Ternary fertilizers

Ternary fertilizers

Ternary fertilizers are fertilizers of a chemical nature, that is, obtained through chemical reactions or through industrial processes. They are called “ternary fertilizers” because they consist of three elements, or rather, macro elements: Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium. These fertilizers are generally also called “NPK fertilizers”. The acronym NPK refers to the chemical symbols of the three elements contained within, where N stands for Nitrogen, P for Phosphorus and K for Potassium. These three elements are fundamental for the growth and development of plants to such an extent that, if they are missing, the plant could show symptoms of deficiency. Before choosing, buy and use a ternary fertilizeryou have to be aware of some things. On the packaging of each fertilizer there are a series of numbers, and these represent the percentages with which nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are present.

Uses and percentages

On the market there are ternary fertilizers with different percentages of the elements, the quantity is important because it is from it that the use of the fertilizer is determined. For example, ternary fertilizerswith smaller quantities of nitrogen and phosphorus but greater of potassium, they are suitable for fertilizing paper. Those with the same percentage of elements are indicated for the fertilization of orchids, green plants and foliage of succulents. Fertilizers, on the other hand, with a higher nitrogen percentage than the other two elements are suitable for fertilizing plants that love soils with acid pH. As already mentioned above, the three elements contained within the ternary fertilizers are very important and indispensable for plants. Nitrogen favors the initial growth of vegetation and takes care of the coloring of the leaves.


The Phosphorus reinforces the roots and improves the blooms. Potassium, on the other hand, is responsible for making the plant stronger and more resistant so that it can overcome obstacles caused by external adversities. The ternary fertilizers occur in various forms, they can be in liquid, granular or powder form. Liquid fertilizers are absorbed and assimilated by plants very quickly and therefore, it is advisable to use those with lower percentages. The granular ones release the nutrients they contain more slowly and guarantee nutritional coverage for up to 90 days. Those in powder, generally, are more complex and also contain micro elements. They are used to water the foliage in case of basic nutritional deficiencies.

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