With the arrival of spring, even balcony plants need fertilizer. Which one is right for your plants? Let’s find out together.
Spring has arrived and our outdoor spaces, including balconies and terraces, with their plants, are in need of a makeover. A useful operation to ensure that during the whole summer, you can enjoy the beautiful blooms. To make this possible, a little outside help is often needed.
The fertilizer should be given to potted plants present on your balcony or terrace on a regular basis. An activity that should be done from early spring to late autumn. Of course, you will have to evaluate the needs of the individual plants.
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With fertilization, those substances are added to the soil that are useful to ensure that it can be fertile. When we fertilize we can improve the blooms of our plants, even on the balcony. Indeed, for potted plants, in fact, a good dose of fertilizer could be the real success of cultivation.
This is because, the potted land is limited in quantity and resources, inside, they go away running out. The roots, unlike what happens in the ground, cannot walk deeply in search of new resources. This does not mean that even the plants placed in the ground do not need fertilizer.
Fertilizing is also important because plants that have the right amount of nutrition, they are able to get sick with more difficulty. For example, if they lack nitrogen, the leaves could be prone to chlorosis. In other cases, they may produce little and grow in a limited way. In parallel, if the nitrogen were too much, there could be imbalances in the growth of the plant, which would make it more prone to pests.
Below, we will try to illustrate the various types of fertilizers that are good for your balcony plants.
Types of fertilizer
You got the pots, you have all the useful tools but … the fertilizer? Especially the newbies, maybe they won’t know that, there are different types of fertilizers. Basically, there are three types:
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- organic, which derive from a biological activity
- chemists, produced in industries
- organominerals, made from a blend of chemical and organic.
A further distinction is between ready-to-release fertilizers, slow-release fertilizers, and fertilizers with scheduled release. Each fertilizer is suitable for a particular phase. The ready-to-release fertilizers allow the plant to immediately assimilate the nutrients it needs. You will get the results in no time. Generally, ready-to-release fertilizers are liquid or granular and are used once a week, when the plant is in the vegetative phase.
Slow release fertilizers are in granules and are used to improve over-exploited soils. The roots are not burned because the nutrients are slowly assimilated. They can last over time but the duration depends on factors such as humidity, temperature and pH of the soil.
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Recently born, fertilizers with scheduled release last over time. The nutrients are covered with a membrane that only escape at certain temperatures or humidity. The nourishment, therefore, is released at the right time, up to a maximum of six months. There is no danger of the doses being wrong.
Plants need different elements to be able to live. The lack of one of them could lead them to dry up and die. They are:
- microelements: Iron (Fe), Cobalt (Co), Boron (B), Molybdenum (Mo), Manganese (MN), Zinc (Zn), Copper (Cu)
- macroelements: Potassium (K), Phosphorus (P), Nitrogen (N)
- mesoelements (secondary but no less important): Chlorine (Cl), Sulfur (S), Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg).
Read the label carefully
Thanks to the chemical symbols we have indicated above, you will be able to recognize them on the label of the fertilizer you are going to buy. For potted plants, the fertilizer must be rich in nitrogen, magnesium oxide and microelements. Furthermore, a soil rich in mineral salts must not be missing. It is a soil that does not need to be watered frequently but can be raked easily.
Of course, every vegetable has its own needs, with a need for nutrients suited to its biological life. In general, it can be said that and potted plants mainly need:
- nitrogen – it is used to develop the green of the plant. It is very useful for evergreen plants, such as ficus. For this type of plants, the fertilizer must be high in nitrogen.
- potassium – it is mainly used to produce juicy and healthy fruit. It is therefore the perfect fertilizer for pot or garden plants.
- phosphorus – is the element that is mainly used for flowering, stimulating the production of buds. The fertilizer for flowering plants must be rich in phosphorus (eg geraniums, petunias…).
Fertilizer: which one to choose for balcony plants – photos and pictures
Now that you know which fertilizer to choose, all you have to do is get to work and enjoy your plants.