Plant Fertilizer Ingredients

Plant Fertilizer Ingredients


Among all ingredients in plant fertilizers, there are three main elements which are essential for the growth of all plants, namely, nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. They are basic nutrients for building up the cells of the plants and different plants have different needs for these elements. Usually, the percentage of each element will be marked on the bags of the fertilizer like 15-10-5. This marking means the ratio of the nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium is 15%, 10% and 5% respectively. Since the sum of these numbers s less than 100 percent and the rest of the weight are actually some filling materials.


As main building blocks of all plants, nitrogen sometimes will be absent from some soil because the growth of plants will consume a large amount of this element. Nitrogen is mainly used to building the cells of leaves which is the actual worker for the energy generation process – photosynthesis. Nitrogen exists in the style of enzymes and protein in every cell of the plant. Abundant nitrogen will facilitate the growth of plants.

Phosphorus is another main element of the three. Unlike nitrogen which is helpful for building up healthy leaves, phosphorus is responsible for establishing strong root system underground. It can strengthen the overall health of the plants and help them resist abnormal conditions and diseases. It can facilitate the formation of buds, flowers and fruits. So phosphorus is very important for commercial orchards since the fruits are usually the main products.

Potassium is essential for the circular system of the plants. The sodium-potassium pump is just working like the heart of the human body, pumping liquids to all parts of the plants to transmit nutrients to each part of the plant. These liquids are similar to the blood of the human body, and any deficiency will cause severe issue. Deficiency of potassium will result in the yellow leaves and weak branches. Compared with the above two main elements, there are a certain amount of potassium contained in soil. However, they do not exist in a style which is easy for plants to absorb. So, most fertilizers contain a certain amount of potassium along with nitrogen and phosphorus.

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Image provided By SeppVei (Own Work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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