The Most Popular Fertilizer: A Comprehensive Ranking

Choose the fertilizer you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Jun 16, 2023 10:18 (Updated on Dec 3, 2023 07:49)
Welcome to StrawPoll, where your opinion truly matters! Today, we're diving into the world of gardening and agriculture as we seek to determine the most popular fertilizer among our community. With countless options ranging from organic to synthetic, slow-release to fast-acting, it's time to put your green thumb to the test and cast your vote for the ultimate plant-boosting champion. Whether you're a gardening novice or a seasoned horticulturist, your input is valuable in helping us create the most comprehensive and accurate ranking of fertilizers. Don't see your go-to choice on our list? No problem! Simply suggest a missing option and watch as fellow gardening enthusiasts rally behind your recommendation. So, let's cultivate a conversation and unearth the secret to flourishing flora – cast your vote now and watch as the results blossom before your eyes!

What Is the Most Popular Fertilizer?

  1. 1

    Nitrogen-based fertilizers

    Justus von Liebig
    Nitrogen is one of the three primary macronutrients that plants need in large quantities. Nitrogen-based fertilizers are the most popular because they promote healthy foliage growth and increase the size and quality of crops.
    Nitrogen-based fertilizers are a type of fertilizers that provide essential nitrogen nutrients to plants, promoting their growth and enhancing productivity. These fertilizers contain nitrogen in various forms, such as ammonium, nitrate, or urea, which can be easily absorbed by plants.
    • Nitrogen Content: Usually high, ranging from 25% to 46% nitrogen.
    • Solubility: Readily soluble in water.
    • Forms Available: Ammonium nitrate, ammonium sulfate, urea, calcium ammonium nitrate, etc.
    • Rapid Absorption: Easily absorbed through root systems and foliage of plants.
    • Nutrient Release: Provides an immediate nutrient boost to plants.
  2. 2
    Phosphorous is another essential macronutrient that plants need in large amounts. Phosphorous-based fertilizers are popular because they promote strong root growth and help plants withstand stress.
    Phosphorous-based fertilizers are a type of fertilizer that contains phosphorus as the primary nutrient. Phosphorus is an essential element for plant growth and development, playing a crucial role in photosynthesis, energy transfer, and cell division. These fertilizers are formulated to provide plants with an adequate supply of phosphorus, ensuring healthy root development, improved flowering and fruiting, and overall plant vigor. Phosphorous-based fertilizers are widely used in agricultural and horticultural practices to enhance crop yields and promote plant health and productivity.
    • Nutrient content: Typically contains high levels of phosphorus (P)
    • Formulation: Available in various forms, including granular, liquid, and water-soluble forms
    • Solubility: Soluble in water, providing quick nutrient availability to plants
    • Application method: Applied to soil or through foliar sprays
    • pH level: Neutral to slightly acidic pH range
  3. 3
    Potassium is the third primary macronutrient that plants need in large quantities. Potassium-based fertilizers are popular because they help plants resist disease, drought, and cold temperatures.
    Potassium-based fertilizers are a type of fertilizer that provides plants with a concentrated source of potassium, a vital nutrient for plant growth and development. It is commonly used in agriculture, horticulture, and gardening to enhance plant health and productivity. Potassium-based fertilizers can be in the form of potassium chloride (KCl), potassium sulfate (K2SO4), or potassium nitrate (KNO3). These fertilizers release potassium ions into the soil, which are then absorbed by plant roots and utilized in various physiological processes.
    • Form: Granular or liquid
    • Solubility: Highly soluble in water
    • Potassium content: Varies based on the type of fertilizer (e.g., KCl: 60-62%, K2SO4: 40-50%, KNO3: 44-46%)
    • pH level: Neutral to slightly acidic
    • Application methods: Broadcasting, side-dressing, fertigation
  4. 4
    Organic fertilizers are made from natural sources, such as manure, compost, and bone meal. They are popular because they improve soil health, promote beneficial microbes, and reduce environmental pollution.
    Organic fertilizers are a category of fertilizers derived from natural sources that are free from synthetic chemicals. They are produced through organic farming methods and promote sustainable and environmentally-friendly agriculture. These fertilizers provide essential nutrients to the soil and help improve soil structure, fertility, and overall plant growth.
    • Nutrient Content: Organic fertilizers contain a balanced mix of essential nutrients like nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) along with other micronutrients.
    • Slow Release: They release nutrients slowly over time, making them available to plants gradually, minimizing nutrient loss and reducing the risk of nutrient leaching.
    • Soil Health: Organic fertilizers improve soil health by promoting beneficial microbial activity, enhancing soil structure, and increasing its water-holding capacity.
    • Environmental Friendliness: They are made from renewable resources and minimize the negative impact on the environment, including reducing the risk of water pollution.
    • No Chemical Residues: Organic fertilizers do not leave harmful chemical residues in the soil, plants, or the environment.
  5. 5
    Urea is a nitrogen-based fertilizer that is popular because it is affordable, easy to apply, and has a high nitrogen content. It is commonly used in agriculture and horticulture.
    Urea-based fertilizers are a type of plant fertilizer that is composed of urea, a compound made of nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon. Urea is a highly concentrated and water-soluble form of nitrogen, making it an effective and popular choice for fertilizing various crops and plants. It is used to provide essential nutrients to promote plant growth and increase yield.
    • Nitrogen content: 46-47%
    • Water solubility: High
    • Acidic or alkaline: Slightly acidic
    • Compatibility: Compatible with most pesticides
    • Application method: Can be applied through spraying or irrigation system
  6. 6
    Ammonium is a nitrogen-based fertilizer that is popular because it is readily available to plants and can be easily absorbed by the roots. It is essential for promoting healthy foliage growth.
    Ammonium-based fertilizers are a type of fertilizer that contain ammonium as the primary source of nitrogen. These fertilizers are widely used in agriculture and gardening to supply plants with essential nutrients for growth and development.
    • Nitrogen Content: Ammonium-based fertilizers typically have a high nitrogen content, ranging from 20% to 46%.
    • Ammonium Form: These fertilizers provide nitrogen in the ammonium form (NH₄⁺), which is readily available for plant uptake.
    • pH Level: Ammonium-based fertilizers are acidic in nature and can help acidify soil.
    • Stability: They have good stability, meaning that the nitrogen does not readily leach away from the soil.
    • Versatility: They can be used on various crops and plants, including vegetables, fruits, grass, and ornamental plants.
  7. 7

    Calcium-based fertilizers

    Various manufacturers
    Calcium is a macronutrient that is essential for strong cell walls and the development of healthy fruit and vegetables. Calcium-based fertilizers are popular because they improve soil structure, promote root growth, and reduce plant stress.
    Calcium-based fertilizers are a type of fertilizer that contains calcium as the primary nutrient. They help in improving the calcium levels in the soil, which is essential for plant growth and development. Calcium-based fertilizers are commonly used in agricultural, horticultural, and gardening practices.
    • Primary nutrient: Calcium
    • Application method: Most commonly applied through soil drenching or foliar spraying
    • Nutrient concentration: Contains high levels of calcium
    • pH adjustment: Can help in adjusting soil pH levels
    • Solubility: Some formulations are highly soluble in water
  8. 8
    Magnesium is a macronutrient that is essential for photosynthesis and the production of chlorophyll. Magnesium-based fertilizers are popular because they improve plant growth and yield, and prevent nutrient deficiencies.
    Magnesium-based fertilizers are fertilizers that contain significant amounts of magnesium as the main nutrient. These fertilizers are commonly used to provide plants with an essential nutrient, magnesium, which plays a vital role in various metabolic processes and plant growth. Magnesium-based fertilizers are typically available in different forms, including soluble compounds and slow-release formulations.
    • Nutrient Composition: Contain significant amounts of magnesium as the main nutrient.
    • Plant Absorption: Easily absorbed by plants through their root systems.
    • Magnesium Availability: Provide plants with readily available magnesium.
    • Metabolic Processes: Support essential metabolic functions in plants.
    • Chlorophyll Production: Promote the production of chlorophyll, enhancing photosynthesis.
  9. 9

    Iron-based fertilizers

    Various manufacturers
    Iron is a micronutrient that is essential for chlorophyll production and healthy plant growth. Iron-based fertilizers are popular because they prevent yellowing of plant leaves and improve overall plant health.
    Iron-based fertilizers are a type of fertilizer that contains iron as a key nutrient. These fertilizers are designed to provide plants with a sufficient supply of iron, which is essential for their growth and development. Iron is crucial for various physiological processes in plants, including photosynthesis, respiration, and nitrogen fixation. Iron-based fertilizers are commonly used in agriculture and horticulture to prevent or correct iron deficiency in plants.
    • Iron content: Varies depending on the product, typically ranging from 2% to 18% elemental iron
    • Solubility: Most iron-based fertilizers are water-soluble for easy application and absorption by plants
    • Application methods: Can be applied foliarly or as a soil drench, depending on the specific product
    • pH compatibility: Iron-based fertilizers generally work best in slightly acidic to neutral soil pH
    • Chelated form: Some iron-based fertilizers contain chelated iron, which helps improve iron availability to plants
  10. 10

    Sulfur-based fertilizers

    Various manufacturers
    Sulfur is a micronutrient that is essential for plant growth and development. Sulfur-based fertilizers are popular because they improve soil health, promote root growth, and increase crop yield.
    Sulfur-based fertilizers are a type of fertilizer that contain sulfur as the main nutrient element. They are commonly used to supply sulfur to plants, as sulfur is an essential nutrient for their growth and development. Sulfur-based fertilizers are particularly beneficial for crops that have high sulfur requirements, such as oilseeds, onions, and brassicas. These fertilizers can be applied to the soil or foliage of plants, providing a readily available source of sulfur for uptake.
    • Sulfur content: Varies depending on the formulation, typically ranging between 10-90%
    • Physical form: Granular, powder, or liquid
    • Solubility: Varies depending on the formulation, some are water-soluble, while others are slow-release
    • Application method: Can be applied directly to the soil or as a foliar spray
    • Sulfur release rate: Dependent on the specific product, some release sulfur rapidly, while others provide a slow-release over time

Missing your favorite fertilizer?


Ranking factors for popular fertilizer

  1. Nutrient Content
    The primary nutrients found in fertilizers are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). The ratio of these nutrients and their overall concentration are crucial in determining the effectiveness of the fertilizer.
  2. Availability
    The availability of a fertilizer in the market, both in terms of physical accessibility and affordability, is an essential factor. Popularity can be influenced by how easily a product can be purchased and at what cost.
  3. Crop Suitability
    Certain fertilizers may work better for specific crops or in specific soil conditions. The efficacy of the fertilizer on different crops plays a significant role in determining its popularity.
  4. Soil Compatibility
    Some fertilizers may be better suited for particular soil types or soil pH levels. The interaction between the fertilizer and the soil factors in each geographical area can affect its popular use.
  5. Application Method
    How the fertilizer is applied, either through broadcast application, side-dressing, or as a foliar application, can affect its popularity. Ease of application and compatibility with different farming equipment will also be a factor.
  6. Environmental Impact
    The potential for a fertilizer to contribute to issues such as water pollution, soil degradation, or greenhouse gas emissions will influence its popularity among environmentally conscious farmers and consumers.
  7. Release rate
    Fertilizers can be classified as slow-release or quick-release, depending on how quickly the nutrients become available to the plants. Some crops require a more immediate nutrient supply, while others benefit from a gradual release of nutrients. The release rate can directly impact the fertilizer's popularity.
  8. Organic vs. Inorganic
    Organic fertilizers are made from natural sources, while inorganic fertilizers are synthesized from chemical compounds. Preferences and effectiveness of organic vs. inorganic fertilizers can affect their popularity.
  9. Brand Reputation
    The reputation of the manufacturer or brand can influence the popularity of a fertilizer. Well-known and respected brands generally have a higher trust and market share.
  10. Recommendations
    Farmers often rely on the advice of experts, such as agronomists, extension agents, or fellow farmers, when selecting a fertilizer. The popularity of a fertilizer can be attributed to positive recommendations from trusted sources.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular fertilizer. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or fertilizer is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 225 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each fertilizer once every 24 hours. The rank of each fertilizer is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most popular fertilizer

Fertilizers play a crucial role in enhancing the growth and yield of plants. They provide essential nutrients that are necessary for the healthy development of plants. There are several types of fertilizers available in the market, including organic and synthetic fertilizers. Organic fertilizers are made of natural substances like animal manure, compost, and bone meal, while synthetic fertilizers are chemically produced. The most popular fertilizer largely depends on the type of crop being grown and the soil type. For instance, nitrogen-rich fertilizers are popular for growing leafy green vegetables, while phosphorus-rich fertilizers are popular for growing fruits and flowers. Additionally, there are slow-release fertilizers that release nutrients over an extended period, and fast-release fertilizers that provide nutrients immediately. It's important to choose the right fertilizer for your plants to ensure optimal growth and health. Before selecting a fertilizer, it's recommended to test the soil and determine what nutrients are lacking. This will help you choose the right fertilizer that will provide the missing nutrients and promote healthy plant growth.

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