There are two main life stages in plants: juvenility and maturity. When a plant is a juvenile it grows vegetatively; that is, the plant focuses on growing roots, branches, stems, and leaves, instead of producing flowers and seeds. When a plant reaches maturity the opposite is true – the plant’s energy is focused on reproductive growth which is flowers and seeds.
Sometimes plants stay in the juvenile stage longer then we’d prefer because we want to see pretty flowers instead of more leaves, or we want our plants to produce fruit for us instead of more branches. One way to help plants graduate from their juvenile stage into their maturity stage, if they don’t do it on their own, is to give them a dose of phosphorus fertilizer.
Phosphorus, among other things, stimulates reproductive growth. It is for this reason that phosphorus fertilizers are often called “Bloom Boosters”, and can be readily found in any store with a garden center. If you can’t find a fertilizer labeled “Bloom Booster” or “Bloom Enhancer” then look at the ingredients of the fertilizer on the box or bag and see if you can find a fertilizer that is high in phosphorus and low in nitrogen, and then apply as directed.
Be sure to see our next article on The Other Way to Get Your Plants to Flower and Fruit.