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How to Fertilize: Give Low

April 27, 2015

 Even without fertilization, plants have flowers and fruits. But if you use the fertilizers, they bloom more beautiful flower and bear a lot of fruits. We interviewed Takahito Hanazawa, Myoshun-en bonsai garden in Takamatsu's Kinashi town, about how to fertilize.


Hanazawa is putting the fertilizers on Akamatsu (Japanese red pine).
Hanazawa is putting the fertilizers on Akamatsu (Japanese red pine).

Specially N, P, and K

 The insufficient ingredients for growth of plants are Nitorogens (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K). Nitorogens helps to grow the needles and roots. Phosphorus develops the flowers, fruits, and seeds. Potassium helps the roots and trunks to be strong. These three ingredients are not contained a lot in soil so it is necessary to give them by the fertilizer.

 In addition, it is good to use the fertilizer contains Calcium (Ca) which helps the growth of roots and Magnesium (Mg) which become a part of chlorophyl.

 The fertilizer is not as indispensable to plants as a feed is to birds. They get the minimum requirements for growth by themselves such as water, sunshine, carbon dioxide in the air, and the nutrient in soil. So it is effective to give the fertilizer discreetly.

Timing of Fertilizing

 Nitorogens, Phosphorus, and Potassium have the optimum fertilizing period by an effect. For budding, it is better to use all in equal amount. For flowers and fruits, use Phosphorus and Potassium more than Nitorogens, and for needles, use Nitorogens more than others.

 There are two types of fertilizer: organic one like oil cake and inorganic one which have an immediate effect. A cake type fertilizer can work over a month and be put in bonsai. The liquid one works immediately so is good for grasses and flowers. Be careful to use the optimum amount.

Liquid Fertilizer for Kokedama
Liquid Fertilizer for Kokedama

 The best timing for fertilizing is spring and autumn. Do not fertilize in transplanting, having flower and fruits, the middle of summer and winter when plants are dormant. Basically the amount for a dose should be low and do fertilizing many times.
(By Shigeo Hano)

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