Gardening Tips : What Does Phosphorus Do for Plants?

Uploaded by eHow on 20.12.2008

Hi, this is Yolanda Vanveen, and in this segment we're going to talk about, "What Does Phosphorus
Do for Plants?" Well, phosphorus is a mineral, and it's great for plants because it's what
produces the flowers. And, remember, when you're fertilizing or understanding fertilizer,
that the nitrogen is what makes the greenery, and the phosphorus is what makes the blooms.
So if you give your plants lots of nitrogen, and no phosphorus, they'll just give you lots
of green leaves and no flowers. So in nature, what happens is that the leaves fall down
in the fall, and the plants go dormant over the winter. The leaves break down, so in the
fall, the Dahlias, as it freezes, too, they'll die back. And I'll just leave 'em in the bed,
and the plants will die back. Well in the spring, all the leaves break down, and they're
high in nitrogen. Well the nitrogen will help the new plants next year grow. It'll give
'em lots of lush greenery. Well, by late summer into fall, the nitrogen is dying back, there's
not a lot of nitrogen left, naturally. And that's when the phosphates kick in, and they'll
give you lots of blooms through the fall. And the phosphates are so important, because
that's what keeps the plants alive through the winter. So plants need phosphates to survive
the winter. It makes 'em stronger, and that is what they live off, off of the winter.
And that's what they make their blooms from. So you never want to fertilize your flowers
in the fall, because you're not doing 'em any favor. And I always equate the same with
humans. If I go to Alaska, I want to eat carbs. I want to fatten up. I want that nitrogen,
I want that strength. If I'm going to San Diego, I'm just craving water. I don't want
carbs, I want exercise. I lose tons of weight. And the same with your plants. In the spring,
they want the nitrogen. They want to plump up. But in the fall, they want the phosphorus.
And the phosphorus is what's going to make them survive the winter.