Fertilizer particularly nitrogen is part of the concern about groundwater contamination. Many floricultural and ornamental plants do not need the high rates of nitrogen that are typically recommended. However, whenever one alters the quantity of a given nutrient the overall nutrient balance, as well as other physiological processes, changes. A brief overview of our research on poinsettias, roses, and chrysanthemums will be presented. Suggested ratios, critical S levels and nutrient problems associated with incorrect balances will be shared. Limitations due to statistical methods and the impact nutrient balance has on certain plant processes such as flowering and coloring and thus, consumer acceptance will be summarized. Future plans in this area may focus on the need for new statistical techniques, nutrient acquisition by roots and consumer perceptions of plant quality.