How to choose the perfect fertilizer for your plants

If you’re new to gardening, you might come across some mishaps while trying to grow your first plants.

Besides under or overwatering, the biggest issue with beginner gardeners is the lack of knowledge about the nutrient requirements for each plant. This usually results in the premature falling of leaves and can eventually lead to the death of the plant. The solution to this problem is ensuring a healthy and steady supply of nutrients.

These nutrients can be fed to the plant through really good soil, by for example making your own compost, or if they are potted/planted already, through the use of a liquid fertilizer.

Even though fertilizers have a bad reputation among the bio community, these don’t necessarily need to be chemical, you can do your own biological fertilizer with waste such as banana peels, egg shells, and used coffee grounds.

In this article, we’ll show you what composition you need for each type of plant, including their NPK ratio (Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium), and other key micronutrients to look for.


The Best Fertilizer for Citrus Plants

Citrus plants such as lime, lemon, and orange trees, have very specific nutrient needs. Specifically, they require high levels of nitrogen. For that reason, we recommend a fertilizer with an NPK ratio that’s heavy on the N. A ratio of 2-1-1, for example, would be very suitable.

In terms of micronutrients, look for magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, and iron.


The Best Fertilizer for Azaleas

Another set of plants with very specific nutrient needs are Azaleas. Unlike citrus trees, azaleas like a balanced NPK ratio, so a 1-1-1 ratio, for example, works great with these types of plants.

This family of plants does have a similar taste in micronutrients from citrus trees: They love acidic soil with manganese, iron, and zinc, so be sure to look for these components when you go fertilizer shopping.


The Best fertilizer for vegetating plants and trees

During the vegetating phase, before the plants give out flowers, feeding sufficient nutrients is extremely important, as this is the point when the plants are most vulnerable.

For this reason, you should look for a fertilizer with a strong Phosphorous presence, as this is the nutrient responsible for root growth. A ratio of 1-2-1 is thus appropriate.


The Best Fertilizer for Flowering Plants and Trees

Once the plants give out flowers, feeding them fertilizer will increase the yield. If you are using non-bio fertilizer you must be careful not to feed the plant to close to harvest, as some of the chemicals might not be flushed in time by the plant, resulting in fruits filled with chemicals.

In regard to the nutrient ratios, look for Potassium-heavy formulas, as this is the key nutrient for fruit and flower development. A 1-1-2 ratio, for example, would be appropriate.


Final Thoughts

Fertilizing plants isn’t as simple as buying the first one you see and feeding it to your plants every couple of days. Each species have specific nutrient and micronutrient requirements, and for that reason, you should always research each plant’s needs before going to the garden shop.

We hope that this article has covered your specific needs. If it hasn’t, feel free to drop a comment below and we’ll do our best to help.