The Life-Cycle of Plants
Here we take a look into the life-cycle of plants and what they require at each stage in order to grow healthy and flourish.
Just as humans go through distinct changes as they grow, it’s the same for plants as they go through the stages from seed through to ripening. As with people, the nutritional needs of plants change as they grow.
The life-cycle of plants starts with the germination of the seed. Each seed contains a small amount of nutrients needed to begin growing their first leaves.
The seed needs water, oxygen, and the right temperature to germinate. Some seeds will also need light, but not all are affected by light or darkness.
The optimal temperature varies depending on the plant, but most common vegetables like temperatures between 24 and 32 ̊ C, however some species like lower temperatures.
As the seed is watered, it starts to expand. It’s at this point that the seed starts to go to work, and before long roots start to emerge. This is followed by the top of the plant sprouting and emerging from the seed.
Tiny leaves will now start to emerge from the shoot. These leaves will begin to make food, and it’s at this point the plant will enter the seedling stage.
Root growth will also start to take place and its important to provide the ideal environment for the roots to ensure your yield will grow strong and flourish.
A boost of quickly absorbed, well-balanced nutrients will fuel the growth from seedling to healthy plant.
Once the plant has established strong roots and is able to support growth, the vegetative stage begins.
The stem, leaves, and branches are the primary growth areas, therefore it’s important to provide a healthy amount of nitrogen which is a major component of chlorophyll. The role of chlorophyll in the plant is to capture the sun’s rays and create energy during photosynthesis to allow the plant to grow.
A lack of nitrogen will show up as yellowing of the plant. Nitrogen is an importnt nutrient for ensuring speedy shoot growth, healthy flower buds, and quality fruit.
Budding and Flowering
At this stage, the plant’s energy is focused on the production of fruits, flowers, and seeds.
The plants growth starts slowing down which means a boost of other nutrients like phosphorus and potassium (P-K) is needed. This requires changing nutrients to a “bloom” formula.
Phosphorus is needed as the plant transitions from growing leaves to forming buds. Potassium plays a role in producing the sugars and starches plants use as they flower and fruit.
At this point, plants need a week or two of just water without nutrients so they can use up all of the nutrients they have already absorbed. This process is known as flushing.
For a quick guide Download the Plants Growth and Nutritional Needs Infographic
Some experienced gardeners and farmers calculate the exact nutrients needed at every stage in the life-cycle of their plants. They also know what deficiencies to look out for.
Appearance, discolouration, and other symtoms can be an indication about the state of the plants’ health, and that it’s time to look at how it can be balanced by the use of nutrients.
The team at Gardeners Corner are here with advice on choosing the right nutrients for your plants, you can contact them here.
If you already know what your plants require, you can shop the range of nutrients here.