As an organic gardener, you imagine cultivating healthy and beautiful plants in your garden. Your plants will not only look beautiful but also make you feel happier. But it doesn't take much for a handful of avid gardeners to argue online that one method of fertilizing is better than another.
Growing plants need different amounts of micro and macronutrients at different stages of their growth. As the plant grows, it absorbs the nutrients it needs from the soil. Plants growing indoors and in pots usually lose nutrients when they don’t have access to organic fertilizers such as decomposed leaves and manure.
The gardening world has introduced many solutions promising lusher plants and larger yields. The question may arise: What can you do to provide plant nutrients directly without buying and adding more soil?
That solution that many gardeners are talking about is foliar feeding.
Studies have shown that it can treat certain nutritional deficiencies in plants. It’s so effective that by 2025, the worldwide market for foliar feeding will reach seven billion dollars.
If you want to change the way your plants receive nutrients, here are a few tips on foliar feeding that won't waste your resources and won't kill your plants.
What is Foliar Feeding?
Foliar feeding is a method of spraying a mixture of liquid or dry plant fertilizers and water onto the plant’s leaves. The plant can absorb nutrients from its leaves than from the roots and stem when foliar feeding. Foliar feeding is the same as taking ibuprofen when you have a fever; your body absorbs the medicine faster when swallowed.
What makes foliar feeding better than the traditional ways of application?
With foliar feeding, the nutrients are delivered onto the leaves, letting the nutrients be absorbed rapidly and effectively through the stomata on their surface. This process is much faster than feeding through the roots. Foliar feeding also allows you to pinpoint and feed exactly the plants that might need the most nutrients without having to waste time and resources.
Foliar feeding can be a worthwhile complement to your nutrient program. Otherwise, your plants won’t get enough nutrients through only foliar feeding.
How do I know when to foliar spray?
It is always important to spray on days when the stomata are open, as this will allow the plant to absorb nutrients more effectively. If you’re starting out, spray on one plant to see its response before you move on to other plants.
If you're growing inside, only spray nutrients when all the lights are off. As soon as the lights go out, the stomata close in 15-20 minutes. This gives you time to spray nutrients without stressing the plants.
When should you not spray foliar on your plants?
Don’t water your plants in full sun or direct sunlight. Otherwise, the water can reflect the light, and it might damage your leaves or other plant parts. If you’re outside, spray lightly in the early morning before the sun becomes too intense.
Spraying depends on how far along your plant is in its growth stage. The only time to spray is during the vegetative stage and during the first two weeks after flowering. During the later stage of flowering, too much water will cause excess moisture in your room.
Using any feed at the flowering stage could cause your hard work to be contaminated. It is also important to note that your already damaged leaves will not recover, but fresh growth will come back stronger and healthier. Keep in mind that the old leaves in your plant won't regenerate, but your plants would grow healthier and stronger.
Getting the most out of foliar feeding
Check all product labels carefully. Put on small amounts of fertilizer so you'll know how the plants' response is going to be. Small amounts of surfactant can often make the leaf absorb the fertilizer much easier. Don’t forget to spray underneath the leaves.
For foliar feeding, what products do I need?
If you plan on using a hand sprayer, backpack sprayer or portable garden pump sprayer, you are going to need specific equipment. The price range for these items varies. Some pump sprayers include an extended wand that lets you spray your plants from top to bottom and spraying the undersurfaces as well.
Our Pro Organic Plant Food is an excellent mix of liquid food that’s easy to feed plants and is great for houseplants, flowering plants, shrubs, and more. This is great for controlling diseases and getting a strong root system. It also keeps water and nutrients, increases soil conditions, and enhances microorganism activity.
While foliar feeding is beneficial for your plants all year long, spring is a great time to start and to watch your plants grow.
Let us know how your plants respond to foliar spraying.