what the #s mean on fertilizer - Knowledgebase Question

Name: Sharon Ferguson
taylor, mi
Question by sharfergie
May 10, 2007
the 3 numbers that are indicated on fertilizer, what does each of them affect. for example, if I want a really green lawn I want a fertilizer higher in nitrogen, what about flowering houseplants, etc.?


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Answer from NGA
May 10, 2007

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The three numbers on the package indicate the percentage of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. In general terms, nitrogen makes leaves green, phosphorous encourages strong stems and flower bud, and potassium strengthens roots. For a green lawn, choose a fertilizer higher in nitrogen. For instance, a 21-7-14 formula will green up your lawn and encourage strong root growth, but will not promote flowering. If you have a flowering plant such as a lilac, you'll want a fertilizer higher in phosphorous than nitrogen or potassium. In this case, you could use a 10-20-10 formula.

Hope this clarifies things for you!

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