Fertiliser vs Plant Food: What’s Their Difference?

Fertilisers and plant foods are essential for your plants’ growth. However, these terms are often used interchangeably, which can cause confusion among plant enthusiasts, especially the new ones. Knowing their differences, similarities, and purposes can help you become a more effective gardener and ensure that your plants thrive and grow strong and healthy. You can achieve these by reading this guide.

What are Fertilisers?

Plant fertilisers contain macronutrients, micronutrients, and fillers. They are also made up of micronutrients, including iron and calcium. Organic fertiliser variants are rich in the following micronutrients: boron, calcium, chlorine, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, and zinc. It’s used to improve soil texture, allowing plants to hold water longer, and providing them with the necessary nutrients for growth.

Many fertilisers are made of micro and macronutrients, but most have fillers. Contrary to popular belief, these fillers not just take up space in the soil but also distribute valuable nutrients and help the plants absorb these vitamins and minerals.

Fertilisers are responsible for revitalising the soil, providing plants with nutrients, and helping them grow and bloom correctly. However, the plants make their own food with the nutrients they absorb from the soil, combined with air, water, and sunlight. For instance, simple sugar is created through the chloroplasts combined with carbon dioxide. Through absorbed water, this sugar gets distributed through the entire plant.

Fertilisers are added to the soil to help provide the elements needed for plants to create their own food. Simply put, fertilisers and products labelled “plant food” are soil additives packed with lots of nutrients for better plant nutrition.

Synthetic vs All-Natural Fertilizer: Which Is Better?

Fertilisers come in either organic or chemical forms. Organic fertilisers are made from manure, compost, or fish meal. They can help save you money, but they take longer to break down into the soil. 

Meanwhile, chemical fertilisers are made from liquid ammonia. They are water-soluble solutions that are purer but more expensive. They are also often added to the plants directly during irrigation.

What Is a Plant Food?

Aside from hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon, plants need all 13 minerals to receive balanced nutrition and grow healthily. Fertilisers usually contain high levels of phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen, which are essential to their growth and health. However, they can lack other essential micronutrients. When this happens, they get inadequate nutrition. Fortunately, plant food can supplement these lacking nutrients in the soil, air, sunlight, and water to ensure healthy plant growth.

Each element boosts your plants’ productivity in different processes. Make sure to pay special attention to other nutrients, such as calcium and magnesium. Do this by testing a small portion of your plant soil to ensure it won’t cause any harm to your plants.


Plants traditionally absorb the soil’s nutrients to feed themselves and stay healthy. However, the soil eventually needs fertiliser or plant food to replenish their depleted nutrients. Since fertiliser and plant food are technically different, make sure to remember the information stated in this guide to help you learn more about their importance and difference. When looking for the best plant enhancer, shop only at reliable stores like ours.

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