What Is Fertilizer? The Most Accurate Definition

What is fertilizer? A question that many people find it difficult to answer. We only know that fertilizing is good for plants, but we have never understood the details. Join BSF Smart Farm to learn more about fertilizers and related terms.

What Is Fertilizer?

Fertilizers are substances or compounds containing one or more essential nutrients for plants, in order to promote the growth and development of plants, provide optimal nutrition for the soil, and can change the environment. Change the nutrients of the soil to suit the needs of the crop.

Or is there another easy to understand definition:

Fertilizers are “food” that humans add to plants. Fertilizers contain many nutrients needed by plants. The main nutrients in manure are: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). In addition to the above substances, there are also groups of trace elements…

What is Fertilizer in English?


Pronunciation :/ˈfɝː.t̬əl.aɪ.zɚ/

Word type: Countable or uncountable nouns except

Definition: Fertilizer (noun): fertilizer, an organic or chemical fertilizer that is spread on the soil or to the plant, to make plants grow well.

Basic Substances in Fertilizers

Types of fertilizers usually provide, according to different proportioned components:

  • Three basic nutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
  • Three second-class nutrients such as calcium(Ca), sulfur (S), magnesium (Mg).
  • Micronutrients: boron (Bo), chlorine (Cl), manganese (Mn), iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu)…

Nutrients are consumed in large quantities and are present in plant tissues in amounts ranging from 0.2% to 4.0% (on a dry weight basis). Micronutrients are consumed in small amounts and are present in plant tissues in measured amounts of several parts per million (ppm), in the range of 5 to 200 ppm, or less than 0.02% of dry weight.

Commonly Used Fertilizers

Fertilizer Basic Tutorial Video

Fertilizer Classification Method

Sort by Origin and Production Process

  • Organic fertilizer: is a type of fertilizer derived mainly from organic substances, microorganisms, animals, plants … In organic fertilizers, it is divided into different types of organic fertilizers: traditional organic fertilizers. system, microbial organic fertilizer, mineral organic fertilizer, biological organic fertilizer.

  • Inorganic fertilizers: are fertilizers derived from minerals, natural inorganic or chemical products. In inorganic fertilizers, there are many different types of fertilizers: single fertilizers, complex fertilizers, and mixed fertilizers.
  • Microbial fertilizers: Microbial fertilizers are organic products that contain beneficial microorganisms. There are many groups of beneficial microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes used to make fertilizers. Among them, the most important are groups of microorganisms that fix nitrogen, dissolve phosphorus, decompose organic matter, stimulate plant growth & development, etc.

Classification of fertilizers according to the method of application

  • Root application: These are fertilizers that are applied directly to the soil or into the water. Fertilizers provide nutrients to plants through their roots.
  • Foliar fertilization: These are fertilizers used to be irrigated, or sprayed directly on leaves, stems or watered at the base. Plants absorb nutrients through their leaves.

Classification by physical state


  • Liquid fertilizers: Liquid fertilizers are often used to spray on leaves and stems.
  • Solid fertilizers: fertilizers in the form of compounds, pellets or crystals and powders.

Sort by nutritional composition

  • Macronutrients: This is a fertilizer containing macronutrients that is provided to plants in an absorbable form. These compounds include nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K).
  • Intermediate fertilizer: This type of fertilizer contains intermediate compounds that provide plants. Intermediate compounds include: calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), sulfur (S), effective silicon (Si).
  • Micronutrients: Like the above fertilizers, this fertilizer provides micronutrient compounds in a form that is easily absorbed by plants. This compound includes: boron (B), cobalt (Co), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo), zinc (Zn).

Classification according to fertilizer composition

  • Single fertilizer: This is an inorganic fertilizer with only one macro-element (nitrogen, phosphorus or potassium) in its composition.
  • Mixed fertilizers: This type of fertilizer contains 2 or more macroelements or at least 1 macroelement combined with 2 intermediate elements with chemical bonds.

Classification by compound

  • Inorganic fertilizers: This type of fertilizer is produced from natural minerals or chemicals, and contains one or more macronutrients, intermediates and micronutrients.
  • Organic fertilizers: Organic fertilizers are fertilizers produced from organic raw materials.

Macronutrients in Fertilizers (N,P,K)


Nitrogen (N) is an indispensable substance in the growth process of plants, protein increases the protein content of plants, in addition is the main component of organic substances: nucleic acids, chlorophyll.. Plants Need nitrogen during growth and development, each plant needs a different amount of nitrogen.


Phosphorus (P) plays an important role in the process of energy exchange and synthesis of proteins, nucleic acids, chromosomes, etc. Like root, fruit development, flower sprout formation, determine seed quality… Phosphorus (P) helps to increase resistance to conditions: cold, drought, pests.

Potassium (K)

Potassium (K)  is the most commonly used macronutrient by plants. Potassium actively participates in the process of photosynthesis, synthesizes carbohydrates and carbohydrates of plants, transports and accumulates photosynthetic products from leaves to storage organs. Potassium plays an important role in nitrogen synthesis, enhancing the plant’s resistance to adverse conditions: drought, waterlogging, heat, cold, and increasing resistance of plants to pests and diseases.

Intermediates in Fertilizers ( S, Ca, Mg )

  • Sulfur (S) is the 4th nutrient element needed for plant growth after N, P, K. Plants need an amount of sulfur nearly equal to phosphorus (P) to be able to grow properly. Sulfur plays an important role in the synthesis of proteins and some important amino acids, plays an important role in creating oil-producing substances, creating odors for agricultural products. Increases cold tolerance, drought resistance for plants, promotes ripening of fruits and seeds. In addition, sulfur is abundant in the composition of coenzyme A (an important catalyst in the process of photosynthesis and respiration of plants, enhancing the activity of nitrogen fixing microorganisms…
  • Calcium (Ca) is needed for the development of the root system, strengthening the formation of the lateral roots and the root hair system. Promote metabolism, transport glucose in plants. Reducing the permeability of cell membranes limits the absorption of water by plants, creating temporary waterlogging tolerance for plants.
  • Magnesium (Mg) plays an important role in photosynthesis and the synthesis of carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids in plants. Mg is especially important for sugar and flour plants, legumes, essential oils, stimulants, resins, etc.

Mg contributes to the proper pH regulation of each part of the cell and the physiology of the plant. Mg participates in the composition or stimulates the activity of enzymes, lack of Mg will adversely affect the synthesis of ATP and the process of phosphorylation in plants.

Mg together with K increase cell tonicity, water balance in plants, increase drought tolerance in plants.

Micronutrients in Fertilizers (Zn, Fe, Cu, Mn, B, Mo, Cl)

  • Zinc (Zn) plays an important role in respiration, mineral nutrition, photosynthesis, synthesis of organic substances, growth, transport, tolerance, seed formation of plants.
  • Iron (Fe) affects the process of denitrification, photosynthesis, synthesis, chlorophyll activation, and organic synthesis.
  • Copper (Cu) plays an important role in synthesizing chlorophyll, converting glucose for photosynthesis of plants, reducing nitrate, synthesizing substances: sugar, fat, protein, vitamins A and C.
  • Manganese (Mn) participates in the reduction of CO2 to chlorophyll for photosynthesis of plants, exchange and assimilation of nitrogen, synthesis of substances: glucose, nucleic acids, growth regulators, transport glucose, increase drought tolerance, growth: sprouting to form stem, flowering, fruiting..
  • Boron (B) affects the physiological regulation of plants: photosynthesis, organic matter formation, transport of substances in plants, pollen formation and fruiting ability.
  • Molibden (Mo)  promotes nitrogen fixation in nodophilic bacteria, nitrogen metabolism in plants, is a structural component of many enzymes that catalyze photosynthesis, respiration, glucose metabolism, and increases tree resistance.
  • Chlorine (Cl) stimulates a number of enzymes that affect carbohydrate metabolism and increases the water retention capacity of cells.

The Effect of Fertilizers in Farming

  • Keep plants lush and healthy.
  • Increases soil fertility
  • Increase crop yield and quality of agricultural products.
  • Provides nutrients needed for plant growth
  • Proper and balanced fertilization will help increase crop productivity, grow well, limit pests and diseases, and improve the quality of agricultural products.

Principles When Using Fertilizer

The right kind of fertilizer

Farmers need to base on the nutritional needs of crops, each stage of growth, and depending on the type of soil to choose the appropriate fertilizer. For example, in the early stages of plant development, plants need a lot of nitrogen, some species need a lot of nitrogen during the growth period, and some species need a lot of potassium. Fertilizers have many types: inorganic fertilizers, organic fertilizers, microbial fertilizers, … But 3 main elements play an important role in the growth of plants: N, P, K.

Right time

The growth process of plants goes through many different stages, each different stage needs different nutrients, it needs to be divided into many suitable fertilizer times so that the plants can best absorb nutrients, avoid fertilizing. Once, the amount of fertilizer is too large, causing the plant to be shocked, unable to absorb all nutrients, causing waste, environmental pollution …

Right Dosage

In order to avoid waste and save investment costs, farmers do not over-fertilize or under-fertilize, usually each fertilizer has an indication of the amount of fertilizer for each different crop. Carefully follow the instructions for use, especially need to regularly monitor the growth of plants, soil, and weather to be able to adjust the amount of fertilizer in accordance with each type of crop, each stage of plant growth.

Right Method

For example, for liner fertilizers, you need to water enough, bury the manure deeply into the ground, for organic fertilizers to ensure decay, for foliar fertilizers, it is necessary to mix the correct dosage instructions …

Read More: Correct Fertilization Method

English-Vietnamese Terms in Fertilizer

Từ Tiếng Anh Nghĩa Tiếng Việt
Mineral fertilizers Phân Vô Cơ
Organic fertilizers Phân Hữu Cơ
Nitrogen fertilizers Phân đạm
Nitrogen fertilizers with inhibitors Phân đạm có chất ức chế
Phosphorus fertilizers Phân lân
Potassium fertilizers Phân kali
Calcium, magnesium and sulfur Fertilizers Phân bón canxi, magiê và lưu huỳnh
Micronutrient fertilizers Phân vi lượng
Inhibitors Chất ức chế

Where is the best place to buy fertilizer?

Currently, on the market, there are many fake and poor quality fertilizers. Therefore, you need to choose a reputable fertilizer supplier to find quality fertilizer.

BSF Smart Farm is a reliable fertilizer distribution address that customers should choose. Always keep abreast of the most modern fertilizer technologies to ensure farmers’ resources and improve crop yields.

BSF Smart Farm is proud to be the provider of optimal solutions for agriculture:

  • Organic fertilizer from black soldier fly larvae with high nutritional content.
  • Apply less but more effective than traditional organic fertilizers.
  • Technical support and advice for each type of crop suitable for farmers.
  • Maximum support for people with the most optimal transportation costs.
  • There is a warranty and promotion policy for both small and medium farmers. Discount policy for big agents.

Don’t let difficulties slow down your productivity. BSF Smart Farm has always been with you on every inch of land.

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