Ask a Question forum: Basic fertilizer for A. foliage plants and B. flowering annuals in containers

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Name: Berner
Western, PA (Zone 6a)
Berner
May 23, 2018 8:35 PM CST
It has to be something that I can add to plants already in pots, not something I have to add when you first pot them. I'm willing to spend more for something organic but only looking to buy one product for foliage and one for flowering plants, not 3-4 I have to mix for each.

Looking for something for outdoor plants in containers:

A. foliage plants e.g. coleus, persian shield, heuchera etc and
B. mixed annual flowers

Thanks for your time--I've just bought my first house and this should be fun.

Berner (western PA)




Name: Will Creed
NYC
Profess plant consultant & educator
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WillC
May 24, 2018 4:56 AM CST
I suggest a timed release fertilizer that is balanced (20-20-20 or 15-15-15, as examples) and also contains trace elements. The advantage of these pellets is that you only have to apply them once at the beginning of the season.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland Composter Region: Mid-Atlantic Native Plants and Wildflowers
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sallyg
May 24, 2018 5:09 AM CST
Another philosophy is a very dilute solution "weakly weekly' while plants are growing. The blue water ones are a good balance including micronutrients.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: Sharon Davis
Winchester Ca (Zone 9a)
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shalyn
May 24, 2018 5:25 AM CST
Welcome to Berner
Willc has very good advice , a good balanced , time release food , " osmocote" or one of the vigro products will do
ignore most of the words on the pack ,just look for the numbers
there are always 3 , 20-20-20 , 10-5- 8 , 15-5-20 ,I know that this can be a bit confusing, but just think of what you are trying to produce in the plant . IE leaves , flowers , roots
the numbers are for nitrogen(leaves) - potasium(flowers) - phosphoric acid(roots)
so unless you are trying for only one thing (like a palm tree )a balanced food will cover all of your plants
this group is sooo wonderful , there are people at all stages of plant knowledge , and it is such a blessing to be able to ask questions .
good luck on your new house Hurray! Welcome!
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Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
May 24, 2018 10:21 AM CST
The balanced 10-10-10 for the growers. For the bloomers, you can find lots of different kinds of bloom fertilizers, the one I have is 4-26-26
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
May 24, 2018 3:39 PM CST
You will find almost as many fertilizer recommendations as there are gardeners, but I would agree a balanced formula is best to start with, and I would argue that it's actually more important to get the dose right than use a specific product, as long as it's reasonably balanced and complete. The dose recommended on the package is often several times higher than your plants actually need or can use. Some brands use that recommendation as a way to move more product. Maybe start at 1/4 strength (and measure), or less if you are going to be fertilizing regularly.

Or you can use this handy calculator to arrive at the right dose.

http://firstrays.com/free-info...

I use a balanced liquid product at about 50 ppm N on a regular basis for my plants (mostly succulents). Your mileage may vary with other types of plants but that's a reasonable starting point. You can go up from there until you get the response you like.

I would also strongly advise flushing containers regularly if you are going to fertilize on a regular basis. It's important not to let the salt build up in the soil, so just make sure some water comes out the bottom when you're done, to relieve this buildup. Rain does an excellent job of flushing if your plants are outdoors.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - May 24, 2018 3:49 PM (+)]
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