What Is a High Phosphorus Fertilizer?


A high-phosphorus fertilizer has a greater ratio of phosphorus than the other macronutrients in a fertilizer, usually nitrogen and potassium.


  • Phosphorus is often responsible for proper root growth, fruit production and blooming.

Fertilizer Labels

  • When purchasing commercially available fertilizers, the middle number on the label indicates phosphorus. Fertilizer labels express the percentage, by weight, of each nutrient.

Common Uses

  • High-phosphorus fertilizers are often popular with vegetable gardeners. A high-phosphorus fertilizer used in a typical vegetable garden would have a ratio of 5-10-5, or double the weight than nitrogen and potassium.

When To Apply

  • Phosphorus is slow to move through the earth. For this reason, it is advisable to add phosphorus before or during planting.

Phosphorus Deficiency

  • Phosphorus deficiency often presents itself with a usually green plant turning purple. Soil tests are also beneficial for determining whether you have the optimal balance of nutrients for your garden. Soil tests can be arranged through your state’s Cooperative Extension Service. These are usually offered at little or no cost.


  • High levels of phosphorus can lead to premature flowering, which could in turn lead to a weaker plant later.

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