Plant Food vs Fertilizer: What's the Difference?

Many people use the terms “fertilizer” and “plant food” interchangeably, but there is actually a big difference between the two. Fertilizers and plant food are both important for maintaining a healthy garden. But what exactly is the difference between the two?

Fertilizers are chemical products that are added to the soil to increase its nutrient content. They are typically used to correct deficiencies in the soil that prevent plants from growing properly.

On the other hand, plant food is a natural process. Fertilizers are rich in nutrients and help to improve the structure of the soil so that this way, plants will be able to produce their own food.

Read More About Plants Requirements

Indoor Plants That Grow in Water Only Without Soil

Can You Use Outdoor Soil for Indoor Plants?

Why is My Plant Dying After Repotting?

Take a closer look at the difference between plant food vs fertilizer.

What is Fertilizer?

Fertilizer is a substance added to soil to give plants essential nutrients and help promote their growth and development. It is an important component of modern agriculture, as it helps to ensure healthy plants.

What is Fertilizer

Fertilizers come in many forms, but the most common is a combination of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, also known as NPK. Other elements such as calcium, magnesium, and sulfur may also be included in fertilizers.

There are three types of plant fertilizers: macronutrients, micronutrients, fillers, and ballast. Some fertilizers include nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in equal amounts. You can read more about making fertilizer at home for indoor plants.

There are commonly two types of these: N-P-K 10-10-10 or 20-20-20. Each number represents the amount of each nutrient in the fertilizer. Nitrogen is the first number, phosphorous is the second, and potassium is the third.

Plants require different ratios of N-P-K, and so fertilizers are available with all different ratios of these nutrients.

Fertilizers also contain micronutrients such as calcium and iron. It is very common for organic fertilizers to contain micronutrients such as copper, boron, iron, manganese, chlorine, calcium, zinc, and molybdenum,

A 10-20% percentage of the fertilizer comprises micronutrients, and the remaining 50% is filler. Rather than just taking up space, fillers help distribute nutrients and increase absorption.

Hydroponics vs Soil: Which is Better for Indoor Plants

Hydroponic Indoor Plants - Everything You Need to Know

Why Fertilizer is Used for House Plant?

Fertilizers are used to supplement the natural nutrients in the soil and to correct any imbalances that have occurred. For example, fertilizer can be used to correct the pH if the soil is too acidic or too basic.

Fertilizers can also be used to replenish nutrients lost due to over-cultivation or erosion. Where the soil is naturally poor in nutrients and in which plants can suffer from diseases and other problems due to nutritional deficiencies.

Why Fertilizer is Used for House Plant

Fertilizers are applied to soil in two ways: through a liquid or a granular form. Granular fertilizer is applied to the soil, while liquid fertilizer is sprayed onto plants. Both types are available in many forms.

The amount of fertilizer used depends on the plants and the soil. Most fertilizers are nitrogen-based, as this is an essential nutrient for plants to grow.

However, other nutrients, such as phosphorus and potassium, must also be included. Different types of plants may require different ratios of these nutrients.

Fertilizers are essential for modern gardening and have enabled us to produce higher yields and healthier plants. They are a convenient and cost-effective way to ensure that plants receive the nutrients they need for optimal growth.

What is Plant Food?

Plant food might be advertised on some commercial packages. The Plant food packs are just fertilizer. Fertilizer improves soil so plants can absorb nutrients, but the plants prepare their own foods.

What is Plant Food?

Air, water, and sunlight combine to give plants the nutrients they need to make their food from the soil. Throughout its leaves, the plant receives carbon dioxide from the air.

Through the plant leaves, carbon dioxide absorbs and stores the sun's energy in chloroplasts, composed of chlorophyll. Combined with carbon dioxide, chloroplasts in chlorophyll produce simple sugars.

Water is absorbed throughout the plant, which helps this sugar spread out. In photosynthesis, minerals and nutrients must be taken from the soil as water moves up through the roots and into the plant.

There is also an essential requirement for water to maintain the turgidity of the plant's cells. A plant that does not receive sufficient water will not have the energy it needs to grow, and it will stop growing as a result.

The Difference Between Fertilizer and Plant Food.

When it comes to gardening, there are a lot of different terms related to soil and plant nutrition that can be confusing. One of the most common questions is the difference between fertilizer and plant food.

Fertilizers and plant foods are both essential for keeping your plants healthy and growing strong. But what’s the difference between the two?

The Difference Between Fertilizer and Plant Food.

Fertilizers are materials that are added to the soil to provide essential nutrients for plant growth, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

Fertilizers come in many forms, including organic fertilizers, such as manure or compost, and inorganic fertilizers, such as synthetic or chemical fertilizers.

Fertilizers come in a variety of types, and each has its own advantages. There is a difference between fertilizer vs plant food, however. Both of them are different.

Plant food is made from air, sunlight, water, and soil nutrients that plants absorb from the soil, whereas fertilizer is made from chemicals.

To boost the growth of plants, fertilizer is a natural or chemical mixture of nutrients that are added to the soil surrounding them in order to provide them with nutrition.

The process of fertilizing isn't natural. Fertilizers are made commercially. However, the process of making plant food is natural and does not involve any artificial ingredients.

Plants use numerous nutrients in soil, water, and the air to create their own food, known as plant food, that they consume.

Chemical or Organic Fertilizers Advantages and Disadvantages

Chemical and natural fertilizers are an important part of modern farming and gardening. While they have some advantages, they also have some disadvantages.

Let’s take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of chemical and organic fertilizers.


The primary advantage of chemical and synthetic fertilizers is that they are highly efficient in delivering nutrients to plants. These fertilizers contain a variety of essential nutrients that are essential for plant growth.

They can be applied quickly and efficiently, meaning plants can receive the nutrients they need relatively quickly. Another advantage to using synthetic fertilizers is that they can be formulated to target specific nutrients.

Gardeners can select the exact mix of plant nutrients for their particular needs. Additionally, synthetic fertilizers can be formulated to contain slow-release nutrients, which will help maintain soil fertility over an extended period of time.


Although both have advantages, they also have disadvantages. The primary disadvantage is that they are not always good for the environment. These fertilizers can contain chemicals that can harm the environment, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, which are horrible for aquatic life.

In addition, chemical and organic fertilizers can also have a negative impact on plant growth because they are so concentrated. They can sometimes burn plants, leading to stunted growth or even death. They can also create an imbalance in the soil, leading to the death of beneficial microorganisms.

In the end, chemical and natural fertilizers have both advantages and disadvantages. So, it is important for people to consider the pros and cons of using these fertilizers before choosing whether or not to use them.

Final Words

Finally, Fertilizers are added to the soil to help provide the elements needed for plants to create their own food. Plant food is made from nutrients in the soil and other essential elements, like air, water, and sunlight.

As a result, fertilizer is different from plant food. Several brands in the market claim that they offer plant food, but in reality, they are selling fertilizer that is actually meant for the plants.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.