Friday, August 7, 2015


This is a great pic to which i can relate to...

Saturday, July 4, 2015


What to Do With Dead Flowers?

by Jenny Harrington Google
Plants form seed pods after the flower dies.
Plants form seed pods after the flower dies.
All flowers eventually wilt, their flush of beauty only temporary.
Removing the old dead flowers properly can force a new flush of blossoms or encourage further healthy growth.
 Cutting off the dead blooms properly depends on the type of plant
and whether you want it to grow seeds.
Improper removal can slow flowering or affect the health of your flowering plants.

Basic Deadheading

Most annual and perennial flowers benefit from deadheading.
 Plant varieties that flower repeatedly throughout the season may produce more flowers
if you remove the old blossoms before seeds form,
and it also improves the appearance of the bed.
 Pinch off the old flowers above the topmost set of leaves on each stem.
If the plant grows multiple flowers on a long stem,
 cut back the entire stem after most of the flowers are done blooming. You can deadhead after each major flush of blooms begins to fade, or you can pinch off the old blooms once or twice weekly throughout the flowering period.

Woody Plant Deadheading

Flowering bushes and other woody plants, such as roses,
 require sharp bypass shears for healthy deadheading.
For most woody plants, cut the old flowers off within 1/4 inch of the closest leaf or bud
 to the old flower.
When deadheading roses, make the cut within 1/4 inch of an outward 
facing bud near a three- or five-leaf grouping. 

Deadheading woody plants is a form of pruning, so keep in mind the desired shape of the plant when removing flowers and stems.

Deadheading Once-Bloomers

Once-blooming flowers, such as daffodils, tulips and peonies,
 won't produce more flowers if you remove the dead flowers,
but they will look better and remain healthier.
Cut or pinch off the old flowers as soon as they wilt.
You can cut back the flower stems to the foliage to improve the appearance of the plant,
but don't remove the leaves until they die back naturally because
they provide greenery and collect nutrients for the plant.

Setting Seed

Some annuals and short-lived perennials, including cosmos, violas and petunias, readily reseed themselves, so you don't have to replant them each year.
Other varieties, such as echinacea, produce attractive seedheads
that also provide seed for birds in winter.
Leave the dead flowers on these plant varieties if you want them to seed themselves
or provide ornamental seed heads later in the year.


Dead flowers left in the garden can provide material for disease organisms to grow on, 
or they may allow pests to nest in the garden and later attack your plants. 
Dispose of removed flowers immediately. 

Adding the old blooms to a compost pile allows them to break down 
and later provide nutrients to the bed, or you can dispose of the flowers in the garbage. 



Problems With Over-Fertilizing Roses

by Amanda Flanigan, Demand Media Google
Roses attract bees and butterflies.
Roses attract bees and butterflies.
Roses (Rosa) provide a classic and elegant addition to your landscape or garden,
 with the added bonus of providing cut blooms for vases.
 Depending on the cultivar, roses grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 3 through 9. Applying the proper type and amount of fertilizer to your rose bush can help create a lush and healthy plant. Over-fertilizing roses causes more harm than under-fertilizing and leads several problems.

Weaker Plant and Fewer Blooms

Over-fertilizing the roses leads to fast and sudden growth, which produces an excessive amount of leaves and shoots that the plant cannot handle.
This leads to a weaker plant and with fewer blooms.
This overdose of nitrogen increases the foliage production at the expense of flower buds
and, since roses are grown for their blooms, you are left with a rose bush without roses.

Diseases and Pests

A weak plant cannot handle diseases and pests as well as a healthy rose bush.
When the over-fertilized plant is attacked by bugs, diseases or fungus that generally would cause little to no problems, its weakened state decreases its ability to fight off these problems.
 Furthermore, roses that have more nitrogen than needed
face an increased chance of an aphid infestation.


Applying too much fertilizer to the rose bush not only affects the plant,
 it also increases the chance of polluting waterways and streams.
 The excessive fertilizer runs off the soil or leaches out of the ground and containment waterways, and possibly makes its way into your local drinking water.

Burning and Leaf Dieback

Excessive fertilizer increases the amount of nutrients and minerals -- such as salt and nitrogen -- in the soil. When the rose bush absorbs these excessive nutrients and minerals, the tips of its leaves begin to yellow or brown and lead to leaf tip dieback.
 In addition, too much nitrogen -- such as from over-fertilizing -- burns the rose’s tender roots.

Mineral Toxicity

Over-fertilizing adds more minerals to the soil than needed,
 and having too much of a good thing can lead to several plant damage.

 Sulfur, nitrogen and potassium leads to leaf burn; 
calcium, phosphorus and iron reduces the plant’s ability to absorb other important nutrients,
 and copper, boron and zinc increase the chance of leaf drop.

 Furthermore, the excess nutrients change the soil’s pH balance and can build up to toxic levels over time.

Proper Fertilization

The proper way to fertilize your roses depends on what type of fertilizer you are using
 and when you are applying it. 
Fertilizer can be applied before or after you have planted the bush.

 Fertilizers added post-planting should be applied in early morning so the plant can absorb them quickly and reduce the chance of burning. 

Most fertilizers are added directly to the soil while others are sprayed onto the rose’s foliage. Apply fertilizer to the soil around the rose’s drip line. 

For foliage sprays, add a surfactant substance -- 
such as 1/4 teaspoon of mild dish soap per gallon of mixture -- that helps the fertilizer stick
 to the foliage.
 Spray the foliage until the liquid drips off the plant. 

 Water the rose well the day before and the day after applying fertilizer. 
This ensures the nutrients in the fertilizer move to the root zone quickly. 
Since each type and brand of rose fertilizer has its own specific directions, 
follow the feeding instructions on the fertilizer’s label. 



Directions for Fertilizing a Rose Bush

by Jasey Kelly
Roses love their fertilizer when it's applied correctly.
Roses love their fertilizer when it's applied correctly.
Rose bushes remain a perennial favorite due to their undying beauty, popularity and the many varieties that currently are available. Whether you choose shrub roses, carpet roses, long-stemmed roses, old-fashioned roses or climbing roses, fertilizing is necessary to do what's best for the bush. However, a few common mistakes that are made when fertilizing roses can cause problems due to over-fertilizing while neglecting other care.

Soil Tests

The key to understanding what your roses really need is having a soil test performed in the area
where your roses are located.
 Obtain a soil test from a local nursery, extension office or online,
but only choose those that read the results for you and can give you educated suggestions on what to purchase. A typical soil test will show you the pH of your soil, along with the nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) and potassium (K) levels.
Sometimes they will show additional nutrient levels as well.
Over-fertilizing often is the result of pure assumption that your roses "need something" rather than cold, hard facts about what they are lacking.

Organic Vs. Chemical

Excellent rose fertilizers exist on the organic and inorganic sides of the spectrum,
and it will be your personal preference on which you'd like to use.

Organic fertilizers are natural, meaning they come from a natural, living source.
 Common organic fertilizers used on roses include blood meal, 
bone meal, cottonseed meal, fish emulsion or fish meal.  

The inorganic, or chemical, fertilizers are man-made from various chemicals,
and still provide the necessary N-P-K values and other micro-nutrients roses need.

New Roses

Before planting, mix in high-quality organic soil amendments, such as compost,
composted manures, peat or others.
 As these break down, they'll also increase the drainage abilities of your soil
 while slowly feeding your plant. Once your young, tender rose bush produces its first blooms, you then can add chemical or stronger fertilizers.

Established Roses

The best time to start your annual feeding regimen is directly after pruning in late winter or early spring. This gives you a starting time to help you stay on top of the care of your roses.
 Right after pruning, add organic amendments back into the soil. 

The American Rose Society recommends the following recipe 
for your first spring feeding: 

1 cup bone meal, 
1 cup cottonseed meal, 
1/2 cup blood meal, 
1/2 cup fish meal 
and 1/2 cup epsom salts per bush.

 To add this mixture to the soil, water first, spread the mix thoroughly around the drip line, scratch it in and then water thoroughly again.
 After about three weeks, you can start to add your standard fertilizers every two weeks or so. 



Do You Cut Off Dead Roses?

by Jenny Harrington Google
Deadheading roses is a form of mild pruning.
Deadheading roses is a form of mild pruning.
Healthy, blooming roses (Rosa spp.) add a splash of bright color during their flowering period, but blooms quickly lose beauty as they begin to fade. Most roses thrive in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 11, depending on variety
. Deadheading, the removal of spent flowers, can improve 

the appearance and health of the rose bush. 
When it's done correctly, the rose may even flower more prolifically and reward you with many more blooms.


Fading roses attempt to set seed, which depletes plant energy.
Success signals the rose that further flowering isn't necessary.
For many rose varieties, removing spent blooms 
can cause production of more buds,
 lengthening the bloom period.

The wilted roses detract from the appearance of the rose bush,
so deadheading also improves the ornamental qualities of your garden roses.
Dead plant material can attract pests or 
provide a breeding ground for fungal spores.
 Prompt flower removal may improve the health of your roses.

Rose Varieties

Not all rose varieties require deadheading. Some varieties of old garden roses, such as Rosa rugosa, bloom once per season. This variety produces a fruit, rose hips, which can provide interest and bird food during the dormant winter period.
The hips may also be used to flavor jams and other food items.
There's no need to deadhead if you want to produce rose hips.
 Rose varieties that can bloom multiple times during the summer, such as hybrid tea roses, benefit most from prompt deadheading.


Deadheading is a form of pruning.
It's vital to make the cut correctly, so the bush retains an attractive form.
 After the first flush of bloom, remove spent flowers 
by cutting just above a set of three or five leaves on the stem 
 beneath the spent bloom.
  For subsequent deadheading, cut mainly above a five-leaf grouping. You can also deadhead back to a seven-leaf set,
 although this may result in the removal of a long cane.
Make the cut at a 45-degree angle within 1/4 inch of the chosen leaf grouping.
 Bypass shears with sharp cutting edges will cut through the rose stem without crushing it.


Pests such as the rose borer (Agrilus cuprescens) can enter the cane through deadheading cuts. These pests bore into the cane and cause stem or plant death. 
Borers only breach stems wider than a pencil, or about 1/4-inch in diameter or larger. 
Sealing the cut after deadheading prevents pest intrusion, and helps keep the rose plant healthy. 
Rose sealant is available, but you can also coat the cut 
with a thin layer of clear nail polish 
or wood glue to keep the borer out. 
If you use sealant, paint it on thinly, following all package instructions for proper use and safety.  



How to Deadhead a Rose Plant

by Axl J. Amistaadt
Deadhead rose plants regularly to maintain a stunning display.
Deadhead rose plants regularly to maintain a stunning display.
The proper method for deadheading rose plants varies according to the type of rose,
although the reasons for deadheading are universal.

 Rose gardeners should deadhead throughout the blooming season
 to prevent the plants from forming hips, the fruits where seeds develop.

 Removing the old dead flowers allows the plant to direct its energies and resources
 to growing new canes and producing more blooms.
It also keeps your roses looking tidy and at their regal finest.
 It is safe to deadhead rose plants until October 1, when they begin to harden off for the winter.


Deadhead newly planted rose bushes of all varieties without cutting back cane length
 during their first year after planting.
Snip the spent bloom off just below the base of the flower with clean, sharp shears.
 This allows the young plant to keep as much cane tissue and foliage as possible
 while it is developing.
Canes form the basic framework and foliage makes food for the plant, resulting in a healthier,
more robust rose bush with larger and better flowers.


Cut spent blooms of all mature rose plant varieties just below the base of the flower following the first spring flush of the year.
 This leaves as much wood and foliage as possible, which promotes healthier canes a
nd sturdier main stems in mature rose plants.


Prune the stems of spent floribundas and hybrid tea roses back to ¼ inch above the first or second leaf with five outward-facing leaflets throughout the remainder of the blooming season.
 Slant the shears at a 45-degree angle pointing away from the plant.

 The further down the stem that you deadhead, 
the thicker the wood grows. 
 Deadhead down to the first leaf if you want the stem to bloom faster but produce more numerous flowers, which will be smaller.
Make your cut lower if you do not mind waiting longer for fewer but bigger blooms.


Deadhead mature shrub and climbing rose plants back to ¼ inch above the first five- or seven-leaflet leaf with an outward-facing bud throughout the remainder of the blooming season.
 Make a clean, outward-slanting, 45-degree-angle cut.


Apply a dab of white glue to large, woody cut canes if you wish.
 This will seal the wound and prevent insects from boring into it and fend off fungal and disease organisms. Small stems seal themselves.



Why Roses Stop Producing Buds

by Jenny Harrington Google
More rosebuds means more abundant flowering on the plant.
More rosebuds means more abundant flowering on the plant.
A flowering rose bush (Rosa spp.) adds color and texture to your garden,
but only if it sets plenty of healthy buds.
Roses flower at different times depending on the variety,
 but many can bloom all summer with proper care. Most roses grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9. A rose bush may fail to set flower buds for various reasons, but you can fix most of them if you can identify the cause.

Bloom Period

The flowering period and time of bud formation depends on the rose variety. Most roses begin producing leaf buds on old wood in late winter or spring, although the old-fashioned, spring-blooming varieties form their buds on new wood during the winter.

Flower buds are also only formed during specific seasons.
The modern rose varieties, which include hybrid tea roses, floribunda roses and grandiflora varieties, should produce flower buds from late spring through fall. Old roses, which include European and Chinese roses, produce flower buds in spring and sometimes early summer, but they won't have buds for the rest of the year.

Pruning Problems

Pruning at the wrong time can prevent flowering
 if you've removed all the bud-producing wood from the plant.
Modern roses need pruning in late winter during the plant's dormancy,
 after the leaf buds becomes visible but before they begin to actively grow.

Old rose types require pruning after they bloom. 
Trimming earlier removes the flower-producing plant canes
and you end up with few or no buds.

 You can encourage more budding on modern roses by making pruning cuts within one-fourth inch of an outward-facing bud near a three- or five-leaf set
 when you cut flowers or trim out damaged wood throughout the flowering season.

Water Stress

Too little water stresses a rose bush.
The plant responds by decreasing bud formation and flowering.
The leaves may wilt, dry or drop from the plant.

Watering the roses deeply once a week 
when they are actively growing encourages healthy flowering. 

 Provide 2 to 3 inches of water weekly,
or enough to moisten the soil to a 12 to 18 inch depth.
Avoid soggy soil but don't allow the site to dry out completely.

Nutrient Deficiency

Nutrient deficiencies can result in small flowers, fewer buds and overall poor growth on the rose bush. Apply a granular fertilizer formulated for roses, using the amount recommended on the package.

 Roses generally need fertilizing in spring after the leaves grow in, then after each blooming flush for the remainder of summer.
Stop feeding the plants about six weeks before frost,
 otherwise they produce tender new growth that suffers winter damage.
 Apply fertilizers six inches away from the plant's base, and water thoroughly after application so the nutrients soak into the soil.

Site Problems

Too little sun or too much wind exposure can also affect budding.
Wind damage, especially dry, hot winds, suck moisture from the plants and cause water stress,
even if you water regularly.

 Roses require about six hours of direct sun a day.
 An overly shaded area prevents the plant from producing its optimum amount of foliage and flower buds.




The Symptoms of Over-Fertilizing

by Ashley Mackenzie, Demand Media
Over-fertilizing a lawn makes the grass grow too quickly.
Over-fertilizing a lawn makes the grass grow too quickly.
Fertilizing plants encourages healthy growth and flowering, but too much leads to problems.
The three main ingredients in fertilizers are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
Nitrogen encourages foliage growth, phosphorus encourages root growth and flowering, and potassium helps plants absorb other nutrients, among other things.
 Sometimes imbalances cause plants to grow spindly without flowering, but other times plants receive too much of all nutrients.
In these cases, you'll need to recognize the symptoms of over-fertilizing and change your feeding routine to keep your plants healthy and attractive.


Some signs of over-fertilizing are easy to spot.
The most obvious is fertilizer crusting on the surface of the soil.
Other symptoms include the tips of leaves turning brown 
and lower leaves yellowing, 
wilting and falling from the plant.

 When fertilizer scorches roots, the roots may blacken and go limp. And though fertilizer should encourage healthy growth, too much can stunt growth or stop it entirely.
 These symptoms occur when salt builds up in the soil, 
making it increasingly difficult for the plant to absorb water.

Types of Over-Fertilizing

Besides adding too much fertilizer at once, it's possible to over-fertilize in less apparent ways, too. Sometimes fertilizer builds up when soil doesn't drain well.
Other times, the fertilizer isn't flushed through the soil with water, causing root burn.

 Slow-release fertilizers may help regulate the release of nutrients into the soil over time, but it's still possible to add too much if you don't see results as soon as you expect them.
All of these activities can cause plants to show signs of over-fertilizing.

Fertilizing Houseplants

You may notice more symptoms of over-fertilizing in houseplants than in outdoor plants,
 because plants that receive less light need less fertilizer.

Even following the fertilizer package's instructions on houseplants can result in over-fertilizing, given the lower light levels indoors.
 Plants that receive less than 200 foot candles of light may not need fertilizer at all,
according to horticulturalist Erv Evans writing for North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension.
Other plants, such as orchids, need diluted fertilizer instead of full strength.



If you notice a layer of fertilizer built up on the soil's surface, 
you should remove it without placing more soil on top. 
The soil should be wet when you apply fertilizer,   
and flushing water through the soil after fertilizing can help spread the nutrients
 and prevent root burn. 

With houseplants, a leaching every 4 to 6 months helps prevent salt buildup;
 this involves pouring 1 or 2 pots of water through the plant's container, 
letting it drain for 30 minutes and repeating.
 When the growing season ends for winter, stop fertilizing or reduce the frequency of fertilizer applications, depending on the plant.



Signs of Over-Fertilizing in Perennials

by Joshua Duvauchelle, Demand Media Google
Too much fertilizer can kill your plants.
Too much fertilizer can kill your plants.

Hungry plants need food. Fertilizer plays a special role in providing your plants with the nitrogen, phosphorous and other nutrients necessary to support optimal growth, health and disease resistance. But like most things in life, too much of a good thing creates a bad thing.
 If you use too much fertilizer on your perennial plants and flowers, you could kill them. 
If you notice signs of over-fertilization in your garden, immediately water your plants to thoroughly flush the excess nutrients away from their roots.

Healthy Foliage But No Flowers

You prize some of your perennials for their vibrant blossoms that add a spark of color to your yard. And while appropriate amounts of fertilizer helps encourage healthy blossom growth,
too much fertilizer can create excess nitrogen levels that stop the plants from producing flowers. 
If the plant has otherwise healthy, lush foliage but no blossoms during its traditional flowering time, you have likely over-fertilized it.

Plant "Burns" and Leaf Drops

Fertilizer products are actually various types of salts.
When applied too heavily or during a time of drought, the salt in fertilizer sucks moisture out of a plant's roots and plant tissue, resulting in "burned" tissue that's so dehydrated it dies.
 Symptoms include dead tissue around the base of the plant
 where the plant may have come in contact with fertilizer.

 In cases where the roots have been burned, all of the plant's leaves may completely fall off
because the roots are no longer able to supply the perennial with water and nutrients.

Leaf Edges Turning Brown

Chronic situations of constant, moderate over-fertilization reduces the plant's ability
to absorb nutrients because its roots are constantly being injured by the excess fertilizer.
In such cases, the plant's leaves may become pale or the edges of the plant's leaves may start to turn brown. These symptoms generally appear within a week of fertilization.

Special Considerations for Potted Plants

In a container garden, other symptoms of over-fertilization may appear among perennial plants
 that are specific to the growing system. 
Besides the general symptoms, such as leaf edges dying or all of the leaves falling off, 
another sign is a hard mineral crust forming on the surface 
of the potting soil, 
accompanied by white stains around the pot's drainage holes.

 This is created by the excess salts in fertilizer. 
To resolve this, break off and remove the hardened salt crust
 on the surface of the potting soil and water the pot. 
It's critical to note that pots are more prone to over-fertilization, 
because nutrients build up over time within the small, contained space of the pot.
 Leach potted plants every six months by watering the pot with water that's twice the volume of the total pot's volume. 
For example, if using a 1 gallon plant pot, water the pot with 2 gallons of water. 
 Regular leaching flushes the soil and keeps fertilizer from accumulating. 


Friday, July 3, 2015



Plants vary when it comes to their foliage, blooming, growth and needs. However, almost all vegetation can benefit from the proper type of fertilizing. Fertilizers, also differ in their nutrient component and percentage. The right type and method of fertilizing can enhance the color, amount and size of the blossoms on your flowering plants. It is essential to learn how to fertilize flowers to have successful results.



Fertilize Flowers Step 1.jpg
Choose a fertilizer suitable for flowering plants.
  • The best fertilizers for flowers contain nitrogen (promotes growth), phosphorus (enhance roots system and strength) and potassium (improves flowering).
  • Look for a fertilizer with a balanced amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Many flower gardeners use a 10-10-17 mixture for the greatest results. 

Fertilize Flowers Step 2.jpg 
Select the form of fertilizer you wish to use.
  • Fertilizers are found in 3 main forms: granular, water soluble and natural organic.
  • Granular fertilizers are applied by sprinkling or with a spreader. They are longer lasting and can remain in your soil for up to 9 months.
  • Water soluble fertilizers are a type of powder that dissolves in water to be applied as a liquid. This type remains in the soil for a couple of weeks. However, it is absorbed through the leaves and often works faster.
  • Natural organic fertilizers are created from natural matters such as manure. They often have fewer nutrients compared to man-made fertilizers. 

 Fertilize Flowers Step 3.jpg
Begin to apply the fertilizer at appropriate times for your type of flowering plants.
  • The soil for annuals and new planting of other flowers needs to be fertilized during bed preparation.
  • Established perennials and ornamental grasses need fertilizing as soon as their growth resumes in the spring.
  • Bulbs need fertilizing as soon as growth appears.
  • Roses need fertilizing beginning in May but not after July. You do not want to encourage new growth as fall and winter approach.

 Fertilize Flowers Step 4.jpg 

Read the package of fertilizer to determine how much is needed.
  • Some packages give applications based on area to be fertilized. You may have to calculate the area of your flower bed. 
Fertilize Flowers Step 5.jpg

Fertilize the flowering plants again according to the recommendation on the fertilizer packaging. 

Fertilize Flowers Step 6.jpg 
Granular fertilizers will require fewer applications. 


  • Test, or have some tests performed on, your soil if you are uncertain of its quality. You may find your soil is lacking a specific nutrient. You can then look for a fertilizer with a higher percentage of that ingredient than normal.
  • Move the mulch back when applying fertilizer to the base of the plants and to the ground. This will expose the soil and ensure that your fertilizer does not only get soaked into the mulch and not reach the soil.
     Do not use a fertilizer with a higher percentage of nitrogen than potassium. You want your flowers to focus on blooming rather than vegetation. A higher nitrogen level is better used for growing vegetables. 



    Fertilizing to Create more Blossoms on Your Flowers, Flowering Shrubs, and Trees

    The secret to making your flowering trees, shrubs, annuals, and perennials bloom more
     is in the numbers. All fertilizers have analysis numbers on the package.
    These numbers represent the percentage of each chemical the product contains.

    For example, 12-12-12 is a typical garden garden fertilizer
    that would contain 12% nitrogen, 12%phosphorous, and 12% potassium.
     The quick explanation is; nitrogen produces vegetative, or top growth,
    phosphorous produces flower buds, fruit, and root development,
     while potassium builds strong healthy plants.

    Most lawn grasses are vigorous growers and therefore require significantly more nitrogen
    than the other plants in your yard. A lawn fertilizer would have an analysis of 26-3-3,
     indicating a fertilizer high in nitrogen. You would not want to use a fertilizer
     containing such a high percentage of nitrogen on landscape plants
     because it would be very easy to burn them.
    You must also keep in mind that many lawn fertilizers contain broad leaf weed killers,
     and most ornamental plants have broad leaves.
     The fertilizer doesn’t know the difference, and it will damage or kill ornamental trees and shrubs.

    During the summer months the growth rate of most plants slows down,
    and when plants are not actively growing, they need very little nitrogen.
     Although not vigorously putting on new growth, many plants such as Dogwood Trees, Rhododendrons, and Azaleas are quietly working to produce flower buds for next year.
    Annual and perennial flowers are also busy making new flower buds.

    To encourage flower bud production you can apply a fertilizer that contains a small percentage
     of nitrogen, a higher percentage of phosphorous, and a little potassium. 
    I recently purchased a liquid fertilizer with an analysis of 5-30- 5, ideal for flower production.
     Because the product is sold as a bloom producer, the manufacture also added a little chelated iron, manganese, and zinc, all good for your plants as well.

    Most garden centers and discount stores carry similar products.
     I chose a liquid fertilizer because liquid fertilizers 
    are absorbed both through the roots
     and systemically through the foliage, so they work quicker.
     I used a sprayer that attaches to the end of the garden hose to apply the fertilizer, but do not use the same hose end sprayer that you use for lawn fertilizers.
     There could be residual weed killer still in the sprayer.

    About those hose end sprayers. I purchased one that is supposed to automatically mix the proper ratio for you. I used it to apply a general insecticide, and it worked,
    but it sure seemed like I went through a lot more insecticide than I needed.
     When I used it for the fertilizer the screen on the little pick up hose inside the jar kept getting clogged with the tiny solids in the fertilizer.
     I recommend using a solution of one part liquid fertilizer
    to one part water in the sprayer jar, and applying at a heavier rate.

    Watch the liquid in the sprayer jar, and if it isn’t going down ,
    remove the lid and clean the little screen by spraying it with water from the garden hose.
     Read the application instructions on the container to determine how much fertilizer to apply,
    and how often.

     A fertilizer high in phosphorous 
    will increase flower production.
     You will see a difference.

    Remember the golden rule of applying fertilizers. 
    “Not enough, is always better than too much.”    



    Which Fertilizer Element Encourages Flowering Growth in Plants?

    by Jasey Kelly, Demand Media

    Phosphorus fertilizers often help most at transplant time.
    Phosphorus fertilizers often help most at transplant time. 

    Flower growth on a plant is an essential part of the plant's reproduction.
     The healthy growth of plants requires all fertilizer elements;
      a lack of one can result in many symptoms.
    While all elements play a role in plant development and, subsequently, flower development,
     phosphorus is the element most responsible 
    for stimulating stronger bud, fruit and flower development.

    Primary Nutrients

    Plants require 16 nutrients for growth.
    Three of these are taken from air and water: carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.
    Of the remaining essential nutrients, three are considered primary nutrients:
     nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

     These three are taken up in larger amounts by plants, are the most commonly deficient in soil
    and are the three most commonly applied.
     The three-digit number on a package of fertilizer is known as the N-P-K rating
    and lists the percentage ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, respectively.

    Phosphorus' Role

    Fertilizers specifically formulated for bud and bloom development are often higher in phosphorus
     than the other two primary nutrients.
    This is because phosphorus is a vital nutrient involved in stimulating and enhancing bud development and set, seed formation and blooming.
     It can help quicken a plant's maturity, as well.
     It's also vital in photosynthesis and respiration.
     Root-stimulating fertilizers are also often higher in phosphorus than the other two primary nutrients because phosphorus helps strengthen young roots and gives them a strong start.

    Roles of Nitrogen and Potassium

    While phosphorus is the element most associated with flower growth and production,
    nitrogen and potassium, along with the secondary nutrients and micronutrients, are all vital.

    Nitrogen is a major element in amino acids, often called the "building blocks of life."
     Nitrogen stimulates stronger green growth,
    which provides healthy stems and leaves while promoting fruit and seed production;
     nitrogen also helps stimulate growth in roots and is necessary for the uptake of other nutrients.

    Potassium, on the other hand, is vital to several areas of plant growth, including drought tolerance, disease resistance, stem strength, improved texture, color and flavor of fruits, and photosynthesis.

    Bottom Line

    A deficiency in one nutrient can cause lackluster performance by plants,
    including stunted flower growth.
    But most soil is sufficient for flower production,
    especially when amended with rich, organic material and all other plant requirements are met.
    Using a flower fertilizer, or one specifically designed for bud and bloom production,
    may help in the long run but probably is not necessary.
    If you're unsure, perform a soil test to see if your soil is lacking in any of the essential nutrients.



    When to Apply Bloom Booster Fertilizer

    by Jessica Kolifrath, Demand Media
    Correct fertilization schedules help support large, colorful blooms.
    Correct fertilization schedules help support large, colorful blooms.

    Proper fertilization encourages healthy plant growth.
     While many fertilizers support development of prolific foliage,
     Miracle-Gro's Bloom Booster is formulated specifically for flowering plants.
    If you want to see masses of brightly colored blooms,
    you must pick the perfect time to apply this fertilizer.
    Bloom Booster also benefits some plants that are chosen for features other than their flowers.

    Before Blooming

    The Bloom Booster formula contains all three macronutrients for plant growth,
     but the mixture has an especially high concentration of phosphorous.
    While high nitrogen content encourages the growth of foliage, an abundance of phosphorous encourages plants to produce plenty of strong, healthy flower buds.
    Miracle-Gro recommends you start applying this fertilizer
     when the plant is first beginning to form buds.
    This ensures the plant has plenty of phosphorous available for other key functions, such as water movement and chlorophyll production.

    During Blooming

    Both perennials and annuals will stop flowering 
    if phosphorus levels get too low.
     Phosphorus is used in most vital functions of a plant, so continuing to apply Bloom Booster through the flowering stage will encourage new buds to continue forming.
    The manufacturer recommends applying this fertilizer 
    every seven to 14 days while the plant is in full bloom.

    Flowering house plants can handle a continuous diluted dose of the fertilizer throughout the year to encourage constant blooming.

    For Vegetables

    A fertilizer with high phosphorous levels, like Bloom Booster,
     may also help encourage production in vegetable gardens.
     Nitrogen-rich mixtures are acceptable for plants grown primarily for their leaves,
    but they can cause fruiting plants to spend more energy on leaf production than necessary.
    Bonnie Plants recommends using a product with a high phosphorus content
    on vegetables and fruit vines that are creating buds and flowers.
     Increasing flower production also increases your potential for a big yield of watermelons, bell peppers or tomatoes.

    When to Stop

    Applying Bloom Booster fertilizer to annuals and perennials can encourage them to keep blooming long after they would naturally stop.
     The Alameda County Master Gardeners of the University of California recommends gradually stopping all supplementary fertilization in October.
    gives the plant time to prepare for colder weather.
     Indoor plants can continue to receive Bloom Booster,

    but most flowering plants require at least a few months of dormancy each year. 
    Check the dormancy recommendations for each specific species to create a blooming schedule that won't shorten the life of your plants.


    High Phosphorus Foods for a Plant

    by Jasey Kelly, Demand Media
    Phosphorus aids in strong root development and bloom production.
    Phosphorus aids in strong root development and bloom production.
    Phosphorus is a much-needed element for plant development and growth.
    nutrient in the soil helps to satisfy one of the plant's needs; phosphorus is no different.
     Phosphorus aids in the development of strong, healthy roots 
    and as such is often sold at transplanting time.

     Some high-phosphorus fertilizers are known as "root-stimulating" fertilizers for this reason. Phosphorus also aids in the development of seeds, buds and blooms and therefore is excellent for flowers, fruits and fruiting vegetables.

    Phosphorus is the middle number in the N-P-K rating,
    or three-digit number, on the package of fertilizer.

    Organic Phosphorus Sources

    Several organic sources of phosphorus are commercially available.
    Among these is fish bonemeal or other bonemeal, 
    made from the crushed bones of various animals.

    Bonemeal often has an extremely high percentage of phosphorus,
    from 11 percent to 18 percent, and sometimes even more.
    Various types of guano are also high in phosphorus.
     Vermicompost is high in both nitrogen and phosphorus.
    Vermicompost is manure that has been digested by worms.
    While this reduces the volume, it adds microbial diversity, a plus when amending your soil
    due to the increased microbial activity.

    Inorganic Sources

    Rock phosphate is another source of phosphorus and is mined within the United States.
    Rock phosphate has a high percentage of phosphorus, typically 8 percent to 20 percent.
    Nurseries and big-box stores also sell root-stimulating fertilizers high in phosphorus, as well as fertilizers with names like "Bud and Bloom Booster."

    Types of Fertilizers

    Either liquid and dry fertilizers are can be added to soil 
    to boost the phosphorus content.
     Plants will absorb the phosphorus from both fertilizer types,
    so you can choose the one that suits you best.

     Granular fertilizers are composed of small granules that are typically raked into the soil
    around the plant and then watered in.
    Liquid fertilizers are often mixed with water and poured around the drip line of the plant.


    Similar to most things, too much of a good thing applies to phosphorus.
    Too much phosphorus can greatly damage the plant by making it difficult for the plant to absorb 
    various other nutrients.

    Phosphorus is also a main suspect in various environmental problems,
    especially those concerning bodies of water.
     It can promote the growth of dangerous algae to the point of inflicting illness and even death to animals.
     Because of this, only add phosphorus when needed.

     Having a soil test performed on your soil to see which nutrients are lacking is one way to know how much phosphorus to add.



    Make Your Own Fairy Garden

    The Right Blend of Fairy Accessories and Blooming Plants Make a Successful Fairy Garden. Photo Credit: Photo © Cassandra Luscher, Creston BC Canada
    Whether you call them fairies, wee people, elves, or gnomes, it’s fun to design fairy gardens to attract these enchanted beings to the landscape. You may not know how your fairy garden will turn out when you start to design it, but if you’re a gardener, you know that no respectable fairy would inhabit a land without flowers! 

    A Feminine Fairy Garden

    Pink Is a Perennial Favorite With Little Girls and Big Girls Alike. Photo Credit: Photo © Gulley Greenhouse,
    The pink blossoms of Kalanchoe are easy to maintain in full sun fairy gardens (morning sun is best). Although the blossoms look delicate, the foliage is succulent, so the plants can go longer without a drink. If you aren’t tickled pink by this fairy garden, then you can shop for Kalanchoe plants that produce orange, purple, red, or yellow flowers.

    The Illusion of Vines

    Add an Arch or Gazebo Train Your "Vines". Photo Credit: Photo © Anna Day Mona
    Any true flowering vine would quickly overcome such a dainty arch, so how can a fairy gardener appoint her garden structures? For arches and gazebos, plant a trailing plant like million bells or sweet alyssum (on the left in this photo) at the base of the structure. Train the plant over the structure, attaching it with some twine or wire. You will need to trim this modified topiary frequently to keep it in check.

    Easy Fairy Garden

    You Can Make a Fairy Garden in One Afternoon. Photo Credit: Photo © Jamie McIntosh
    If you aren’t sure where or whether to devote a special space in your flower garden to fairies, then don’t! You can set up a temporary fairy garden in five minutes by placing the contents of a fairy garden kit in a part of your garden that has low-growing, blooming plants. If you don’t find a complete kit, then buy or make the two essential accessories: a fairy, and a fairy dwelling. 
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    Fairy Gardens Contained

    Container Gardens Are Ideal Fairy Garden Habitats. Photo Credit: Photo © Anna Day Mona
    If you’re using a small container for your fairy garden, you must choose your flowers carefully to avoid plants that will overstep their bounds. This is a case where you want to pick plants that not only produce small flowers, but also have a dwarf growth habit. Examples include Irish moss, which produces white flowers, and Mount Atlas daisy, with fern-like foliage and tiny daisy blooms.

    A Matter of Scale

    Flowering Kale Stands in for Trees. Photo Credit: Photo © Dan Vojir
    Playing with scale is one of the fun elements of fairy garden creation. Diminutive objects seem enormous through a fairy’s eyes, so you can create a forest with a few 12-inch tall specimens. Consider using flowering topiaries to make these fairy “trees.” Lavender and fuchsia plants are easy to train into a standard.

    Take the Fairy Garden to New Heights

    A Fairy Garden Must be Seen to be Enjoyed. Photo Credit: Photo © Jillian Krickovich
    Fairies must find a fairy garden to populate it, and they won’t find a miniature garden amongst towering clumps of perennials. If your taste in garden flowers isn’t fairy-friendly, you can still have a fairy garden by elevating the accessories. Use a stump, a wheelbarrow, or an antique chair to give your fairy garden a boost.  

    Miniature African Violets

    Photo Credit: Photo © Jamie McIntosh
    If your fairy garden is indoors, choose flowering houseplants that can take the low light conditions. Miniature African violets won’t grow larger than six inches in diameter, and will bloom constantly given the right light, moisture, and fertilizer. Like standard African violets, miniature plants appreciate bright indirect light or fluorescent light. Allow soil to dry out between watering, and never permit your plants to suffer from wet feet.



    and I love something with water or a pond....  

    ...and I find little Faery Dolls quite interesting...
    I am also looking for natural-looking Faery Houses like these: 

    ...This is really cute.... 
    ...lovely !
    ....This is a BIG WOWWW !!! I can just imagine lots of  these
     hanging at the branches ....
    I am also thinking of this type of a DIY pot / planter