Do Plants Grow Best In Chemical Fertilizer, Organic Fertilizer, Or No Fertilizer?

3.6 based on 61 ratings

Updated on Feb 19, 2014

Grade Level: 6th - 7th; Type: Botany


Discover whether plants grow best in chemical fertilizer, organic fertilizer, or with no fertilizer at all.

Research Questions:

  • Are chemical ingredients harmful?
  • What exactly defines the term “organic”?

Plants need water and sunlight in order to grow. They can also be helped along by fertilizer, which is said to supply plants with necessary nutrients. However, there are different kinds of fertilizer, and some believe that fertilizer is simply uncessary. In this experiment, we'll compare two different kinds of fertilizer to normal soil.


  • Chemical fertilizer, such as Miracle-Gro
  • Organic fertilizer (pelleted chicken manure, bone meal, etc.)
  • Seeds (of any kind, but keep it at the same type)
  • Soil
  • Plant pots
  • Water
  • Sunlight
  • Ruler
  • Pen and paper for notes

Experimental Procedure

  1. Fill three pots with soil from the same source (in other words, don't get your soil from different places).
  2. Dig a small hole about 1- 1 ½ inch deep into the soil of each pot and put a seed into each hole. Bury the seed inside and give it a pat.
  3. Label the pots with the type of fertilizer it is going to contain: chemical, organic, or none.
  4. Add chemical fertilizer to one pot and organic fertilizer to another. Do not put any fertilizer in pot number three.
  5. Water the plants and take it to a location with adequate sunlight.
  6. Monitor the seeds at their germination. Which one germinated first?
  7. Monitor the daily growth of the plant. Using a ruler, measure the height of the plant and also, check the overall condition of the plant until it reaches the desired height.

Suggested Chart

Day 1

Day 2
Day 3
Chemical Fertilizer

Organic Fertilizer

No Fertilizer

Terms/Concepts: Plant fertilizer; Botany; Plant growth; Plant nutrients; Photosynthesis; Benefits of organic compounds over chemical compounds


Evans, L. T. (1998).Feeding the Ten Billion - Plants andPopulationGrowth.Cambridge University Press. Paperback, 247 pages.ISBN 0-521-64685-5.

Sofia PC is currently a college student with a deep interest in science who is aspiring to become a writer. She writes about all sorts of things across all subjects including, but not limited to; science, crafts, and fashion. She hopes to become a good writer so she can share her thoughts and experiences with the world and future generations.

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