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food for flowering / green plants ?

Marco Bleeker mbleeker at euronet.nl
Tue Mar 10 05:24:53 EST 1998

In the flower shop you can buy 2 kinds of plant food (fertilizer): one for
flowering plants and one for green plants. I have two related questions.

I assume that the food for flowering plants is probably most suited for plants
that have flowers almost throughout the year, like Geraniums (sorry,
Pelargonium). Or plants that you throw away after they are done flowering. But
how about normal plants, that flower only a few weeks a year? Should I give
"flower food" when they have flowers and "green" food when they are in their
leaf-growing period? If so, when should I start giving flower food: can I
induce flower production with it, or should I wait until the plant takes the
initiative and produces first flower buds?

Now for some chemistry. I did study botany, so you may elaborate a bit on
metabolism. I know that both types of plant foods differ only in relative
composition of the same 3 elements. This is expressed in the 3 "NPK" figures:
Nitrogen, Phosphor and Potassium (Kalium). For "green food" it is about
12+5+10, and for "flower food" 4+4+10. So the green food has more nitrogen, in
the form of nitrate, ammonium and ureum. I've also heared that flowering plants
need (relatively) more Potassium (Kalium). Where in the plant's metabolism do
these elements take effect? What does a flowering plant do (in terms of
chemistry) that differs so much from a non-flowering (but growing) plant? 

Thanks for any illumination, bye, Marco
mbleeker at euronet.nl ---------------- Marco Bleeker, Amsterdam, NL
---Please use my first name in email, to avoid my spam filters---
CHEZ MARCO'S BOTANY PAGES - http://www.euronet.nl/users/mbleeker/
Plants Programs Pictures------------------------------nl-en-de-fr

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