The Best Fertilizers

The best fertilizer for your plants depends on their needs. Whether your azalea bush lacks the vibrant green leaves it should possess, your grass is doing well but your lawn is still sparse or your fruit trees are succumbing to every pest, disease and cold spell that comes their way, there is a particular fertilizer type to suit your needs. Choose the best fertilizer for your needs based on the nutrients your plants are lacking.


Plants that are lacking in lush greenery or lawns that need a pick-me-up benefit from the nutrient nitrogen. While nitrogen is an essential nutrient for all plant life, those that are primarily leafy or rely heavily on their greenery need more nitrogen than others. It is the basis for protein manufacture in plants and plays a major part in photosynthesis. For lawns, shrubs and leafy houseplants, a nitrogen-rich fertilizer is the best choice. When reading a fertilizer package, nitrogen will be the first in a series of numbers appearing with dashes between them. For example, a formula of "10-0-0" is a nitrogen-only fertilizer.

Roots and Flowers

Phosphorous is another macronutrient essential to plant growth. Phosphorous aids in the transfer of energy from one part of the plant to another and is responsible for strong root growth and healthy, hearty blooms. If you need to revitalize a blooming plant, a plant that isn't producing as much fruit as it should or a sparse lawn, a phosphorous rich fertilizer is the best choice. Phosphorous is represented on a fertilizer label as the middle number on the nutrient analysis. A formula represented as "10-20-10" has more phosphorous than any other nutrient and would thus be ideal for root and flower or fruit development.

Plant Fortification

Potassium helps every part of the plant. Without potassium, plants suffer from yellowing, curling leaves, dark blotches and are more susceptible to disease and pest infestations. Potassium is essential for the overall health of a plant and helps fortify plants against cold, disease, pests and the everyday rigors of nature. Choose a potassium-based fertilizer for sickly plants or plants that are actively flowering and fruiting. Potassium is represented as the last number on the nutrient analysis of a fertilizer package. For example, a fertilizer with "10-10-20" has more potassium than any other nutrient.

Keywords: fertilizer help, fertilizer choices, nitrogen phosphorous potassium, best fertilizers, best fertilizer types, choosing a fertilizer

About this Author

Elizabeth Tumbarello is an eclectic writer from Ohio. Tumbarello has ghostwritten for a number of years, and has just started to publish her own work. She is an avid animal lover who volunteers with her local Humane Society and is currently pursuing her associate's degree in veterinary technology.