Artificial Fertilizers?

Spreading Artificial Fertilizer on Lawn
The main difference between organic and artificial or inorganic fertilizers is the source of the chemicals each contains. Both types must be used according to package instructions so as not to damage your plants. This is a page about artificial fertilizers.

2 Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

March 13, 2008


I am looking for some examples of artificial fertilizers.

Rimmi from Kolkata, India



Are you looking for brand names? There are hundred-far too many to list. Here is the basic difference between synthetic and organic fertilizers. Keep in mind that both types contain chemicals (whether naturally derived or not) and both can be harmful to the environment (and your plants) if used improperly.

The terms organic, inorganic, natural, and synthetic, all have different meanings. Lets try to clear up some of this confusion first. Chemically speaking, inorganic fertilizers come from non-living sources. For example, rock phosphate, a common source of phosphorus, comes from rocks, a non-living material. Rock phosphate may be naturally occurring in nature, but it is still not organic (derived from living things).


Organic fertilizers are derived from material produced by things that were once living. Examples are manure, blood or bone meal, and fish emulsion.

The term synthetic refers to something produced by a 'synthesis' of elements or materials. In other words, it is usually man made. For example, synthetic fertilizer describes products like a nitrogen fertilizer manufactured by combining natural gas with nitrogen from the air. It all gets a bit confusing because something can be inorganic non-living) and still occur naturally.

Naturally occurring means, well, that something occurs naturally.

Okay. So, those numbers you see on most fertilizer labels refer to the concentration (percent) of the three major nutrients needed for growth: nitrogen (N), phosphate (P), and potassium (K). All can be derived from organic or inorganic sources (which in the case of inorganic sources, are sometimes synthetically produced). Here are some examples of both:


  • Organic nitrogen: alfalfa, blood meal, bone meal, cottonseed meal, fish emulsion, and fishmeal.

  • Inorganic nitrogen: ammonium nitrate, ammonium sulfate, urea, and sulfur-coated urea.

  • Organic phosphorus: steamed bone meal, hard rock phosphate, and colloidal phosphate.

  • Inorganic phosphorus: superphosphate, triple superphosphate, and ammonium phosphate.

  • Organic potassium: greensand, sulfate of potash, kelp meal, and wood ash.

  • Inorganic potassium: potassium chloride (muriate of potash), potassium nitrate, and potassium sulfate.

In addition to these three major nutrients, most synthetic fertilizers also contain sulfur and small amounts of trace elements like iron, zinc copper, calcium, manganese, and magnesium. In healthy soil, these trace elements occur naturally.


In synthetic fertilizers, the elements are available to the plants as soon as you apply the fertilizer. Organic fertilizers release nutrients slowly over time-the same way they would be released to plants in nature. As far as the plants themselves go, they can't tell the difference between organic and synthetic fertilizers. To them, the nutrients are all the same.

One of the biggest problems with synthetic fertilizers is that they tend to tip the scales of nature heavily toward certain nutrients once they are applied. That is because most people forgo getting their soil tested to see what nutrients are lacking. Instead, they tend to go for the quick payoff and forge ahead with the fertilizers. Unfortunately, down the road this can spell trouble. Unlike organic fertilizers, synthetic fertilizers do nothing to build the soil and because nutrients are so concentrated during application, they often do harm to soil microorganisms. They are also generally much more labor intensive to produce.


I hope this helps!



By Carol in PA (Guest Post)
January 16, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

I'm not sure I understand your question, but I'm going to try to answer it. We have many "artificial" fertilzers in the United States. They are made of chemicals like potassium and nitrogen that help replenish the dirt's lost nutrients. I feel reluctant to mention any brand names. Chemical ferilizers cause disruption in the dirt. They kill microbes that live there that are healthy for the soil. Also, many contain chemicals that kill insects. Insects are good for the earth. They help fertilize plants when they are in bloom. Good dirt has earthworms. But earthworms wont live in soil that is chemically treated. So here in the US, if we garden on a small scale or do "organic" farming, we like to use composted garden materials as fertilizer. We let the corn stalks and other garden debris lay on the ground and rot. This is the best fertilizer. It is made by nature. Its natural like in the forests that cover our land here.


I hope this is of some help to you.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question

June 30, 2012

What are some artificial fertilizers?

By Azuyan z. from Maldives


July 2, 20120 found this helpful

I have heard that Epson Salts is a great ferterlizer. Have not tried it so you need to investigate before you use it.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question
Home and Garden Gardening FertilizerJanuary 26, 2018
Thanksgiving Ideas!
Halloween Ideas!
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Better LivingBudget & FinanceBusiness and LegalComputersConsumer AdviceCoronavirusCraftsEducationEntertainmentFood and RecipesHealth & BeautyHolidays and PartiesHome and GardenMake Your OwnOrganizingParentingPetsPhotosTravel and RecreationWeddings
Published by ThriftyFun.
Desktop Page | View Mobile
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Generated 2022-10-24 16:06:03 in 1 secs. ⛅️️
© 1997-2022 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.