Fish Fertilizer 101: Why and How to Use It

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I’m working with Central Garden and Pet on a sponsored campaign (full disclosure below) about gardening products that I already use. About 3 years ago, I started regularly applying Alaska Fish Fertilizer to my yard on the advice of Barrels and Branches, a fantastic nursery in Encinitas.

My plants were looking sluggish to the point where I was considering a pricey yard overhaul. After one application of fish fertilizer, my ginger plants started flowering again and things started perking up drastically.

9 Reasons To Use Fish Emulsion, Like Alaska Fish Fertilizer

  1. It’s an organic, liquid fertilizer that is safe to use around pets and kids.
  2. Fish emulsion is derived from unused fish parts that would otherwise be wasted, therefore, it’s eco-friendly.
  3. Fish emulsion can stink but deodorized versions, like Alaska, are available.
  4. It’s an all-purpose fertilizer that can be used on both outdoor and indoor house plants.
  5. Fish emulsion is mild and tends not to burn plants.
  6. An essential building block for healthy soil, naturally occurring soil microbes thrive and work their best in soil rich in organic matter.
  7. It’s easy to spray on your yard using a hose attachment.
  8. It works. I’ve seen it with my own eyes and you can check the reviews and ratings at online retailers like Home Depot.
  9. A gallon is only $12.88 at Home Depot.

How To Use Alaska Fish Fertilizer 5-1-1

It’s very easy. All you need is either a watering can or a hose with a dial and spray attachment. The amount of fish fertilizer to measure per gallon or quart of water is on the back of the Alaska Fish Fertilizer jug.  I have the Alaska dial and spray attachment so follow the directions on it. Apply to the area you would like to cover.

In my experience, it’s hard to overdose on this product so I do just guess on occasion. When I’m using the hose, I make sure the soil is sufficiently moist but avoid puddling.

In a perfect world, I’d apply it once a month but realistically it’s once a quarter at the very most. Due to being extraordinarily busy over the last year, it has been 6 months between applications and things aren’t looking nearly as good as they should around here.

Plants That Always Improve

Alaska Fish Fertilizer Lady PalmEverything does seem to perk up a few weeks to a month after an application but these are the plants that seem to benefit the most:

  • Lady Palms (the fan palm above)
  • Orchids
  • Ginger
  • Canna
  • Ornamental Grasses

Give Alaska Fish Fertilizer a try.

Disclosure Statement
Central Garden & Pet partnered with bloggers such as me to help educate us all about their products. As part of this program, I received compensation. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the use of the products. Central Garden & Pet believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Central Garden & Pet’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations. A winner will be chosen by random and gift card fulfillment will be handled by a third party.

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  1. Bryan E.
    May 22, 2013 at 8:03 pm — Reply

    Thanks for the giveaway…we have been using Fish emulsion type fertilizers for years !

  2. Beverly Metcalf
    May 22, 2013 at 6:13 pm — Reply

    I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks like your plants like it. I think my lillies could use some of this fertilizer this spring, they aren’t doing very good this year for some reason. Thanks for having this contest.

  3. Thomas Murphy
    May 22, 2013 at 5:54 pm — Reply

    my lawn could use it

  4. angela cisco
    May 22, 2013 at 3:29 pm — Reply

    I haven’t started planting anything this year that could use this and I’m not sure if anything that we have would really benefit.

  5. Sandra Travis
    May 22, 2013 at 3:14 pm — Reply

    I think I’ll give this a try. I have several outdoor plants.

  6. David Haug
    May 22, 2013 at 9:23 am — Reply

    we have mostly iceplant, so i would use it on that,

  7. Terry Cross
    May 22, 2013 at 7:32 am — Reply

    My roses could use this

    • Meredith Davidson
      April 28, 2018 at 1:32 pm — Reply

      I use it on my roses and they look beautiful and I live in Texas heat. I have a hundred and 5 rose bushes so it takes a little while , but it’s worth it. I wish I knew how to post a picture they are unbelievable. I have a grouping of red knockouts that are over 20 ft. tall.

  8. Sherry Conrad
    May 22, 2013 at 5:59 am — Reply

    Probably all of the veggies would benefit.

  9. susan smoaks
    May 22, 2013 at 5:22 am — Reply

    No, I do not already use it. I think that our gardenia plants could benefit from it and our aloe too!

  10. Patrice
    May 22, 2013 at 4:45 am — Reply

    I would use it on my tomato and pepper plants as well as on my shrubs and flowering plants.

  11. Karla
    May 22, 2013 at 1:16 am — Reply

    My tomato plants could really use fish fertilizer.

  12. Sarah L
    May 21, 2013 at 11:23 pm — Reply


  13. Sarah L
    May 21, 2013 at 11:19 pm — Reply

    I would use it if I had a garden or a lawn.
    Thanks for the contest.

  14. tim
    May 21, 2013 at 10:30 pm — Reply

    First: Adorable dog, I have one that looks just like him.
    Second: I have peonies in the front that could use a pick me up.

  15. Jimmy
    May 21, 2013 at 9:12 pm — Reply

    The grass could use it

  16. May 21, 2013 at 9:12 pm — Reply

    All of my plants could use it! They’re struggling.

  17. Vikki Billings
    May 21, 2013 at 8:29 pm — Reply

    I would use it on my flowers!

  18. Sand
    May 21, 2013 at 8:16 pm — Reply

    My roses and herbs.

  19. Stacy N
    May 21, 2013 at 8:10 pm — Reply

    My whole veggie garden would love some fish fertilizer.

  20. Samii Meyer
    May 21, 2013 at 7:58 pm — Reply

    I think this would be good for the rose bushes

  21. Gaye M
    May 21, 2013 at 6:55 pm — Reply

    My hostas would like this.

  22. Lisa Garner
    May 21, 2013 at 6:18 pm — Reply

    I think this would be a big help for my tomato plants.

  23. Jennifer
    May 21, 2013 at 4:54 pm — Reply

    My holly bushes could use it.

    • Roger Wells
      March 15, 2018 at 1:36 pm — Reply

      Let us know how your holly bushes respond!

  24. John Hutchens
    May 21, 2013 at 4:29 pm — Reply

    my roses could use it

  25. Crystal F
    May 21, 2013 at 3:14 pm — Reply

    I have a plant that my daughter started for my for Mother’s Day that I could use it on. Thank you!

  26. Jayden H.
    May 21, 2013 at 3:05 pm — Reply

    I use this and love it!!

  27. Geoff K
    May 21, 2013 at 1:18 pm — Reply

    Our roses and herb garden could use the help!

  28. Susan Smith
    May 21, 2013 at 12:16 pm — Reply


    I tweeted a post

  29. Susan Smith
    May 21, 2013 at 12:07 pm — Reply

    I never tried it before but I would love to try for it for my roses.

  30. Crystal W
    May 21, 2013 at 11:53 am — Reply

    I have some wonderful orange canna lilies in yard that would look even better with the fertilizer!

  31. Starr Greenwell
    May 21, 2013 at 10:57 am — Reply

    My flower boxes could really use it.

  32. Rebecca Peters
    May 21, 2013 at 10:34 am — Reply

    All hte plants that are planted around my house could use this

  33. Rosey
    May 21, 2013 at 7:40 am — Reply

    I think it would be great for the snap dragons and the aloe.

  34. K. Cleaver
    May 21, 2013 at 7:21 am — Reply

    I have some ornamental grass that would benefit from it.

  35. Ronald winfrey
    May 21, 2013 at 4:57 am — Reply

    good stuff.

  36. Shannon
    May 21, 2013 at 4:35 am — Reply

    My tomato plants could really use this!

  37. joseph gersch jr
    May 21, 2013 at 2:24 am — Reply

    i would use this on my peppers

  38. Deb S
    May 20, 2013 at 8:14 pm — Reply

    I don’t currently use it but I have lots of plants like my Iris’ that may benefit from it.

  39. Christine
    May 20, 2013 at 4:49 pm — Reply

    My herbs could use

  40. Daniel M
    May 20, 2013 at 4:47 pm — Reply

    never heard of it, will it help grass, sill have some bare spost

  41. Deb C
    May 20, 2013 at 1:54 am — Reply

    I could use this on my tomato plants.

  42. robyn paris
    May 19, 2013 at 2:27 pm — Reply

    i have used this exact brand in the past for my plants

  43. Robin
    May 19, 2013 at 1:03 pm — Reply

    Probably my tomato plants could use it

  44. joni
    May 19, 2013 at 11:05 am — Reply


  45. joni
    May 19, 2013 at 11:03 am — Reply

    Never tried this or even heard of it. I’m sure all my flowering shrubs could use it.

  46. Holly C.
    May 18, 2013 at 5:16 pm — Reply

    I already use it and love it!

  47. Amanda Sakovitz
    May 18, 2013 at 1:14 pm — Reply

    tweeted a post

  48. Jessica To
    May 18, 2013 at 12:03 pm — Reply

    I would like to try this in my flower garden.

  49. rebecca shockley
    May 18, 2013 at 8:22 am — Reply

    Tweeted a post

  50. Sonya Morris
    May 18, 2013 at 6:41 am — Reply

    Shared post 😛

  51. Jessie C.
    May 17, 2013 at 8:07 pm — Reply

    Our veggie garden would benefit from this!

  52. Tian A.
    May 17, 2013 at 6:31 pm — Reply

    I never tried it before but I would love to try for my rose, thank you.

  53. Kiara
    May 17, 2013 at 3:10 pm — Reply

    We already use it and really like it.

  54. Jill H
    May 17, 2013 at 1:48 pm — Reply

    My azalea bushes

  55. janice
    May 17, 2013 at 11:37 am — Reply

    My rose bushes could use it.

  56. Sonya Morris
    May 16, 2013 at 2:26 pm — Reply

    I have never used fish fertilizer but I think it would work great in our flower garden.

  57. Michelle C
    May 15, 2013 at 6:43 pm — Reply

    I would like to try this on my tomato plants. Thanks for the chance to win!
    mrsmchappell at gmail dot com

  58. Jennie Sanderson
    May 13, 2013 at 8:37 pm — Reply

    I don’t have a huge yard but some of my potted plants could use a little fertilizer

  59. soha molina
    May 13, 2013 at 7:50 pm — Reply

    My Jasmine could use it.

  60. Livivua Chandler
    May 13, 2013 at 2:12 pm — Reply

    maybe try it on my ferns

  61. Katie Lee
    May 13, 2013 at 1:01 pm — Reply

    I love fish fertilizer for my garden. I don’t use emulsion’s though because they destroy all of the nutrients that the fish have. If you get a good hydrolyzed fish fertilizer all the nutrients will benefit your soil and keep your garden green for years. My most recent favorite brand is Fogroff because its not an emulsion and they only use invasive species of fish in their mixes so it helps protect our natural eco-system. I get to grow green while being green! I think their website is:

  62. meredith
    May 13, 2013 at 11:35 am — Reply

    I have some grasses that might benefit!

  63. Ashley
    May 13, 2013 at 6:43 am — Reply

    My azalea bushes

  64. Sarah Hirsch
    May 13, 2013 at 6:42 am — Reply

    i have various plants in my yard, i don’t know what kind they are, that could benefit from this!

  65. Kim D.
    May 12, 2013 at 10:40 pm — Reply

    My roses

  66. Monique Rizzo
    May 12, 2013 at 8:11 pm — Reply

    My irisis.
    Thanks for the chance.
    [email protected]

  67. Courtnie
    May 12, 2013 at 11:49 am — Reply

    I could use it for orchids!

  68. Ellen B
    May 11, 2013 at 6:48 pm — Reply

    I have some flowers in the front yard that could use it

  69. Barbara Montag
    May 11, 2013 at 6:31 pm — Reply

    Our clematis could sure use this fertilizer – thank you!

    • Barbara Montag
      May 11, 2013 at 6:35 pm — Reply

      Google+1 Barbara Montag

  70. Amanda Sakovitz
    May 11, 2013 at 2:27 pm — Reply

    my yellow roses!

  71. Mary Casper
    May 11, 2013 at 12:31 pm — Reply

    my roses and my glads

  72. Stacey B
    May 10, 2013 at 12:13 pm — Reply

    Following via google+ Stacey Bic

  73. mickeyfan
    May 10, 2013 at 10:40 am — Reply

    I have used it for several years on my outdoor pots and indoor plants.

  74. courtney b
    May 10, 2013 at 9:22 am — Reply

    our roses!

  75. amy pugmire
    May 9, 2013 at 9:59 pm — Reply

    our plants in the front yard would really benefit from this

  76. Rebecca Graham
    May 9, 2013 at 8:54 pm — Reply

    My grass could use this.

  77. Suzanne K
    May 9, 2013 at 6:28 pm — Reply

    My blackberry canes, blueberry bushes and orange trees are looking sad!

  78. Nancy
    May 9, 2013 at 6:20 pm — Reply

    My shrubs could use it. I see they sell a product for budding and blooming that I would love to try on flower beds and see how they do.

  79. Ashley Tucker
    May 9, 2013 at 6:19 pm — Reply

    My shrubs in front yard could use it!

  80. Jennifer Marie
    May 9, 2013 at 4:17 pm — Reply

    My shrubs could use it!

  81. Laura Jacobson
    May 9, 2013 at 3:05 pm — Reply

    Oh My cannas would really benefit from it! I have quite a few in the backyard..they are just my favorites!

  82. May 9, 2013 at 1:09 pm — Reply

    I would use it on all of my indoor plants, and probably everything outside 😉

  83. elizabeth
    May 9, 2013 at 12:01 pm — Reply

    evvery thing in my yard could use a little help!

  84. eileen d
    May 9, 2013 at 11:58 am — Reply

    My Gardenias sure could use some help.

  85. stephanie
    May 9, 2013 at 10:48 am — Reply

    we use it

  86. Ellie W
    May 9, 2013 at 8:51 am — Reply

    My half dead front lawn could benefit from this. I will have to check it out.

  87. Elena
    May 9, 2013 at 7:54 am — Reply

    We already use it and like it

  88. Mary Beth Elderton
    May 9, 2013 at 7:54 am — Reply

    I’ve never used Fish Fertilizer. We have justmoved into a new(older) home,and I am just about ready to do the outside flower beds. I will probably plant shrubs in the front–not completely sure.

  89. rebecca shockley
    May 9, 2013 at 7:22 am — Reply

    Our poor lawn would really benefit from this!

  90. Mary Happymommy
    May 9, 2013 at 7:06 am — Reply

    My grass could benefit from fish fertilizer.

    My Google + name is Mary F.–

  91. Ann Fantom
    May 9, 2013 at 6:35 am — Reply

    G+ id: abfantom fantom

  92. Ann Fantom
    May 9, 2013 at 6:34 am — Reply

    I have ornamental grass that would benefit from fish fertilizer

  93. Cynthia C
    May 9, 2013 at 5:04 am — Reply

    My herbs could use some fish fertilizer.

  94. Stephanie Larison
    May 9, 2013 at 1:12 am — Reply

    Already use it and we love it!

  95. nickie
    May 8, 2013 at 9:10 pm — Reply

    I’ve never heard of this before, but would like to try it.

  96. Margaret Smith
    May 8, 2013 at 5:49 pm — Reply

    I’ve never heard of this before, but after reading your review, I’m going to pick it up this weekend. All our plants can use some help. Sounds so easy to use too.

  97. Katie K
    May 8, 2013 at 2:44 pm — Reply

    I already use it a lot (have a HUGE front and back yard garden) and could always use more since it’s pretty expensive!

    Thanks for hosting this giveaway and sharing your plant pics – I always love some good garden inspiration!

  98. Kristen M.
    May 8, 2013 at 1:58 pm — Reply

    I’m growing ginger for the first time and didn’t know that fish fertilizer was recommended. We used fish fertilizer in our garden last year but haven’t done so this year. I think we just forgot!

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