Is plant food and fertilizer the same thing – know the difference

Trust me; this is the most commonly asked question, Is plant food and fertilizer the same? Everyone gets confused here; it often happens that a minor wordplay is enough to create confusion. But here both of the terms, plant food and fertilizer, have different meanings. Both of them do co-exist. There is no such rocket science required in understanding the difference, just keep reading the article below and get your answers.

Is Plant Food and Fertilizer the Same Thing ?

To understand the major difference between both the terms, first, you must be clear with the basic knowledge and meaning of these terms. 

Plant Food:

Plant food is the natural food supply through the air, water, and sunlight. These three elements are the basic food supply for every plant. 16 such essential nutrients are important for plant growth. Plants can produce their own food with the help of carbon dioxide, water, and the sun’s energy. There are some micronutrients that are most needed by plants in terms of healthy growth. Plant food looks after the plant needs, like which element is needed for growth and so on. 


Calcium, Vitamins, and iron are three elements that are needed most by the plants from the 16 essential elements. Generally, all three elements are present in the plant itself and self feed them too. The remaining 13 elements needed for growth can be obtained from the soil. Fertilizers are those that are added around the plant to help them grow healthy. If the plant does not have any element from the 16 nutrients, then fertilizers fill up that space and give the nutrients. Basically, fertilizers correct the deficiencies in the plant for healthy growth. If you are unaware of the 16 essential plant nutrients, then keep reading. 

16 essential elements required by the plant for growth

16 essential elements required by the plant for growth

Below is the detailed category of elements that are required by the plant:

3 elements supplied by air and water:


3 Micronutrients:


3 Secondary Nutrients:


7 Micronutrients of primary elements:


Bottom Line:

I really hope this article would have cleared the air and helped you differentiate between plant food and fertilizers. These words are definitely used as synonyms, but both have different motives. Also, you must carry out a soil test to understand the need for fertilizer in a plant. To be more specific, a soil test will give you a clear picture of the needed elements in the form of fertilizers. It is recommended not to use any fertilizer without knowing the type of soil and needed nutrition. That is it for now, keep growing plants, spread greenery!

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button