Chemical Fertilizer Vs. Organic


Fertilizers are classified as organic or inorganic (chemical). Organic fertilizers come from animal and plant wastes. Organic fertilizers are slow-acting and won't burn plants. Inorganic or chemical fertilizers are water-soluble and can burn plants and leech out quickly.


Types of organic fertilizer are blood meal, bone meal, fish emulsion and manure. Chemical fertilizers include all-purpose granular and all-purpose fertilizer with pesticide, as well as the Miracle-Gro, one of the best-selling products on the market.

Chemcial Advantages

Chemical fertilizers start to work immediately upon application, which makes plants grow quicker and produce more blooms or fruit. The gardener can easily calculate the amount of fertilizer he is applying.

Chemical Disadvantages

Chemical fertilizers deplete the soil of beneficial organisms, causing the soil to become more acidic and requiring repeated applications of chemical fertilizers to replace lost nutrients that help break down of the soil naturally.

Organic Advantages

Organic fertilizers release nutrients as the plant needs them and won't burn plants. They produce no harmful runoff into lakes and streams. Organic fertilizers improve the soil structure and aid in moisture-retention.

Organic Disadvantages

Nutrients in organic fertilizers don't start working upon application, so if plants are in immediate need of nutrients, they won't get those nutrients right away. Applying organic fertilizers requires more work and a larger amount of the fertilizers.


  • Miami University of Ohio
  • Debgiri Agro Products
  • Lowe's

Who Can Help

  • Organic vs. Conventional Gardening
Keywords: organic fertilizer, chemical fertilizer, inorganic fertilizer

About this Author

Living in a small town in Georgia all of her life, Sherry Shinholster has been writing health-related and gardening articles for Triond and Helium for two years. Shinholster started writing for Demand Studios back in March. Twenty years of gardening experience catapulted her writing career and in October 2001, she completed a medical transcription course.