All Optimara fertilizers are formulated with the highest
quality, technical grade elements. Secondary and trace
elements are chelated so that they can be absorbed by your
plant's roots. No urea is ever used, and because Optimara
fertilizers are 100% water-soluble, your plants will always
get the most from their nutrients. All Optimara fertilizers
can be mixed for spray-misting.
Selecting the Correct Fertilizer for African Violets
A good African Violet fertilizer, or Violet Food, will
include approximately equal amounts of the primary nutrients,
nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K)*. These nutrients,
or NPK, will normally be shown on the front of the fertilizer
label. An example might be 14-12-14. However, if you do not
find the NPK on the front of the label, they will always
be listed under the "Guaranteed Analysis", which
is required for every registered fertilizer.
In regard to the primary nutrients, one of the most
important things you will be looking for is the source
of the nitrogen. Lower grade fertilizers typically
use urea as a source for their nitrogen. While urea
is a very cheap source for nitrogen, it can also be very
unhealthy for many varieties of flowering plants. In
African Violets, for instance, urea nitrogen is known to
cause root burn, which hinders a Violet's ability to properly
absorb water and nutrients. Avoid fertilizers
that contain urea nitrogen. The fertilizer may
be a few cents more, but both you and your Violets will
be happier with the results.
Among the other important factors to look for, make
sure your fertilizer has chelated elements. Again,
you will find this information on the Guaranteed Analsyis.
Chelating is particularly important for your fertilizer's
secondary and micronutrients, such as magnesium, manganese,
copper and zinc. Without chelation, these elements would
not be available for absorption by your plants.
Finally, make sure your African Violet fertilizer is fully
water-soluble. This is important, because plants absorb all
their nutrients through osmosis. Thus, if the fertilizer
is not fully-dissolving, your Violets will not be absorbing
all the nutrients they could be.
* Potassium (K) is often listed as Potash.