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Blood Meal vs. Bone Meal

by Jack Grover
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When it comes to fertilizing your garden, it’s important to remember that you’re not just feeding your plants but also taking care of your soil.

While plants consume soil nutrients, it’s the microorganisms within the soil that break down organic matter and make nutrients available to plants.

This is where blood meal and bone meal come into play, offering unique benefits for your plants.

Understanding the differences between these options can help you decide which one to use for your garden or potted plants.

Let’s dive into what sets these two popular organic fertilizers apart.

Key Takeaways

  • Bone meal and blood meal are both great fertilizers for plants, but they have very different benefits.
  • Bone meal is an excellent source of phosphorus and calcium that helps promote strong root development. It is best used as a long-term fertilizer for perennial plants and trees.
  • Blood meal is rich in nitrogen, making it perfect for promoting lush foliage growth. It is best used as a quick-release fertilizer for annuals and vegetables.
  • When deciding which fertilizer to use, consider your plant’s specific needs.

A Brief Overview

Blood meal is a high-nitrogen supplement, coming to us as a by-product from meatpacking facilities. It primarily aids in promoting green leafy growth, making it ideal for plants requiring rich soil.

People often use blood meal to restore balance to gardens that have been heavily harvested. 

On the other hand, bone meal contributes significantly to root development. Produced from steamed animal bones, it’s loaded with phosphorus.

So, if you’re after robust root growth or beautiful blooming flowers, bone meal is an excellent choice.

blood meal vs bone meal comparison

What Is a Bone Meal?

Bone meal is an excellent addition to any garden. It’s an organic soil amendment made from finely ground animal bones packed with essential nutrients like calcium and phosphorus. 

These nutrients are essential for healthy root development, disease prevention, and overall plant growth.

Not only that, but bone meal also contains micronutrients like magnesium, zinc, and iron that both feed the plants and help the soil’s microbial growth.

It comes in both powder and granular forms and won’t burn your plants if you use too much of it.

Uses of Bone Meal

Bone meal is a natural fertilizer that is high in phosphorus, an essential nutrient for root development and overall plant growth

When added to the soil, bone meal releases phosphorus over a long period of time, giving your plants a steady source of nutrition.

Using bone meal can help promote strong blooms and intense colors in flowering plants. It also strengthens cell walls, making plants more resistant to diseases and pests.

Additionally, bone meal aids in the absorption of other essential nutrients, such as nitrogen and potassium.

Following the recommended application rates for bone meal is crucial. Too much phosphorus can cause nutrient imbalances in the soil and harm your plants

However, with the right amount, you can provide your plants with everything they need to stay healthy and productive.

What Is a Blood Meal?

A blood meal is a powerful fertilizer made from dried animal blood. It is an excellent source of nitrogen for numerous plants.

Some of the plants that can benefit from blood meal include:

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Okra
  • Melons
  • Peppers
  • Pumpkins
  • Squash
  • Tomatoes

Uses of Blood Meal

A blood meal is an excellent source of nitrogen, an essential nutrient for plant growth. When used correctly, blood meal can give your garden a boost and help your plants grow lush, green foliage.

At the same time, the strong scent of the fertilizer deters deer, moles, and ground squirrels from damaging your garden.

Blood meal can also help adjust soil pH and revitalize depleted soils over multiple growing seasons.

That said, it’s crucial to be cautious not to use too much, as excessive nitrogen can burn plants. For the best results, it is recommended to apply blood meal sparingly every 6-8 weeks.


Bone meal and blood meal are excellent fertilizers for plants.

Bone meal is an ideal source of phosphorus and calcium that helps encourage strong root development. On the other hand, blood meal is rich in nitrogen, which is great for promoting lush foliage growth.

While both options have their distinct advantages, they can also be used together to provide a balanced nutrient profile for your plants. 

Incorporating both fertilizers into your gardening regimen can give your plants the necessary nutrients for overall growth, root development, and abundant flowering or fruiting.

When deciding which fertilizer to use, consider the type of plant you are growing and its specific needs.

Moreover, test the soil’s nutrient needs. That way, you’ll know which fertilizer is best suited for your garden.

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