Plant food, also known as plant fertilizer, gives plants and soils a boost of nutrients to improve the overall health of the plant. Encourage root growth, produce more blooms and fruits, and help plants fight disease with plant food. Our selection of plant food covers many nutrients your garden may need, from potassium to iron, allowing you to select the nutrients your garden needs most.
Plants get the majority of their nutrients from the soil. Sometimes, the soil is deficient in some nutrients, or has an overabundance of another. Each imbalance affects plant growth, yield, aesthetics, and overall health. Plants have primary and secondary nutrient needs, as well as micronutrient needs, and it’s important to know what nutrients your plants need and why, so you are better able to diagnose plant problems and give your plants the necessary nutrients. Here is a list of important plant nutrients and how they affect your plants.
Nitrogen: Nitrogen is a primary plant nutrient. It is a major factor of growth and specific nitrogen need varies from plant to plant. Nitrogen is always in flux in the soil, so even a soil test doesn’t quite give an accurate picture of your soil’s nitrogen content, so looking at plant health is a better measure for nitrogen levels.
Phosphorus: Another primary nutrient, phosphorus (measured in phosphate in plant food products) promotes plant growth and root formation, and is essential for flowering and fruiting. Deficiency symptoms can include sparse leaf growth, darkened leaf color, and dull surfaces.
Potassium: The last of the primary nutrients, it is found as potash in plant products. It helps in photosynthesis, aids in disease resistance, and is important in fruit quality and quantity. Deficiencies can cause yellowing, scorching, and crinkling of leaves, and too much potassium can cause a salt imbalance in the soil.
Secondary Nutrients: Each secondary nutrient aids plants in a specific way, and deficiencies affect plants individually. Calcium aids in plant vigor and proper growth, Magnesium is an essential part of chlorophyll and photosynthesis, and Sulfur aids in protein production and is crucial for crop yield and quality.
Micronutrients: There are several micronutrients: Boron, chlorine, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, and zinc, and are called micro since they are needed in very small amounts. Even though they’re needed in much smaller amounts than other plant nutrients, they are just as important to plant health. Micronutrients aid in formation of cells, enzymes, sugars, plant structures, and are crucial to many plant processes.
Plant Nutrient Deficiencies
Nutrient deficiencies can manifest themselves in many ways, and many look similar or occur at the same time. One deficiency can cause another, and all plants will adapt to changes in soil nutrients differently. You may be able to tell your plant is struggling in its current soil by the following symptoms:
Purple or red coloring
These symptoms can indicate nutrient deficiency, but you will have to do a bit more work to decode just what may be lacking in your soil. A soil test can give you the big picture of what your soil contains and what it needs.
Choosing Plant Food
There are an endless array of choices when it comes to plant food. While all aim to add nutrients or other benefits to the soil, each has a different goal. Some aid in overall soil health, like Neptune’s Harvest Organic Crab Shell which helps get rid of fungus and nematodes. Other products work for specific plants, like Fertilome Rose Food, and deliver plant-specific nutrients directly to the soil. Specific plant ailments can also be cured with plant food, like with Bonide Rot-Stop Tomato Blossom End Rot food. You can even choose specific plant nutrients to add directly to the soil for a certain effect, like Bonide Triple Super Phosphate for strong roots and hearty plant health. We carry any type of plant food you might need to create a healthy environment for your plants, giving them all the nutrients they need.