Natural source of phosphorus for indoor plants
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Natural source of phosphorus for indoor plants - An easy way to obtain the necessary concentration of phosphorus?
The following are some of the most common problems or questions that I have seen with plants in the real world.
I was wondering if anyone knew about a good source of phosphorus for indoor plants. I have a Phosphorus deficiency on my windowsill.
You should first figure out what the symptoms of phosphorus deficiency are. Do the plants have stunted growth, are they wilting? Also consider the type of plant. As with so many things, some plants need more phosphorus than others. Here are a few of the types of plants that require phosphorus for proper growth:
Carnivorous Plants. These are usually only in tropical climates. They get their food from a diet of bugs, including termites, etc. Some of these plants also eat the water in which they grow, and can kill plants grown in water that has not been treated with a phosphorus fertilizer. Because of the nutritional needs of these plants, they often need lots of phosphorus in their growing medium. If you are looking for a plant like that, then check the label of your fertilizer to see if it says any phosphorus. Here is a link to an interesting website: http://www.gardening.arizona.edu/pf/pf.htm
Orchid Plants. These have a very restricted diet of minerals. Some have special types of leaves that extract minerals from the water, and some have a specific structure of tissue that allows it to absorb minerals in a specific way. They can be hard to find, especially if they do not like to dry out. You might want to consider a special type of “wet” fertilizer that contains phosphorus. There is a link to a website that has a pretty good selection of fertilizers with more specific information.
Hydroponics. A method of growing plants in a way that allows them to absorb most of their nutrition from a liquid solution of nutrients. Usually the plants are allowed to grow on a substrate made of rocks, or wood, etc., that is placed in a container that contains the nutrient solution. They have to be monitored closely to avoid the accumulation of too much heavy metals from the substrate.
There is a lot of information on these web sites to help you find the right combination of minerals for your plants.
Here are some of the general guidelines I follow, most of which I learned from other people who have been gardening successfully for many years. My plant choices will probably be a little different because I live in an area with a limited amount of water. I am growing vegetables, flowers, and some types of fruits on my patio, and I have also transplanted small trees in some places.
If I use potting soil, I find that a good balance of nutrients for the plants is 1/4 part each of potting soil, peat moss, peat potting mix, and vermiculite. For vegetables, I try to use the same proportions.
As soon as you find out what a plant likes, make sure it gets the right amount of the right things in the right ratio. Many people buy soil and then wonder why their plants die after only a few days. It is simple, they do not have enough nutrients.
For flowers and fruits I have tried using a combination of these ingredients to get the perfect amounts of different nutrients. Here are the amounts of each item that I have used for some years. I don’t use these every year, it just depends on how many flowers I want to have.
Peat potting mix- 2 parts peat moss, 1 part peat potting mix.
Vermiculite- 1 part vermiculite, 3 parts peat moss, 1 part potting mix
Seed starting mix- 2 parts of vermiculite, 1 part of peat potting mix, 1 part peat moss
If you do not have enough water you should know by now that the plant will not survive.
There are many other things you can do, such as fertilizing, watering, moving the plant, etc. but there are few things that you can do to stop plants from dying. If you have water and sunlight your plants will grow, but you will also have to know what the plant needs to grow.
Most people are taught that you just sprinkle food on your plants but what does that even mean? Food is made up of different nutrients that have certain effects. So if you just sprinkle food it will not mean that your plant will survive, it will mean that your plant will grow, but you need to know what each nutrient does.
Nutrients can be found in different levels such as macro (large) and micro (small) nutrients. Macro nutrients include nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. Micro nutrients include, but are not limited to, iron, copper, zinc, and manganese.
If you don’t understand these nutrients you should definitely check out the links I provide for more information.
I have listed a few things you should know, but I would like to list what should and shouldn’t be done if you decide to bring a new plant to your home.
Make sure that the environment is correct for your plant.
If your house is too cold you should put the pot where you don’t get frost, and this is also true for plants that have to live in the shade. You should have a southern-facing window, but I would also suggest a southern window that is near a south-facing window, but not a southern-facing window that faces a north-facing window.
If you have plants that are in a cooler place, your plants should not be moved up to your room. If you must move your plant, do so in the morning or late evening.
Make sure that there is no wind. Wind can affect growth, so I’d recommend keeping your plants in an area where there is very little wind, but there is enough wind to keep the leaves from being damaged by strong winds.
If you’re worried about having a pet near the plants, you should consider placing them on a surface where the pet is unable to get to the plants.
A good air-circulating fan can help to keep leaves clean.
Use clean water.
Use a fertilizer that is appropriate to the plant.
Avoid over-fertilizing your plant.
This last one is one of the most important for new plants, or any plant for that matter. If you don’t know how much fertilizer you need, or if you don’t know what to do with your fertilizer, I’d recommend going to a store that sells plants. If your store doesn’t have a garden center, then they’ll probably know.
This is something I’m going to cover in an upcoming post, so please stay tuned.
Do you have any suggestions for how I can get my plants to grow?