Plant food delivers three main nutrients to plants:
- Nitrogen (N)-helps fuel growth
- Phosphorus (P)-promotes root development, increases blooms, and helps gets plants off to a strong start
- Potassium (K)-essential to overall plant health; helps plants fight off diseases and withstand stressful growing conditions (like drought and heat)
These three key nutrients appear somewhere on every plant food package as a series of numbers, such as the 12-4-8 found on Miracle-Gro® Shake ‘N Feed® All Purpose Plant Food. The first number, 12, refers to the percentage, by weight, of nitrogen (N) in the plant food. The second number, 4, refers to the percentage of phosphorus (P), and the last number, 8, refers to the percentage of potassium (K).
Plants also benefit from other nutrients, such as calcium and magnesium, which are included in many plant foods. If you look on the back of any fertilizer package, you’ll see a list of all the nutrients it contains.