Fertilizer has various nutritional advantages for the soil and the plants that thrive there. Some general fertilizers and some are effective for particular plants. Depending on the grass, flowers, fruits, and vegetables you're growing, adding fertilizer to your lawn or garden requires an exact technique. The decomposition rate can differ depending on which fertilizer will be used.

The type of fertilizer used, the type of soil, and the environmental conditions are only a few of the variables that affect how long fertilizer remains in the soil. The average lifespan of fertilizers in the soil is between a few weeks and a few months, while some may survive longer.

To learn, how long fertilizer lasts in soil and those factors on which it depends.

Continue reading!


So How Long Fertilizer does Stay in Soil?

Fertilizer stays in the soil for a different time frame after being applied. It largely depends on the type of fertilizer you apply. Some elements will affect how long fertilizer remains in the soil are liquid or granular, the objective of fertilizer, and organic or inorganic. How quickly nutrients from the fertilizer deplete in the soil is also influenced by the type of soil and the number of plants in the area. The following are the duration for fertilizers:

  • organic dry fertilizer 4 to 6 weeks
  • organic liquid fertilizer 2 to four weeks
  • inorganic dry fertilizer 4 to 36 weeks
  • inorganic liquid fertilizer 1 to 2 weeks

Depending on the type of fertilizer you have and how it was made, the precise duration of time that it stays in the soil will change. It will take some time for organic fertilizers to decompose into usable nutrients that a plant can utilize. Results from using synthetic compounds come considerably more quickly since plants may nearly immediately use them. They won't last longer than a week, depending on the synthetic material you're utilizing.


Types of Fertilizer

When a nutrient needs to be absorbed immediately rather than slowly, liquid fertilizers, (which have a fast release) are the ideal choice. Fertilizers in granule type are dry pellets that resist being washed away by rain. Granular fertilizer can be used to supply your lawn with additional micro and macronutrients, particularly those that are difficult to maintain in liquid form. These two are the main types of fertilizer: liquid and granular.



Liquid fertilizers can provide your plant with immediate access to nutrients. The majority of liquid fertilizers only last 1 to 2 weeks, and you need to repeat. However, that depends on the kind and quantity of liquid fertilizer you use for growing plants. This kind of fertilizer can be sprayed directly onto the plant, where it will be quickly utilized by the plant after being absorbed by the leaves. Both at the beginning of the growing season and again in the middle of it, fertilizers can be applied. If you don't apply it with the right concentration or apply it too much at once, it might seriously harm your plant.



Granular fertilizers must be applied indirectly to plants because they are dry. Before planting, this kind of fertilizer is typically applied to the soil. It can be cultivated shallowly into the soil and used as a side dressing, and it can last in the soil for 4 to several weeks. As the plant grows, this enables the fertilizer to decompose in the soil. The plant can then use the nutrients when they are absorbed by the roots. Due to their surface coating, granule synthetic products have a few specific attributes. These binders contain active nutrients, slowing down how quickly the soil can absorb them. They last significantly longer as a result.


How Long Does Dry Fertilizer Take to Decompose?

When you want a fertilizer application to have a delayed release, dry organic fertilizer is the ideal option. While nutrients from dry organic fertilizer do not release as quickly as from wet fertilizers, they do reach the plant quicker than those from compost. The nutrients included in wet fertilizers are quickly available for the plant to absorb, whether the fertilizer is applied to the soil or the leaves, thus they don't stay as long as dry fertilizers. Dry fertilizer typically decomposes two weeks after application. There are many slow-release fertilizers in granular forms. The coating on the pellets aids in delaying the release of nutrients. Slow-release fertilizers take longer to operate but are more effective since they release less fertilizer at once. In fact, the quick availability of wet fertilizers is less effective because not all of them will be consumed before some of them drain out. Generally, organic dry fertilizer can take a few days to start working after being applied to the soil and can take up to two weeks to completely decompose.


How Long Does Wet Fertilizer Take to Decompose?

The effectiveness of wet fertilizer is about 24 hours. The liquid quickly absorbs into soil and leaves, making nutrients available to the plant. It could take more time depending on the weather and humidity. You can apply fertilizer to your garden once it is in the right liquid condition. The liquid equally permeates the soil. This ensures that all plants have access to the nutrients that are available. The effects of liquid fertilizers on the soil will only last 1 to 2 weeks due to how quickly a plant's roots absorb the nutrients despite the variety in formulations. However, during the plant's active growing season, you will need to apply wet fertilizer more frequently regardless of the product you select.


Organic and Inorganic

The type of fertilizer being applied, the type of soil, and the environmental conditions all affect how long fertilizer stays in the soil. Typically, some fertilizers may remain longer; most fertilizers will last in the soil for a period of several weeks to several months. In order to avoid over-fertilizing the soil and potential environmental harm, keep to the specified application rates and intervals for any fertilizers being utilized. In order to determine the soil's nutrient requirements and to make sure that the proper fertilizer types and dosages are being used, it is also a good idea to get the soil tested on a regular basis.

Compost and manure are examples of organic fertilizers that decompose more slowly in soil and can last up to a year or longer. These fertilizers can increase the soil's overall fertility while giving plants a slow and constant flow of nutrients.

Inorganic fertilizers have the potential to decompose more quickly in soil and may require more frequent reapplying. The type of fertilizer used, the soil, and the surrounding environment can all affect how quickly they decompose.


Why do Organic Fertilizers need more Time to Work?

Since the nutrients in organic fertilizers need to decompose before they can be used, they dissolve more slowly than synthetic fertilizers. The material used to make organic granular fertilizer requires time to break down by topsoil bioactivity and can take up to six weeks to completely dissolve. Granular organic fertilizer breaks down in accordance with the organic ingredients used during manufacturing. However, it takes less time for organic granules to become available than it does for compost, which takes months to decompose. Most of the granules will be held in place after spreading because of the damp soil. Most formulas suggest watering later to dissolve and utilize the fertilizer.


Difference between Grass and Flowers fertilizer

Some dry fertilizers may survive the entire growing season in flowers and vegetables with a relatively quick blooming season, while others would need to be reapplied every few weeks or months. It depends on the fertilizer's precise composition and how quickly the plant can absorb and utilize the fertilizer. Fertilizers for flowers will last in the soil for 2 to 4 weeks but depends on above mentioned conditions. The type of fertilizer you use will determine how long it takes for it to work in the grass. A little but continuous amount of nutrients are delivered over a 6 to 8 week period using slow-release fertilizers. On the other hand, quick-release fertilizers feed the lawn right away, and new growth might start to appear in just 1 or 2 days. Fertilizers for grass can last several months to years (maybe 10) due to the slow growth of grass and the decomposition of fertilizers.


What Nutrients are needed for Every Plant?

A significant source of the nutrients required by plants for growth is soil. The three essential nutrients are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). They combine to form the group known as NPK. Your plants' green leaves and growth are a result of nitrogen. A strong, healthy root system is boosted by phosphorus, while strong growth is promoted by potassium. The nutrients calcium, magnesium, and Sulphur are also very important. Additionally, plants also require amounts of iron, manganese, zinc, copper, boron, and molybdenum.


How Long Does Nitrogen Last in Soil?

This boosts a plant's lush, green growth and aids in the decomposition of organic waste in compost. Nitrogen deficient plants have slow development, small leaves, and little top growth. Slow-release types of nitrogen are preferred and use only what is required. Lawns require a lot of nitrogen for good performance. A plant that is not well-established or rooted can become over stimulated by too much nitrogen. Simply using a wet or dry fertilizer makes a difference. Liquid fertilizers can last for 2 to 6 weeks. Granular fertilizers typically have a slow rate of release and a life span of 2 to 5 months.

Here it is important that other nutrients like phosphorus and potassium also depend on the types and method of application to plant or soil. Liquid fertilizer will last for 2 to 6 weeks and dry fertilizer can last for several weeks to months.


Where to Buy?

A lot of organic fertilizers are available in the market with different NPK ratios and methods. You are a garden lover and want to level and boost your garden. Here is the best option for buying organic fertilizers for vegetable garden at Big Ass Fertilizers.


Take Away

Fertilizers can remain in the soil for a week to a few months. The kind, method of fertilizer and the ingredients that make it up can definitely impact how long it remains in the soil. In this article, you have learned about both the organic and inorganic, as well as their forms (liquid and granular). Hopefully, this article will be helpful for you to understand the question 'how long does fertilizer last in soil?'

If you have any queries, you can contact us anytime.



How Long Does Fertilizer Last in Soil?

It takes at least 2 weeks for organic slow-release fertilizer to break down in the soil. After application, organic fertilizers continue to operate everywhere for several weeks to months.

How Often Should Soil be fertilized?

Around every four to six weeks after planting, it is normally advised to apply fertilizer to clay soil. Only apply a small amount of fertilizer every three to four weeks to plants growing in organic soil that is rich in organic materials.

What happens if Soil is Over Fertilized?

An excessive amount of fertilizer affects the soil by increasing the salt concentration, which can harm beneficial soil microbes. Over fertilization can result in rapid plant growth with insufficient roots that are incapable of providing the plant with enough water and nutrients.

How do I Know When to Apply Fertilizer?

If you fertilize your lawn and garden plants heavily in the fall and lightly in the spring, it would be beneficial, if required. When fertilizing and gardening large areas, it is a good idea to have your soil tested before applying anything.

How long is Fertilizer Effective after Application?

Regardless of the type of plant they are applied on, liquid fertilizers typically only last a few weeks. Depending on the type of plant they are manufactured for, dry fertilizers can last for a longer period of time.