We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is NPK Fertilizer?

By T. Doucette
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

NPK fertilizer refers to the three elemental nutrients found in common garden fertilizer: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K), or potash. Also seen as N-P-K, the hyphens are representative of the percentages of each element within the fertilizer. These three major elements are important nutrients for overall plant health, and depending on the type of plant species, will have a varying effect on how well a garden will thrive.

At any home improvement center, there are a variety of choices when it comes to NPK fertilizers. The numbers seen on the bags represent, in order, the percentages of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium contained within the mixture. A bag of 10-20-10 fertilizer will contain 10% nitrogen, 20% phosphorous, and 10% potassium.

Nitrogen functions as a means for the plant to produce more chlorophyll. This will result in abundant growth and allow for a dark green color. Many NPK lawn fertilizers have a high content of nitrogen in order to help produce lush, green grass.

Phosphorus aids in the initial growth of plants by contributing to root development and healthy flowering. Higher concentrations of phosphorus can be helpful when planting a new garden or sowing a lawn.

Potassium in NPK fertilizer provides an immune boost to plants by protecting them from certain diseases. It also aids in solid root development. Potassium also offers protection against seasonal weather such as extreme cold or drought.

In addition to plant type, some other considerations for choosing the right type of NPK fertilizer should include water solubility and the type of soil being used. Whether the fertilizer is organic or chemically produced is also an important consideration. Natural fertilizer will typically contain lower levels of nutrients than chemically produced fertilizer.

Another choice for the gardener is whether to use solid or liquid mixtures of fertilizer. In general, a liquid fertilizer will need to be applied to the area more frequently, and is prone to being washed away by rain, while solid fertilizer stands a better chance of absorption. While choosing which type of NPK fertilizer to use may seem confusing, a typical rule of thumb is that flowering plants and vegetables will require more fertilizer with a higher level of nitrogen, while slow-growing plants will need less fertilizer.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.