Fertilizer & Co
Fertilizers and additives or healthy plant growth with a full flowering
Plants need more than just water and light for their life cycle. Depending on the medium on which they are cultivated, a continuous supply of the necessary nutrients is required. For this reason, you need fertilizers and additives to help you grow healthy fruit and vegetable plants. We offer you a selection of different fertilizers that can help you with the cultivation outdoors - e.g. in the home garden - or in an indoor greenhouse.
What plant fertilizers are available?
Beyond the cheap lawn fertilizer from the garden section of the supermarket, there exists a wide selection of organic and mineral fertilizers, adjuvants and specialty fertilizers from which you can choose. You should not go for the cheapest products, but rather purchase goods from reputable manufacturers. Among the rather well-known brands are Bayer Garten, Compo, Neudorff or Substral - the composition of fertilizers is sufficient for common home cultivation of fruits or vegetables in the open field. Indoor growers, however, should rather use products from competent experts. These include, for example, the more cultivation-specific brands such as Canna, Hesi, Aptus or Biobizz.
Granules - Powder - Liquid fertilizer
You have at your disposal not only a plenitude of brand manufacturers of fertilizers, but also a variety of forms in which they can be sold: the nutrients you need can be purchased as granules, powders or in liquid form directly at the store or online.
With powder fertilizers it is mostly about organic soil improvers which are optionally mixed under the earth or previously dissolved in water to stimulate plant growth. One of the oldest and best-known plant fertilizer powder represents nettle powder, which after preparation of a nettle broth not only promotes healthy plant growth, but also supports the formation of foliage.
Fertilizer granules or pellets are a form of slow-release fertilizer. You know this form certainly from the garden specialty store, because here you can often find organic or bio fertilizers such as granulated horse or cattle manure, which are spread on the lawn, among other things. Organic fertilizers work less radically and instead in the long term by microorganisms processing their components and returning them to the plant environment. We all know this from the compost heap or from the use of horn shavings in the flower bed.
Liquid plant fertilizers are either dissolved in the irrigation water to be absorbed regularly through the roots or as a leaf fertilizer diluted in water with a spray bottle distributed superficially on the plant to wet the leaves and thus be absorbed through them. More common is the first type of liquid fertilizer. It is suitable for any type of growing medium and can be specifically adjusted and regulated.
What are additives for plants good for?
Just as wide as the range of fertilizers is the range of various additives:
In addition to pest control agents, there are PH regulators, mononutrients, soil adjuvants and activators that improve soil culture, boosters for different phases in the life cycle of the plant and, of course, root stimulators.
Each of these products is not a complete fertilizer in itself, but serves to supplement nutrients to improve certain properties or prevent deficiency symptoms. You should always pay close attention to the product information, because a lot does not necessarily always help a lot. Especially in the area of mononutrients, overfertilization can have fatal consequences for your plant - the example of nitrogen overfertilization shows the negative consequences in particular. In addition to discoloration of the leaves, curled leaf edges, increased longitudinal growth with spongy limp shoots, this results in greater susceptibility to pests, fungal infections, mold and stem rot.
At the beginning of the growth phase - root growth stimulation
The fertilization cycle has to start somewhere - but what is the best way to feed seeds and cuttings? Fertilizers that stimulate root growth are suitable for offshoots and cuttings. Root stimulators, root accelerators and rooting hormones exist in liquid form, as root gel or as root powder.
Well-known and proven products for the propagation of cuttings with healthy root growth include Clonex Root Gel or Hesi Root Complex.
The latter offers the advantage that it can be used for cultivation on solid substrates such as soil, on coco and also for hydroponics.
Classic NPK fertilizers for soil and hydroponics
NPK fertilizers are available in both liquid and solid form. As perlite or granules we know it from the field of gardening, for example, as lawn fertilizer. Liquid NPK fertilizers are suitable to be used on soil, substrate as well as in hydroponic and aeroponic cultivation.
But what exactly are NPK fertilizers?
NPK fertilizers belong to the complete fertilizers. They have a decisive influence on the growth, health and abundance of flowers in plants. Depending on the product, they consist of different compositions. The numbers of NPKs in finished fertilizer products indicate the percentage of the nutrients nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium contained in the product. The numbers therefore indicate how high the nutrients are dosed in the product. From this you can also tell whether the fertilizer is nitrogen-rich (12 - 4 - 6) or phosphorus-rich (11 - 14 - 17). Each individual component of this fertilizer has different functions and can cause problems if the plant is over or under supplied.
Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium - properties and benefits
N = nitrogen. This ingredient is the core element of any growth fertilizer. Plants need nitrogen for their metabolism and prefer to absorb it. A deficiency supply is therefore expressed in a yellowish or pale green leaf color and low plant growth. If, instead, there is an oversupply, this leads to growth that is too fast, long and mast-like, with the tissue not having enough time to form stably. Instead, the stems become soft, less resilient and have a tendency to topple over or bend.
P = phosphorus. This nutrient is needed especially by flowering and fruit-bearing plants. With a high nitrogen content in the soil, not enough phosphorus is absorbed. An undersupply is expressed in a minor flowering with little or no formation of fruit. If the phosphorus level is well balanced, the plant will develop lush inflorescences with fruit set until fruit maturity. An oversupply, on the other hand, results in growth disorders because important trace elements are blocked from being absorbed by the plant.
K = potassium. Potassium (from Neo-Latin kalium) is needed by plants in connection with their water balance. The nutrient increases their stability, frost resistance and resistance to biting or sucking insects. Deficiencies result in growth retardation and wilting. However, excessive potassium supply can be even more destructive, degenerating into growth retardation, leaf margin necrosis and root burn.
Switching from growth fertilizer to bloom fertilizer - What you need to consider
Every plant has two crucial phases in its life cycle: the growth phase and the flowering phase. While yielding plants cultivated outdoors automatically enter the flowering phase, in indoor cultivation the flowering phase must be initiated manually.
Depending on the type of plant you are growing, you should find out if it is a photoperiodic plant. Photoperiodic means that the plant makes its development and growth behavior dependent on the length of the day (photoperiod). That is, while the days are longer, the plant grows and does not yet form flowers (growth phase). As soon as the days become shorter, the plant notices this and slowly enters the flowering phase.
Concrete example: After germination, a plant should get about 18 hours of light daily to stay in the growth phase. When it has reached a certain size, the lighting duration is reduced to 12 hours. The remaining 12 hours it remains in darkness. This gives the plant the signal to enter the flowering phase.
As soon as it gets the signal to form flowers, its nutrient requirements also change and fertilization must be adjusted.
What kind of fertilizers are there to help my plants grow?
Once the cuttings and sprouted young plants have grown, they can be supplied with a complete fertilizer throughout their growth.
During the growth phase, plants need nitrogen above all. This is the main component of a classic growth fertilizer. Nitrogen is primarily responsible for the formation of chlorophyll. Without this, photosynthesis would not take place. During the growth period, however, not only the visible part of the plant grows. The root system also spreads and, if necessary, can be supported by means of suitable root stimulants.
What fertilizer do I use during the flowering phase?
For indoor cultivation, a special flowering fertilizer that supports the formation and supply of buds is helpful for the flower-forming phase of the plant.
These products contain significantly more phosphorus and potassium than ordinary growth fertilizer. Potassium is important for the stability and metabolism of the plant. It additionally protects them marginally from pest infestation. Phosphorus, on the other hand, serves to build important enzymes and flower formation.
Products such as Hesi Blüh Complex represent complete flowering fertilizers that actively support the plant during this sensitive phase by means of special flowering-active vital substances.
Always use fertilizer with caution
Even though most fertilizers are freely available everywhere, you should always follow the safety instructions on the packaging when using them. Always wear gloves when spreading or mixing. Many types of fertilizer are dangerous to pets and should always be stored carefully so they are out of reach of them, as well as small children. Always store your fertilizer in a dry place, safely protected from the effects of extreme heat, cold and direct light.