While out plants grow, they need nutrition. They might get some from
the soil, but in the long run, they need more. It is a balance, and in
general; less is better.
While the plants might grow slow with too little fertilizer, they
can be killed with too much: The roots die or specific processes can't
function in the plant. To judge wherever the plant get too much or too
little can be a bit tricky. Both will give a discolouration of the
leaves. And which mineral is lacking? Well, a change of Soil
is the easiest quick-fix.
The plants are build by 17 minerals and gasses. The latter is
easily acquired, but we have to add the minerals.
The nutrition is divided into two groups: The macros: Carbon: C
450.000ppm, Oxygen: O 450.000ppm, Hydrogen: H 60.000ppm, Nitrogen:
N15.000 ppm, Potassium: K10.000ppm, Calcium: Ca 5.000ppm, Phosphor: P
2.000ppm, Magnesium: Mg 2.000ppm, Sulfur: S 1.000ppm. The Micros:
Chlorine: Cl 100ppm, Iron: Fe 100ppm, Mangan: Mn 50ppm, Bohrium: B
20ppm, Zink: Z 20ppm, Cupper: Cu 6ppm, Molybdenum: Mo 0,1 ppm, Silicon:
Si is only used by some like the grasses.
The amount needed is species specificated, but lie in general within the
tolerance for most plants. That said, carnivorous plants, epiphytes and
other plants growing in poor environments can't stand high values.
The right fertilizer depends
on the plant species and other growing
parameters - and your personal liking. Personally, I would prefer
fermented cow-dung, giving the plants a bit of everything through time.
Actually, I use some mixed chemicals, consisting of specific chemical
connections which allow the roots to absolve the atoms. It is way more
easy to control and mix in the right amounts - or simply buy pre-mixed.
If you want your plants to add in size, you should keep the
amount of nutrition high. Average plants will benefit from levels around
0,5 and 1,5 μS. As mention on
the more pure your basic water is, the more nutrition you can add.
As the roots adjust to specific conductivity, they do benefit from a
rather constant level. It is better to add fertiliser often, than to
give them a lot at one time.
Another way is to use some slowly de-composting fertilizer, which will
feed the plants through time. It is harder to control, but works fine in
general, as the levels change slowly.
The level of nutrition might change through the year, giving the plants
more in the growing period. Not that is changes much in the wild, except
the moisture amplify the de-composition of dead material.
Measuring the level
soil can be a bit tricky, especially if you use a gravel-like soil.
Water the pot from the top for once, and measure the wash-out. Else;
take some soil from the middle of the pot, and press out the water for a
test. Use a conductivity-meter, which is affordable.
Considering the evaporation to the air leave minerals in the soil, along
with the minerals the plant don't soak up, the soil might be more and
rich - although not by something the plant appreciate. That can, like a
poor soil call for a change of Soil.
Other left-over might change
as well, and that is a problem as well. The plants are only able to
obtain specific nutrition at particular pH levels.
Binding the nutrition in the soil
woll be taken up in Soil.