What is NPK fertilizer used for?


Quick Answer

NPK stands for nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, the three vital nutrients every plant needs. An NPK fertilizer provides those three nutrients in ratios particular to the plant being grown. A 5-10-5 fertilizer contains corresponding amounts of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium.

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Full Answer

Nitrogen helps form chlorophyll, the green pigment responsible for photosynthesis. Phosphorous encourages blooming and root growth, and potassium contributes to fruit and seed quality. They are all important to photosynthesis, the process by which plants manufacture their food. In terms of NPK ratio, blooming plants need a higher middle number, while leafy green plants need a higher first number. Fruits and grains often have a higher last number.

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