Choosing The Right Fertiliser

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

I must admit that I am not a gardener who likes to use fertiliser. Firstly, many of my plants have been growing well even without any fertiliser. Secondly, my garden just do not have the space for plants to grow fast and big.

But recently I noticed that some of my plants stopped blooming for some time. Hence I bought a couple of blooming fertilisers for the different plants in my garden.

One of the plants that I have been trying to bring back the many blooms it used to have is my Chinese Fringe Flower plant. This plant has burgundy leaves (which will turn deep green once aged) and hot pink fringe flowers. I have had this shrub for about two years.

Few months ago, I bought a packet of organic granule fertiliser and applied accordingly. No flower showed up. Then I bought a bottle of microbes liquid and a few flowers bloomed (as you can see from all the pics below). Maybe liquid is more effective than granules. Or maybe it's because the microbes produce enzymes that restore the condition of the soil to a healthy state. Hence the plant could grow healthier.

It would be nice if this shrub will be in full bloom (crowded with fringe flowers) during Christmas :-)

How do you choose the right blooming fertiliser for your plants? Do you have different types of fertiliser for different plants or just one type for all?

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  1. Steph, It is good of you to look into fertilizer and determining what is appropriate. I have been using poultry fertilizers that come in little pellets. The plants look healthy. Every two weeks which I usually miscount, I spray the leaves with liquid fertilizer and imunizer evening or early morning.

    I always put "daun kering" on the vegetable bed, to cool the soil and reduce evaporation..

    Huh, since you raise this issue, I have to start making some study and observation on effective fertilizing... Cheers, ~bangchik

  2. Hi Stephanie; Beautiful photos of your Chinese fringe flower. I love the hot pink with the burgundy leaves. I have one with snow white flowers. It grows to a big, weeping bush and is a wonderful sight when in flower, once a year. It suckers a lot. My daughter ML has one with burgundy leaves and soft pink flowers it is pretty too. I did not know there was one with hot pink flowers. Generally the plants do not need much fertilizer when they have good soil and mulch. But sometimes they need a little help with nourishment. I give my daylilies and the roses slow release fertilizer end of winter, because I have many big trees where they are located so they need special attention. The vegetables generally need some organic fertilizer like "dynamic lifter" as they are such a quick growing and greedy lot!

  3. Hi Steph. I like your Chinese Fringe Flower plant. I don't use any inorganic fertilizer. And my soil is very poor here. I make compost and use that.

    The nice thing about carnivorous plants, is that they don't require any fertilizer. How's the Sarracenia doing, Steph?

  4. Steph, from my experience, I agree with you that liquid fertilizer will give faster results. However, it is usually more expensive. The inorganic/granule type give rapid results, but I need to abstain myself from using it because I think it will spoil the soil condition. I also like the Japanese humus (time release, organic). Ultimately, the type/characteristic of the plant will determine what type of fertilizer to use.

  5. I didn't put the right portion of appropriate fertilizer, ended up kill the plants, lesson learned.

  6. Bangchik, AutumnBelle, Titania, I am learning so much from you! TQ! But I also think that effective fertilising has to be economical also :-)

    VueJardin, I learnt the same lesson also. Once I put some fertiliser to a plant, the leaves sheded.

    Prospero, my Sarracenia is doing well. TQ! New shoots grew and they are twice the height of the old ones. It was so interesting to watch the 'cap' at the top pops/opens :-D.

  7. That's such a pretty plant! Love that pink and the burgundy. I use tea-leaves and mulch. The only thing I spend money on-- is cowdung.

  8. Fertilisers can really make a difference to the plants. For me, the difference is very apparent when I use organic manure (chicken poop) on my water lilies. The leaf diameter grows from 3cm to 10 cm diameter in a matter of weeks. That's when I knew the fertiliser is working.

  9. We send a soil sample of our garden every year to our agriculture department. They basically send us back a "recipe" of what we may need to add to the garden as a fertilizer boost. Before we do that though, we usually add cow manure and dried maple leaves. Some times we'll plant buckwheat to plow under too. Your Fringe Flower is just lovely! I have to admit, I never add fertilizer to my containers. Thanks..I'll have to give it a thought now!

  10. Beautiful plant and flower! It looks (the flower) like our Witch Hazel. I am a BAD gardener and I rarely fertilize, other than spreading compost mulch in the spring.

  11. You have some gorgeous plants there in the tropics. The fertilizer you used to get your fringe flower blooming again probably was higher in phosphoros than the one you used previously. I've been told that's what makes the difference in terms of blooms. Containers lose a lot of nutrients due to the constant watering, especially if you recycle soil, so I fertilize regularly. And it's really made a difference with my plants. Cheers!

  12. I agree you Steph about fertilizing ought to be economical. If we ever wish to be a real farmer, growing vegetables to sell, then economics comes in play. I am still waiting for the result of my attempt at compost tea.. That is cheap! But urbanity put a lot of constraints on what's natural about gardening....

  13. Kanak, Beegirl, BlurTing, DangerGarden, I have heard from some gardeners that in the past, they use to burn the cow/chicken manure first before applying to the plant. Nowadays, they are all processed already.

    Avis, looks like we cannot just expect the plant to bloom by itself. They need some help/nutrient too ;-)

    Bangchik, you are right!

    Thank you for sharing your experiences :-)

  14. I just use diluted urine as fertilizer. It's free and has lots of supply. ;-) I'd say most of the plants in my garden are growing well.



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