every homeowner longs for. Thankfully, by applying fertilizer and providing your plants the nutrients they need, you can keep your plants growing strong. All you need is a hand spreader, rake, a good pair of gloves, and the right fertilizer to make it happen. At Kurtz Bros., we have everything you need! From expertise on selecting the right fertilizer for your type of plants to quality soils, fertilizers, and gardening tools, we have everything you need to get the job done. Contact us today or stop by our store to see everything we have to offer!

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Expertly Reviewed By:
Matt Malone, Vice President Operations
Matt Malone
Matt is an accomplished business professional with over three decades of experience in the green industry. As a graduate of the University of Toledo with a Bachelors of Business Administration, he has put his extensive education and training to work in his nearly 15 years with Kurtz Bros., where he currently serves as Vice President of Operations.

Learn More About Matt

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