Flowering plants, also known as angiosperms, Angiospermae, or Magnoliophyta, are the most diverse group of land plants, with 64 orders, 416 families, approximately 13,000 known genera, and 300,000 known species. Like gymnosperms, angiosperms are seed-producing plants.
Flowering plants follow a specific life cycle.
- Seed – They begin their lives as seeds. Seeds are like baby plants. They have a hard outer shell that protects the seed embryo inside.
- Germination – The seed ends up on the ground. It requires air, water, and soil to germinate. When a seed begins to grow, this is called germination. The first growth will usually be some small roots. Then stems grow.
- Sprout or seedling – When the first sign of life appears above the soil, this is called a sprout or seedling.
- Mature plant – The seedling will continue to grow into a fully mature plant with leaves, roots, and stems.
- Flowering – The mature plant will grow flowers. Through pollination, the flowers will produce seeds. When the seeds end up on the ground, the cycle will begin all over again.
Manure and fertilizer are great for the garden. As a fertilizer, manure provides nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (also known as N-P-K), as well as several other nutrients.
Manures from the livestock industry are ideal. Animal waste contains 75 to 90 percent of the nutrients from the plants eaten.
As a soil amendment, manure not only adds organic matter but also helps improve the soil’s structure, aeration, moisture-holding capacity, and water infiltration, which benefits the overall health of the plants in the garden.
As a rule, the manure from grain-fed animals is higher in nutrients than the one from grass-fed animals.
To have more flowers, the plants must be fed regularly during the growing season with a half-strength liquid fertilizer; a flowering fertilizer to be used should be the one that has more phosphorus than nitrogen, as phosphorus is the element that promotes more production of flower buds.
Type of Fertilizer to Use for Flowers
There are multiple types of fertilizer out there, so it is difficult to select which is best. Often, a complete fertilizer is required. There are three significant elements that flowers require to grow.
Nitrogen (N) is there to promote healthy foliage (leaves). Phosphate or Phosphorus (P) is also needed, which stimulates the root system and helps it become stronger. Potash or Potassium (K) is necessary for fruit and flower formation.
The label of the fertilizer will list these nutrients using the NPK format. This indicates Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium. The numbers seen represents the percentage of each nutrient.
Often, flower fertilizers have more phosphorus than other ingredients. This is because healthy flowers need a robust root system.
Chicken manure is a relatively high-quality organic fertilizer, of which the content of pure nitrogen, phosphorus (P2O5), and potassium (K2O) are about 1.63%, 1.54%, and 0.085% respectively. In addition to chicken manure, other nutrients are contained in it.
Chicken manure must be decomposed before casting, thereby killing parasites and eggs in the chicken manure and the infectious agents and deodorized by the process of decomposition. Chicken manure is good for flowering plants as it enhances the quick formation of flower buds.
Parts of a Flower
Flowers are the reproductive organs of the flowering plant.
The main structures of a flower include:
- Sepal: The sepal is a support structure for the petal. It is typically green and helps to protect and hold up the petal. The calyx is the collective name for a group of the sepal.
- Petal: The petals are the bright colorful leaves of the flower. The petals are often bright and colorful to attract insects that help with pollination. A collection of the petal is called the corolla.
- Stamen: The stamen is that part of a flower that produces pollen. The stamen is divided into two parts: the filament and anther.
- Filament: The filament is the stalk that holds the anther.
- Anther: The anther is made up of lobes that attach to the filament. These lobes hold sacs that contain pollen.
- Pistil: The pistil is the female part of the flower. It contains the carpel and the stigma.
- Stigma: The stigma is the area where pollen is received. The stigma may be located at the end of a stalk called the style.
- Carpel: The carpel is the ovary of the flower which contains ovules that are potential seeds.