NITROGEN, PHOSPHORUS and POTASSIUM.
Most commercial Fertilizers contain all three in various proportions, and at a variety of concentrations. If you look at the contents listed on fertilizer packs you will see the initials :
N (NITROGEN) P (PHOSPHORUS) K (POTASSIUM) followed by three numbers.
These numbers represent the ratio between the three nutrients, and the relative strength of the fertilizer.
The higher the number the stronger the concentration of the nutrient.
In most cases two numbers in brackets follow these numbers 2:3:2 (22), this number represent the percentage of active ingredients of the fertilizer, the balance is made up of non nutritional fillers.
2 parts Nitrogen
3 parts Phosphorus
2 parts Potassium
22% active ingredients (220g/kg - Active ingredient)
7 Total Parts(2+3+2)/220g = 31,4g/kg (Mass of one part) ie.
63g/kg Nitrogen = (31.4 x2)
94g/kg Phosphorus = (31.4 x3)
63g/kg Potassium = (31.4 x2)
Total 220g/kg active Ingredients
NPK 3:1:5 (15)
150g/kg active Ingredients
Your Bonsai should be fed during the growing season. Evergreens can be feed throughout the year. We prefer organic pellets. If using liquid fertilizer, dilute the dosage by 50% of the recommended dosage and then double your feeding routine. Chemical and liquid fertilizers can lead to burning the trees. Chemical fertilisers given an almost instant reaction. When using organic fertilizers, follow the manufacturers recommendations. Organic fertilisers release chemical elements more slowly and will not burn your plants.
Water is not the sole nutrient needed by plants. All living plants needs three essential nutritional-elements in order to thrive: NITROGEN, PHOSPHORUS and POTASSIUM. (NPK).
Functions of these elements
Nitrogen (N): Nitrogen plays a key role in many metabolic reactions. Because nitrogen is contained in the chlorophyll molecule (green substance in plants). A deficiency of nitrogen will result in a yellowing condition of the plant.
Nitrogen builds the structure of your tree.
Phosphorus (P): Phosphorus has been described as ever-present in the plant, being involved in nearly all-metabolic processes. It plays a vital role in the life cycle of plants and is important for reproductive growth, promoting early maturity and fruit quality, as well as seed formation.
Potassium (K): Potassium plays an important role in the water relations in the plant. Adequate potassium causes cell walls to be thicker and provides more tissue stability, which normally improves resistance to lodging, pests and diseases. Fruits and vegetables grown with adequate potassium seem to have a longer shelf life in the grocery store.
Colourless, tasteless, odourless, gaseous element, that constitutes 78% of the atmosphere by volume.
5% of organic matter in soil is present as nitrogen. This is broken down by micro-organisms and the nitrogen can the be used by the plant. Plants take up nitrogen through their roots. Some plants such as Alder and Acacia can meet their need for nitrogen from the air, with the help of so called root nodule bacteria.
Nitrogen joins carbon, hydrogen and oxygen as a main constituent of the animal body, other than the skeleton.
Nitrogen is responsible for shoot development and foliage production, in short, for growth. Too little nitrogen will result in a plant that will not thrive, with small and possibly distorted yellow leaves and a “washed out” appearance. With no nitrogen at all, an established plant could be dead within a year, by contrast too much nitrogen will result in rapid growth with large leaves, plump shoots that are full of water and
consequently very easy to snap.
FERTILISING AND FEEDING:
A solid non-metallic element of the nitrogen
family is existing in at least two forms:
yellow poisonous, inflammable, and
red less poisonous and
Phosphorus occurs naturally mainly in
organic compounds such as protein and
bones. The release in soils depends on
decomposition of these organic
Essential for the development and proper
functioning of roots.
Also encourages the fattening of woody
trunks and branches, and helps to
establish appropriate conditions for the
production of foliage and flower buds, and
to make nucleic acids. It also enhances the
plant's resistance to stress and diseases.
Weak growth with pale green leaves, and a
low resistance to illness and frost could be
the result of a lack of phosphorus.
Phosphorus is taken up through the roots
availability depends largely on the pH value
of the soil. Minerals present in clay, which
also absorbs phosphorus can reduce its
availability to the plant.
A silver-white soft, light, low-melting metallic element, abundant in nature especially combined in minerals.
Potassium is a highly reactive element that forms part of many mineral compounds but does not occur in pure form in nature and is not found in organic compounds. It controls most metabolic procedures in plants and plays an important role because of its osmotic effect. A catalyst and prime requirement, in chlorophyll construction. A governor for taking free nutrients from the air -carbon, hydrogen, oxygen. Needed so plants can make starches, sugars, proteins, vitamins, enzymes or cellulose.
Promotes normal growth and muscle function, also a cell regulating element regulating osmotic pressure in cellular tissue and fluids. Potassium is the main agent for the development of fruit and flowers. By increasing the amounts of potassium in fruit bearing and flowering bonsai, which fruit or flower poorly, will increase their performance the next spring. Potassium also helps hardening of late growth in preparation for winter. In non-fruit bearing or flowering trees, insufficient potassium results in winter die back. A few hands full of hard wood ash are an excellent source of cheap potassium.