How to Use Liquid Fertilizer


For immediate results and easy application, try liquid fertilizers. The nutrients in liquid fertilizers are immediately available to plants and are less likely to burn the roots and leaves than granular fertilizers. Purchase bottled liquid fertilizers in a variety of formulas (vegetable, houseplant, lawn) to suit your gardening needs or try organic liquid fertilizer such as fish emulsion. Liquid fertilizers are more expensive than granular fertilizers and need more frequent applications because they quickly break down in the soil.

Step 1

Attach a hose and nozzle to the liquid fertilizer spray bottle for fertilizing large areas. Many liquid fertilizers come in an easy-to-use spray bottle.

Step 2

Turn on your hose to a medium flow. Spray your garden or lawn area with the nozzle. The water automatically dilutes the fertilizer to the proper amount for you.

Step 3

Mix liquid fertilizer with water in an old pitcher or watering can according to package directions.

Step 4

Apply the fertilizer to your houseplants or potted plants at the rate recommended on the package.

Step 5

Rinse your container with water before storing.

Tips and Warnings

  • Wear gloves and protective clothing when applying fertilizers. Wash your hands thoroughly after using. Apply fertilizer as directed by the manufacturer. Applying too much fertilizer can hurt plants. Runoff can pollute groundwater and cause excessive algae growth in ponds and streams. Store fertilizer out of the reach of children.

Things You'll Need

  • Hose
  • Nozzle attachment
  • Old pitcher or watering can


  • Old House Web: Liquid Fertilizers
  • Plant Care: Lawn Fertilizing
  • My Chesapeake Bay: Nitrogen

Who Can Help

  • Cornell University Horiculture Department: Lawn Basics
Keywords: liquid fertilizer, using fertilizer, making liquid fertilizer

About this Author

Julie Christensen has been writing professionally since 2001. She is a full-time freelance writer and former teacher with writing credits from several regional and national publications, such as Colorado Parent and LDS Living. She specializes in parenting, education and gardening topics. Christensen studied early childhood education at Ricks College, and spent 20 years as a teacher and director in university and public school settings.