Organic liquid fertilizer

Hi all. Looking for recommendations on the best liquid fertilizer.


I have used Alaska Fish Fertilizer : Alaska Fish Emulsion Fertilizer 5-1-1 Concentrate 1 Gallon (Packaging may vary) : Fish Emulsion Organic Fertilizer : Patio, Lawn & Garden which does not have the optimal N-P-K ratio, but definitely gets things started and works well for developing trees. It looks like they may now be deodorizing it. It is a Lily Miller product and probably available in most of North America.

I am going to see if how dissolving some of my soild organic fertilizer works since it is a bit better balanced.

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There is no best fertilizer. Each one has advantages and disadvantages.

It’s generally broken down into organic versus chemical then solid versus liquid.

Liquid requires more frequent applications. It cost a concern?

I suggest reading up on the subject, then deciding what you think will work best for you and your growing program.

Thanks for the responses. I use Biogold as my primary though out the season. Looking for an effective early spring starter and first application for repots. I’ve got 6 repots this spring and want to give them a good recovery and solid start to the season. I got the Alaskan fish fertilizer suggested by Marty. I go organic on all but the first application on the very youngest. My research has led me to this point! Any thoughts on this strategy?

I’m not sure if you’re saying you plan to fertilize right after the repotting. If you watch repotting videos on the library when discussing after care fertilizer generally isn’t part of the picture until you see the tree starting to grow. I’m not arguing this is the way to go about it, just ensuring you have the information.

I’m also wondering what you are trying to accomplish by using a liquid organic fertilizer. Organic fertilizers have nutrients in that contain carbon, they are natural rather than synthetic. The nutrients need to be broken down into plant available forms (ionic) in order to be used. If you are looking for a one-time quick delivey of nutrients using something synthetic will deliver plant available nutrients that dont need to be broken down to be used. I’m still learning about fertilizer, maybe I’m missing something about organic liquid fertilizer. I’d love to hear why you are looking for an organic liquid instead of sticking with biogold.

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In my opinion Peter Tea is the most talented bonsai grower in the United States.

His approach is pretty simple. Last time I spoke with him he said he is using biogold exclusively. His website has some good pints on how to fertilize bonsai. He makes a clear distinction on deciduous trees in regards to spring fertilizing.

His recommendation is to hold off on fertilization to not get excessive length on early internode growth. His recommendation is to hold off until after the initial flush in spring, and then fertilize for deciduous trees, like maples.

Here is his website.


Mats H

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I have given some thought to the question “why use liquid organic fertlizer vs. solid?” and here are my thoughts.

  • Easier to control the timing and dosage since it only stays in the soil for a short time.
  • Less apt to attract critters (squirrels, birds, dogs) that like the solid.
  • Can kick start trees earlier in the season since we don’t have to wait for the solid to physically decompose. This is important in colder climates where we need to do some pruning in June or trees are still in early development and we need to push growth.
  • The liquid organic feeds the soil biota better than an inorganic liquid that would be an even faster early season kick.

I seem to recall seeing that a couple of professionals have posted they use primarily use liquids - often a combination of organic and inorganic. However, be a bit careful when mixing, I had a container of diluted organic that had sat around a few days that turned into a volcano when I added some inorganic - it set off furious gas release reaction of some sort.


I appreciate the dialogue and feedback around this. Note that I repotted pines and junipers already and this is meant for those.

Marty - your points are in line with my thinking. There were two instances, one Q&A and a repot vid (not sure which ones), where Ryan N. suggested organic liquid fertilizer as first application after repotting. The reasons being that 1. The biology to break down pellets is not as present early in the season. 2. Solid organics may jam up the h2o/o2 balance after repot. It was more of a thought he had than a practice. Additionally, a bonsai professional, who I respect, starts all of his trees in spring with organic liquid. He includes spraying the foliage with the soil stating nutrients get absorbed directly into the foliage. Only true for evergreens I suppose.

I typically start Biogold the second week of March here in southern NC, which is on the cusp of 8a-b. Second week of April after a repot, which I will still do. This application of liquid organic would occur 3 weeks prior to that, 4-5 weeks after repot. Every tree I’ve repotted this year is in development, so looking for growth in those.

Again, I appreciate the thought and comments. And it was good to think through what I’m doing and memorialize here. I’m somewhat new to Mirai Live and this is my first forum post. So, thanks all!


Always start with “what am I tying to accomplish”? From there you can get some version of a “best” plan moving forward. I agree with Mart’ys assessment of ““why use liquid organic fertlizer vs. solid?”