Bone meal fertilizer is essentially what it says it is. It is a meal or powder made from ground up animal bones, normally beef bones, but they can be the bones of any animal commonly slaughtered. The bone meal is steamed to increase its availability for plants.
Bone meal fertilizer is used to increase phosphorus in the garden. Most bone meal has a NPK of 3-15-0. Phosphorus is essential for plants in order for them to flower. Bone meal phosphorus is easy for plants to take up. Using bone meal will help your flowering plants, like roses or bulbs, grow bigger and more plentiful flowers.
Bone meal is a wonderful natural fertilizer that has been used by farmers and gardeners for centuries to improve root growth and flowering in plants. It is the premier source of phosphorus for use in organic gardening and is made from ground-up bones (either cooked or steamed). It can be applied to the overall garden at the time of initial soil prep in the spring, or can be sprinkled in the hole when transplanting starts or perennials to encourage the development of new roots.
Along with Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K) N-P-K : approx. 3-15-0 is one of the three major nutrients, or "macronutrients" needed by all plants. Plants use it for:
- root growth
- flower growth and colour
- many critical metabolic functions (including making DNA, RNA and ATP)
Most plants do not need a lot of phosphorus, but the little bit they do need is critical.
Phosphorus deficiency can produce the following symptoms:
- stunted growth
- spindly stems
- dark veins while rest of the leaf fades to yellow
- purplish or bluish green leaf color
- late or stunted flowers, or even no flowering