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Elixir Gardens Fertiliser & NPK Guide

Finding the right fertiliser can be daunting for new gardeners. Our guide will help you to understand what fertilisers are, the different forms they come in and how to work out which one you need.

This month we are sharing with you our knowledge on fertilisers, the different types and what NPK is exactly and how the varying nutrients can benefit your plants. 

For instance: A lot of people treat fertilisers as a “one does all” – this is sometimes the case with products like Growmore 7-7-7 (all round balanced feed) or Fish Blood & Bone (a natural all round fertiliser). But a lot of the time, you can buy specialist feeds, made or advertised for one plant, which could actually benefit many plants in your garden! To find out more, keep reading. 

Why use fertiliser?

All plants need to take nutrition on board to be able to survive. In general terms the better the feed, the better the plant health, and the higher the crop yield.

Plants are usually fed through their growing medium, soil, compost, water, etc. Although some fertilisers are given to plants through foliar feeding which is where the fertiliser is applied directly to the foliage.

Over time naturally occurring nutrients are taken up by the plants or are leached from the soil as rainwater naturally passes through it. Fertilisers not only replenish these nutrients, but are used to provide targeted nutrition for certain plant types.

What is NPK?

The three main cornerstones of fertilisers are Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P) and Potassium (K). Numbers, such as 7-7-7, represents the amount used of each of these components. In this case, 7-7-7 is a balanced all round fertiliser, more commonly known as Growmore.

N

Nitrogen

Nitrogen is used by plants to ensure they have the energy to generate new growth in stems and leaves.

This makes it great for lawns and leafy vegetables. A good indication of lack of nitrogen is when leaves start to discolour (often turning yellow) from the leaf tip down. It will also show in slower, stunted growth, especially during spring when you would expect more rapid growth.

P

Phosphorus

Phosphorous: Particularly important for seeds to germinate.

It will promote stronger root systems and also make plants hardier during winter (think of winter crops such as cabbage, leeks, parsnips).


Plants lacking in phosphorous will tend to have spindly, thin stems, stunted growth and mature leaves that turn a dark bluish green. It will also reduce the ability to produce flowers, fruit and seeds.

K

Potassium

Potassium is essential for producing flowers and fruits. It helps with photosynthesis and the movement of sugars within the pant.

It will increase cell strength, the regulation water intake and help make the plant more resistant to disease. Potassium is also called ‘potash’.


If your plant is lacking in potassium then older leaves appear ‘burnt’ due to lack of water regulation. It can also affect root growth and stem strength. There will be less fruit/ /flower production and fruits will be less sweet and juicy.

Which type should I buy?

The fertiliser your use depends on the plant it is intended to feed.

Soluble and liquid fertiliser will give a quick boost as it’s readily taken up through roots. It can also be absorbed via the leaves if used as a sprayed foliar feed. 

Granular fertiliser Is available in micro, mini and large granule forms. These can used as a base fertiliser when put into the hole or trench were plants are to go. Or, they can be used as a top dressing by mixing into the top few centimetres of soil before being watered in. Granular fertilisers are great for providing a slow release of nutrients over a longer period.

Elixir Gardens Nitrogen Fertilisers

Click an image to view the product

Elixir Gardens Phosphorus Fertilisers

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Elixir Gardens Potassium Fertilisers

Click an image to view the product

Our website offers a wide range of general and more specialist fertilisers. Each product shown also has helpful advice on what the fertiliser is used for, application rates, and when to use it.

Why use fertiliser?

All plants need to take nutrition on board to be able to survive. In general terms the better the feed, the better the plant health, and the higher the crop yield.

Plants are usually fed through their growing medium, soil, compost, water, etc. Although some fertilisers are given to plants through foliar feeding which is where the fertiliser is applied directly to the foliage.

Over time naturally occurring nutrients are taken up by the plants or are leached from the soil as rainwater naturally passes through it. Fertilisers not only replenish these nutrients, but are used to provide targeted nutrition for certain plant types.

What is NPK?

The three main cornerstones of fertilisers are Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P) and Potassium (K). Numbers, such as 7-7-7, represents the amount used of each of these components. In this case, 7-7-7 is a balanced all round fertiliser, more commonly known as Growmore.

N

Nitrogen

Nitrogen is used by plants to ensure they have the energy to generate new growth in stems and leaves.

This makes it great for lawns and leafy vegetables. A good indication of lack of nitrogen is when leaves start to discolour (often turning yellow) from the leaf tip down. It will also show in slower, stunted growth, especially during spring when you would expect more rapid growth.

P

Phosphorus

Phosphorous: Particularly important for seeds to germinate.

It will promote stronger root systems and also make plants hardier during winter (think of winter crops such as cabbage, leeks, parsnips).


Plants lacking in phosphorous will tend to have spindly, thin stems, stunted growth and mature leaves that turn a dark bluish green. It will also reduce the ability to produce flowers, fruit and seeds.

K

Potassium

Potassium is essential for producing flowers and fruits. It helps with photosynthesis and the movement of sugars within the pant.

It will increase cell strength, the regulation water intake and help make the plant more resistant to disease. Potassium is also called ‘potash’.


If your plant is lacking in potassium then older leaves appear ‘burnt’ due to lack of water regulation. It can also affect root growth and stem strength. There will be less fruit/ /flower production and fruits will be less sweet and juicy.

Which type should I buy?

The fertiliser your use depends on the plant it is intended to feed.

Soluble and liquid fertiliser will give a quick boost as it’s readily taken up through roots. It can also be absorbed via the leaves if used as a sprayed foliar feed. 

Granular fertiliser Is available in micro, mini and large granule forms. These can used as a base fertiliser when put into the hole or trench were plants are to go. Or, they can be used as a top dressing by mixing into the top few centimetres of soil before being watered in. Granular fertilisers are great for providing a slow release of nutrients over a longer period.

Elixir Gardens Nitrogen Fertilisers

Click an image to view the product

Elixir Gardens Phosphorus Fertilisers

Click an image to view the product

Elixir Gardens Potassium Fertilisers

Click an image to view the product

Our website offers a wide range of general and more specialist fertilisers. Each product shown also has helpful advice on what the fertiliser is used for, application rates, and when to use it.

More Products

Take a look at our selected products below and get the best from your garden.

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