To achieve optimum growth and flower and fruit production all plants will require an application of fertiliser at some time or another in their life, whether it’s for a specific nutrient or a general boost throughout the growing season.
Even plants growing in their natural habitat have evolved to extract nutrients from composted leaves, rain or by products from animals. All fertilisers whether organic or inorganic have been produced to deliver nutrients to plants.
There are specific formulations that target deficiencies or needs of different plant groups and general-purpose fertilisers which deliver a broad range of nutrients for most plants.
Deciding what to use for which plants can be daunting and the product chosen may not be delivering the best results.
What is a Liquid Fertiliser?
Liquid fertilisers are made up of concentrated nutrients suspended in solution and are diluted with water. These nutrients are totally soluble in water and are readily absorbed by a plants root system or foliage.
There are many benefits to plants (and the environment) if liquid fertilisers are used correctly and regularly, as per recommended rates in a plant maintenance programme.
Applying fertiliser via the foliage gives quick results and can make a visible different to plants within a few days. The nutrients in liquid formulations are soluble and plants leaves will absorb them almost instantly.
When applied at correct rates liquid fertilisers via the soil reduces nutrient leaching in soils. Liquid fertilisers are totally soluble so there is potential for leaching to occur, but because they are applied via the foliage or at low solution volumes around the root system there is minimal or nil leaching.
Keeping our waterways safe from increased nutrient loads should be considered and all gardeners should practice fertiliser wise habits when selecting what to use around the garden.
Applying liquid fertilisers regularly is an efficient way to target and solve specific nutrients deficiencies in plants. It’s also an effective and easy way to deliver the nutrients required for different plant groups.
Roses require a totally different set of nutrients for flowering and disease resistance as compared to indoor foliage plants.
When to use Liquid Fertilisers?
- When plants require a continual supply of nutrients to sustain a crop of flowers or fruit. This is particularly important for plants growing in pots. The confined root system and the general nature of potting mixes can result in nutrient deficiencies and poor growth rates of plants after the initial fertiliser in the mix has been depleted.
- Used in conjunction with a granular fertiliser for immediate response to nutrient deficiencies. Try PowerFeed All Purpose including Natives with PowerFeed with Troforte All Purpose including Natives.
- For foliage plants to deliver nutrients for maximum plant growth. Try Seasol Foliar Spray that is applied directly to the foliar of indoor and potted plants.
- When there’s potential for leaching of nutrients to underground waterways – applications of foliage feeding through a low volume sprayer is recommended.
- For specific nutrient needs of specialised crops. E.g. for orchids use PowerFeed PRO SERIES Roses & Flowers or tomatoes use PowerFeed PRO SERIES Tomatoes & Vegetables.
- To build plants resistance to pests and diseases or extreme climatic conditions quickly.
- Weekly or fortnightly applications depending on plant’s needs, check back of label for more details and application rates.
When not to use Liquid Fertilisers?
- In extreme weather conditions. It’s very easy to burn foliage if nutrients are applied when experiencing a heat wave. We recommend not using our fertiliser when the temperature exceed 25° degrees.
- When applying liquid fertilisers – more isn’t better. Follow the recommendations on the container. Extensive research has gone into ensuring dosage rates will result in the best plant growth.
- Some specific fertilisers are suitable for a different group of plants than they were formulated for, E.g. rose fertiliser is suitable to use on citrus or gardenias because they have similar growth needs. Avoid using fertiliser formulated for flowering and fruiting plants on foliage plants. Whilst it won’t kill them, it’s not the best use of nutrients.