As conscious gardeners, we take great pride in the produce that we grow. The main goal in the garden is to cultivate the most delicious, nutritious, high-yielding fruits and flowers possible. Experiencing the bloom stage of a female plant’s life cycle is the fun part of growing that makes hours of tedious labor well worth the effort.
It’s the sexy, seductive stage when the plant shows herself in all of her flowering glory. From bashful budding to ripe busty blooms, the flowering stage is the time in a plant’s life cycle in which it undergoes the most drastic transformation. It is oh so satisfying—the joyous ending when gardeners get to celebrate the fruits of their labor!
As the horticultural industry advances in research and development, specialized fertilizers and supplements have been perfected to give plants the specific nutrients they need to grow into healthy producers.
There are hundreds of fertilizers on the market and sometimes deciding which brand to use can be an overwhelming and daunting process. To choose a fertilizer that will produce the best results, it is important to understand the specific nutritional requirements of the crop during the different stages of the flowering process. Experienced gardeners might also choose to use a bloom booster, a potent formula designed to significantly increase the size of the crop’s final yield.
Entering the flowering stage
Plants begin the flowering process when their light source is changed from 18 hours of sunlight down to 12 hours of sunlight per day. In the natural environment, this occurs when autumn arrives and the days begin to shorten and the seasons begin to change. In an indoor garden, growers have the ability to control the seasons with indoor horticultural lighting.
By setting the lights on a timer with 12 hours under lights and 12 hours in the dark, the indoor garden mimics the natural cycle of the sun. It sends a message to the plant, triggering the end of its life cycle and forcing it to reproduce. This is the stage in which the plants begin budding.
A female plant produces flowers in hope that it will be pollinated by a male plant to produce seeds, which will carry on both parents’ genetics. By preventing male plants from entering the garden space and exposing females to their pollen, gardeners have the ability to create seedless varieties of flowering plants.
However, if the plant is exposed to environmental stress, such as light leaks during the flowering process, there is the possibility that it could self-pollinate and produce seeds.
The importance of nutrients during the blooming stage
The bloom cycle is the stage when plants are focusing all of their energy on producing big, juicy fruits and flowers. Indeed, as plants make the transition from the vegetative cycle to the flowering cycle, their nutritional requirements also change. Specific macronutrients, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes and trace elements work together in the flowering process to aid in the formation of healthy flowers. Each ingredient in a nutrient mixture plays a different vital role, so making sure that all of the plant’s needs are met can be the biggest challenge for growers.
Best macronutrients for the flowering cycle
Macronutrients, sometimes referred to as base nutrients, are the primary elements that are the most vital in sustaining healthy plants. Metaphorically speaking, they are the main course in a plant’s meal plan, while micronutrients would make up the side dishes. The three main macronutrients are nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) and potassium (K) and at least one of these elements are found in all fertilizers.
The ratio of those ingredients, known as the N-P-K ratio, represents the proportions of available nutrients by weight in that particular formula. It is delineated on the bottle by numeric values separated by dashes (the first number represents the volume of nitrogen, the second corresponds with the phosphorous and the third with the potassium).
Nitrogen: this is the least important macronutrient in the flowering cycle. It encourages photosynthesis and chlorophyll production, aiding in vertical growth of foliage, and stem and leaf production. Nitrogen is necessary during the vegetative stage, but it should be used very sparingly or not at all during the flowering cycle. So, for the bloom cycle, choose nutrients with a low N value on the N-P-K rating.
Phosphorous: this is an overall beneficial stimulant for flowering plants. It promotes the production of healthy roots and flower sites, as well as plays an important role in respiration, conversion of energy, and cell division and growth. Phosphorous also speeds up plant maturity.
Potassium: this is another important macronutrient during the flowering cycle. It transports liquid throughout the roots and stems of the plant and assists in enzymatic activity. Potassium also regulates fluctuations in plant metabolism, increases the amount of flower sites, fortifies plant growth, heightens the immune system and disease resistance of the plant and aids in overall plant vitality.
The other macros
Calcium, magnesium and sulfur are three mineral elements that are categorized as the secondary macronutrients. These elements are generally needed in lower quantities than primary base nutrients.
Calcium (Ca): this plays an important role in cell wall formation and division. Calcium is also a necessary component of the roots, stems, leaves and flowers of a plant. It increases fruit set and promotes beneficial microbial activity.
Magnesium (Mg): this element is a key component of chlorophyll. It also increases the availability and efficiency of phosphorous, as well as activates and enables several enzymatic processes.
Sulfur (S): this is an important constituent of amino acids. Sulfur also aids enzyme and vitamin development.
Micronutrients, sometimes referred to as trace elements, are other minerals that are vital to plant health. Each plays a specific role in supporting necessary functions in the plant life cycle. They are used in lesser quantities compared to primary and secondary base nutrients (hence, the term micro). The main micronutrients are boron (B), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), chloride (Cl), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo) and zinc (Zn).
What are bloom boosters?
Bloom boosters are specialized, multi-functional supplements designed to enhance the natural performance of plants during the flowering cycle. There are dozens upon dozens of bloom boosters to choose from, so considering their N-P-K ratios and specific features highly influences the success that they bring to the garden.
Choosing the best bloom booster
While the common goal of bloom boosters is to increase size, density and quality of the final yield, exceptional boosters will also assist with the ripening of the harvest. The boosters that produce the most dramatic results will contain daring levels of phosphorous and potassium. Some might contain vitamin B-1 to assist with shock that plants might experience during the powerful growth rates that result from the booster.
To reduce the amount of products you introduce to the nutrient regimen, look for bloom boosters that are versatile enough to use not only as a finishing agent, but also during the first week of flowering to kick-start an aggressive bloom cycle. A well-rounded, clean bloom booster should be compatible with all lines of nutrients, be formulated with food-grade ingredients and be free of dyes and coloring agents.
To witness a flowering plant transition through the different phases of its life cycle is nothing short of a miraculous experience. Nature has designed plants to be intuitive creatures; their cycles are triggered by the seasons to precisely perform the functions necessary to ensure their genetic survival. Modern science has allowed humans to perfect the natural process, resulting in yields of unprecedented proportions.
With the use of premium-quality nutrients and power-packed bloom boosters, hobby gardeners and farmers worldwide are celebrating exceptional harvests. An expert nutrient schedule combined with the innovative technology continually emerging in the horticulture industry has the unique potential to produce gardens that boast the revolutionary results that will shape the gardens of our future.