Understanding what is in a fertilizer, and how it’s helpful to a plant, is so important in the decision to take your plant care to the next level. So, we wanted to provide you with a quick NPK primer.
But first, we’ll start with a reminder of HOW plants grow! Remember photosynthesis? Green plants change sunlight, carbon dioxide (CO2), and water (H2O) into chemical energy. During photosynthesis, chlorophyll absorbs energy from blue- and red-light waves, and reflects the green-light, which makes plants look green! After creating sugar, the plants are able to grow, using the nutrients they have absorbed from their roots to create the building blocks of new leafs, thicker stems, and stronger roots systems.
Our Organic 3-3-2 NPK Fertilizer is a proven formula. The three most important elements/macronutrients in a fertilizer are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K), together these chemicals make up the N-P-K ratio.
- Nitrogen is essential in leaf growth and the development of all tissues. Plants typically need the most nitrogen, and will prioritize taking up nitrogen over other nutrients (sometimes at the expense of flowering or fruiting).
- Phosphorus is essential for the development of roots, flower, seeds, and fruit.
- Potassium is important for water movement as well as stem growth. Potassium also helps provide disease resistance.
In houseplants, a nitrogen rich fertilizer is a great option to keep those green leaves happy! Herbaceous potted plants generally prefer a complete liquid houseplant fertilizer such as our 3-3-2. Other common all purpose fertilizer ratios that you might see could be a 5-5-5 (or other variation of three equivalent numbers such as a 1-1-1) or a 10-8-8.
Other nutrients that plants need include calcium, which plants use to create new cell membranes at the point of growth. Magnesium is a metallic component in chlorophyll, which is used to help plants process sunlight and do photosynthesis. Sulfur is also important for the development of amino acids, proteins, and oils and is necessary for chlorophyll formation!
Micronutrients that are essential in smaller amounts include boron, copper, iron, molybdenum, zinc, chlorine, and manganese.
While it’s easy to forget that our plants are living and breathing, they need these nutrients to Flourish. Feeding your plant a complete fertilizer is the best way to ensure that they have ever possible opportunity for success. What are you waiting for!