Fertilizers are the energy drinks of the plant world!  These granules are an important yearly step to be sure all of your landscape plants are getting enough nutrients and essential elements.  All plants need Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium to survive, just like we need certain elements to survive too.  I’m sure you’ve seen a bag of fertilizer with NPK and amounts on it, that is the short hand name for the 3 main elements.  Some plants need different amounts of each, but those 3 elements make up most of the fertilizers you buy in stores.  Spring is an excellent time to fertilize so here is some knowledge on what you are putting down.

Nitrogen is important to the overall growth of plants, the building blocks of Chlorophyll require a lot of Nitrogen and thus give plants their green color and vigor.  Plants lacking Nitrogen will turn a yellow-green and will likely droop or look weak in comparison to ones well fed with fertilizer.  Nitrogen is the main ingredient in fertilizer as it’s the most important, but the other two have their place and are needed just as much if not more depending on the species. 

Phosphorus is usually only a secondary component in fertilizer because its important only near the beginning of a plants life.  Phosphorus acts as the starter for the engine, helping the plants root systems get established, and is an essential part of photosynthesis supporting the plant in stressful conditions.  The element goes hand in hand with Nitrogen to get the photosynthesis process going strong and continues to help with other parts of the plants life cycle creating energy for the plant to grow big and strong. 

Potassium is essential to the longevity of the plant.  This element is the police force, keeping away the diseases and pests and protecting the plant from invaders.  This element is a key factor in photosynthesis as well so its an important part like the others and needed for the plant to survive.  Potassium is also key in the production of fruits and is in larger numbers on fertilizers used on plants that are grown for their fruits or edible parts.