Plants make homes more welcoming, desirable, and add value to properties. From trees to flowers, plantings need to have their needs met to remain healthy and vibrant. They typically obtain nutrients through the soil, but there are times when that source is insufficient for their needs and fertilizer will be required.

Even if you began with ideal soil, over time the plants will absorb those nutrients and they will need to be replaced with an application of fertilizer. Each plant has specific nutrient needs and no fertilizer is a one-size-fits-all solution.

There are signs that plants require certain nutrients, but fertilizing plants should be done carefully. Over fertilization is one of the most common mistakes that gardeners make. Plants with a deficiency will demonstrate the following symptoms.


Plants in need of nitrogen will have new growth that’s light green in color and it will typically be spindly and stunted. Leaves will also begin to drop and new growth will be weak. A lack of nitrogen also affects blossoms and fruit. Both may be delayed and the fruits and flowers produced will typically be smaller than usual.


A lack of phosphorus will cause plant leaves and stems to take on a dull green appearance. Older leaves will show the effects first and may turn a purplish hue. Tips of leaves will begin to brown and die. The plant’s root system will be weakened, resulting in smaller plants and few or no flowers.


When a lack of potassium is the culprit, you may see small spots on the undersides of leaves. Those spots will get larger over time and expand into significant areas of discoloration. Leaf tips will become yellowish colored, curl, and plants will often have a scorched look. The development of roots, seeds and fruits will be reduced.

RCH Landscaping is a full-service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach, and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians has an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

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