Understanding Organic Plant Fertilizer And Its Types

Understanding Organic Plant Fertilizer And Its Types

Namaskar Desi Gardeners! Before we use anything, we should know what it is and how it works. This is not only true for any Organic Plant Fertilizer but for anything else in life. A little understanding goes a long way. so  today we will discuss Understanding Organic Plant Fertilizer And Its Types

What are House Plant Fertilizers?

Just like we need food and nutrients to survive, plants also need it to survive and thrive. Plants get their food from air and water and as well as from soil. A good quality House Plant fertilizer provides all the required nutrients and micronutrients.

So what are these nutrients and micronutrients?

Understanding Organic Plant Fertilizer And Its Types

There are six main nutrients that a plant needs – C, O, H, N, P, K

  • Carbon – We all know that plants take in CO2. C is very important for the plants. They need it to grow and also use it for other vital functions.
  • Oxygen – Plants get their O from the air and water. Oxygen helps in cellular respiration and helps them in photosynthesis.
  • Hydrogen – Similar to Oxygen, plants get their H nutrient from the air and water. Hydrogen helps with oxygen to carry on photosynthesis and other vital tasks fir the plant.

Plants easily get C, O and H from the air and soil but if we are farming or gardening, we need to keep on providing N, P and K.

Fertilizers Used By Gardeners In India

What is NPK’s Best plant fertilizer?

NPK fertilizer is the Best Plant Fertilizer we need to apply to our plants.

  • Nitrogen – Nitrogen makes the plant carry out its basic functions. It helps to grow and make amino acids. This in turns helps the plant to prepare its food and DNA. Urea is a fertilizer which is very rich in N.
  • Phosphorus – Phosphorus helps in moving the nutrients in the plant amongst many other works. It also helps in creating more roots, seeds and buds. Bone meal fertilizer is rich in P.
  • Potassium – Potassium or Potash is helps the plant to give more flowers and fruits. It makes the plant more resistant to disease, weather and pests. Banana peels contains a lot of K.

An NPK plant fertilizer has a ratio. For example, 19 : 19 : 19, 20 : 20 : 20 or 18 : 46 : 0 – this means the N, P and K ratio. A very commonly used NPK is Sufala which is 15 : 15 : 15 which means that NPK is present equally. DAP fertilizer is 18 : 46 : 0 NPK which means it has N as 18 and rich in P as 46 but has no K. Using which one you need depends on your type of plant or crop.

But then what is different about 15 : 15 : 15 and 20 : 20 : 20 NPK ? The amount is NPK is more in 20 : 20 : 20. Also it means that in the pack, apart from N, P and K, there is also filler (usually silica sand). So in a 1 kg pack of 20 : 20 : 20 NPK, for our assumption we can say that it has 20 g of N, 20 g of P and 20 g of K. The rest is filler, moisture and additional micronutrients as present.


Plants also need some more secondary nutrients which are called micronutrients. These are Sulphur, Iron, Zinc, Boron, Magnesium, Aluminium, Calcium, Copper, Manganese, Molybdenum, and Chlorine. Plants need this very less quantities. Lack of these minerals will make the plant weak and sick. Adding organic matter in soil makes it rich in micronutrients. Commercially you will also get micronutrient based plant fertilizer.

Organic Or Inorganic Fertilizer – Which One Is Best Plant Fertilizer for Flowers? 

So there has always been a debate in our minds: which is the Best Plant Fertilizer for Flowers? Which one should I choose? Let us compare the pros and cons of both.

Organic – Slow-release plant fertilizer. Takes time for the plant to break down and take it up.

Inorganic – Plants take it up easily and quickly. Acts very fast.

Organic – Makes the soil better, improves quality and Ph with time.

Inorganic – Does not help the soil. Soil’s quality goes down upon continuous use.

Organic – Helps good microbes to thrive.

Inorganic – Usually not friendly to good bacteria or microbes in the soil and roots.

Organic – Most organic fertilizers are not water soluble. These have to be prepared as liquid fertilizers by fermenting for a few days. Mustard cake liquid fertilizer is an example.

Inorganic – Synthetic fertilizers come commonly as water soluble. Just dissolve and apply.

Organic – Excess Organic plant fertilizer usually never harms the plants. It is rarely heard that a plant is killed due to incorrect proportion of compost. More or less quantity, it is almost always good.

Inorganic – Always have to be applied in correct measurement. Otherwise it may burn or even kill the plant. But then, if quantity is lesser than instructed it will not be so effective.

Organic – Friendly to bees, butterflies and birds. No side effects.

Inorganic – Not so friendly to nature as these inorganic fertilizers are synthetic and contain chemicals. Some of these can even kill bees and other friendly bugs.

Organic – If plants could talk, they would only want organic plant fertilizer to be given to them. It is natural.

Inorganic – Good for short term use only or for emergency. Regular inorganic fertilizer use can decrease the life of the plant.

Hibiscus Plant Care With Fertilization And Pest Control

Foliar Spray-based Rose Plant Fertilizer

You may have seen that some fertilizers come as a foliar spray. We mix it up with water and spray it on the leaves of the plants.

According to gardeners, foliar sprays are more effective because the leaves absorb it more quickly than the roots. Sometimes it is even 10 to 20 times faster than roots!

So in my case, I have a 19 : 19: 19 Rose Plant Fertilizer which I spray on my plants once a month. Along with that, I apply a mixed organic fertilizer or mustard cake liquid fertilizer once a month. This fulfills all the needs of the plants very well.

pH Based Organic Plant Fertilizer

Another small addition we need in our soil is to maintain the pH. pH tells us whether the soil is basic or acidic. Some plants like azalea need acidic soil. In that case we need to add leaf compost. When plants need basic soil, we may have to add lime. Although before you add anything to the soil, it is recommended that you carry out a pH test of the soil.

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