Is Liquid Fertilizer or Dry Fertilizer Best For Your Potted Plants?

For plants to grow and bloom efficiently, they require essential nutrients such as phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium. All of these nutrients can be found in common fertilizer products that are available in most gardening and hardware stores. As the most reputable garden shop in Feasterville, Leck’s Greenhouses has recently advised on the differences between using a liquid or dry fertilizer for potted plants.

Commercially prepared potted plants often contain enough fertilizer to supply nutrients for up to three weeks after planting. After three weeks, depleted nutrients can be replenished using liquid or dry fertilizers. The label on a fertilizer product will state the ratio of phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium.

Liquid Fertilizers

Liquid fertilizers are powders or concentrates that are dissolved in water before they can be applied to the soil. They often contain a dye so that the mixture can be easily identified. These types of fertilizer quickly dissolve, so they need to be reapplied as often as once every two weeks.

One of the advantages of liquid fertilizers is how easy they are to handle and apply once they are mixed and set up. Also, they are easy to blend, especially with crop protection products, and they can be applied via the roots of a plant or the foliage.

Dry Fertilizers

Dry fertilizers are available as beads, slow-release pellets, or granules. Granular garden fertilizer is excellent for trees or potted shrubs. Water carries dry fertilizer down from the surface of the soil to the root zone. Every time a plant is watered, fertilizers release minute amounts of water-soluble fertilizer from their resin coating. Depending on the product, these beads or pellets can supply nutrients for between three to nine months.

The number of nutrients supplied by granular or liquid fertilizer doesn’t differ that much. However, there are some notable differences between these methods of fertilization:

Salt Content

Sometimes, roots steer away from bands of granular fertilizers that have high levels of potassium and nitrogen. For this reason, liquid fertilizers are often preferred when the plants are younger.


In liquid fertilizers, nutrients such as phosphorus are more mobile and can get closer to plant roots than they would be able to in stationary granule form.


In some cases, the cost of converting equipment to handle liquid fertilizer can be a problem.


Whereas the nutrient content is the same in every drop of liquid fertilizer, granular fertilizers have nutrient components in each granule.
For more information, or to buy fertilizer in Bucks County, contact our team today.