Horse manure properties

Horse manure

El horse manure It is one of the best fertilizers that we can find today so that our plants grow healthy and strong. It has many properties, and its price on the market is really attractive (a 45-liter bag can cost around 7 euros). So we no longer have an excuse to fertilize our pots or garden with one of the most interesting organic fertilizers.

Let us know why.

What are the properties of horse manure?


Horse manure, as its name suggests, comes from the feces of said animal. It is often mixed with remnants of herbs; in fact, it is the one with the most straw content. As we said, it has several very interesting properties for our crops. Among them we highlight:

  • High rich in cellulose
  • Nitrogen poor
  • Eliminate harmful bacteria
  • Prevent weeds from growing
  • Improves the soil structure, making it more spongy

What is the composition of horse manure?

The composition may vary depending on the diet that the animal has followed, as well as on the brand itself in the event that we acquire it already packaged in sacks. Anyway, you can get an idea taking into account these average values ​​that we tell you below:

  • pH: between 7,8 and 8,5
  • Nitrogen (N): 10,34g / kg
  • Phosphorus (P): 3,07g / kg
  • Potassium (K): 5,4g / kg
  • Cadmium Cd): less than 0,00015g / kg
  • Chromium (Cr): 0,006g / kg
  • Nickel Ni): 0,005g / kg
  • Lead (Pb): 0,002g / kg
  • Copper (Cu): less than 0,004g / kg
  • Zinc (Zn): 0,031g / kg

Do you have any drawbacks?

The truth is that yes. If it is used fresh, it has two negative points: one is the odours that it gives off, and the other is that, being very hot, can burn the roots of the plants. For these reasons, it is much more advisable to buy ready-made bags of compost, as they do not smell and are at a more pleasant temperature for the crops.

Still, you can always mix it with the earthespecially if you have poor drainage or are poorly fertile. In this way, when you want to start planting plants, their roots will find excellent quality soil.

How to use horse manure?

Horse manure is a natural compost

Horse manure compost can be used to fertilize all types of plants, except carnivorous and acidophilic. To do this, you can add the amount you want, and mix it with the soil or substrate. There is no danger of overdose, nor are there unnecessary risks being low in nitrogen, so you don't have to worry about that 🙂. Even so, if you want to be safe, I will tell you that the recommended amount is the following:

  • Vegetables: between 20 and 30 tons per hectare.
  • Fruit trees: 10-20 liters per planting hole.
  • Ornamental plants and grass: the ratio 1: 5 of compost and soil is used; that is to say, one part of compost for five parts of soil. For example, we would put one square meter of compost for every five square meters of soil.

How is it used in pots?

It will depend on whether that manure is fresh, or whether it is dry. In pots, it is always very important to apply manures the drier they are the better, otherwise the roots would burn. Therefore, it is recommended to purchase it packaged (for example from here!), or let them dry in the sun for one or two weeks (more if it is autumn-winter).

As soon as it is ready, you have to mix it well with the earth. For this reason, we do not recommend its use in plants that are already planted in pots, but it is recommended when transplanting them to larger pots.

What plants is horse manure good for?

In general, being a compost of organic origin it can be really useful and beneficial for many types of plants: grass, palm trees, trees, flowers, orchard ...

But yes, because it has a very high pH, it should never be applied to acidophilic plants, such as Japanese maples, camellias, gardenias or azaleas, since otherwise their leaves will turn yellow due to the lack of iron.

We hope that everything you have read about horse manure, one of the most used organic fertilizers, has been useful to you.

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24 comments, leave yours

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  1.   Andrew Valencia said

    it does not indicate the elements that it has for the benefit of plants, only that it is poor in nitrogen. The description it gives is not very helpful.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Andres.
      Horse manure has the following nutrients:
      Nitrogen: 0,6%
      Phosphorus: 0,6%
      Potassium: 0,4%
      It also has the entire range of trace elements.

      It is very poor in nutrients, so it is recommended to mix it with others, such as chicken for example, which has 4% nitrogen, another 4% phosphorus, 1,5% potassium, plus the entire range of trace elements.

      A greeting.

    2.    Karol said

      Hello Monica, I would like to know what is the difference between horse manure and beef in the case of vitamins and others, please, I am waiting for your message 😉 thank you.
      Greetings 🙂

      1.    Monica Sanchez said

        Hi Karol.

        I tell you:

        The cow:

        -Nitrogen: 1,84%
        -Phosphorus: 1,73%
        -Potassium: 3,10%
        -Calcium: 3,74%
        -Magnesium: 1,08%

        The horse:

        -Nitrogen: 1,52%
        -Phosphorus: 2,14%
        -Potassium: 2,98%
        -Calcium: 2,79%
        -Magnesium: 0,97%

        -> Data from the Spanish Society of Ecological Agriculture (SEAE).

        Vitamins and others, however, can vary a lot depending on the diet the animal has. For this reason, it is interesting that if you buy it in sacks in the nurseries, you take a look 🙂 But hey, more or less those percentages will be around.


    3.    Bernardo casanova said

      This comment is already 2 years old, but I can't help but notice that "Mr." Andrés Valencia is good at making negative comments, but not so good at thanking him when they provide him with the requested information. That does not speak well of you, "sir" andrés valencia.

      1.    Diego said

        rub a ghost quena

    4.    La Baita said

      My residence is Argentina, we are 30 days from the beginning of spring, the intention is to apply / pay Horse Manure to pay for the transplant of fruit trees, also to use it as growing fertilizer and. Fruiting, another of my questions if I can pay the Vine? !!
      I will appreciate a prompt response

      1.    Monica Sanchez said

        Hello La Baita.

        For your purpose, you will be better off chicken manure. Horse meat has few nutrients. Of course, if you get it fresh, let it dry in the sun for a week or so, as it is very concentrated and, if applied without drying, the roots would spoil.

        And yes, all plants can be fertilized, with the exception of carnivorous ones.


  2.   Leidy verdezoto said

    Hello, excuse me but what differentiates the use of horse manure compost from the manure of other species because you mention that it is one of the best.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello leidy.
      Here you have the explanation 🙂
      If you have any further questions, ask.
      A greeting.

  3.   Anna Theresa said

    Good afternoon Monica, I wanted to ask you if there is any difference in the properties or characteristics of the manure of a farm horse, raised mainly in pastures, and the manure of a horse from stables where the diet includes dry fodder, grains such as corn, barley, oats or bran and other supplements ...
    I look forward to your response

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Ana Teresa.
      The more natural and varied the food that is given to the animal, the better quality the manure will be, since it will have more nutrients.
      a greeting

  4.   Miguel Gomez said

    What happens when I plant oiti trees and put dry horse manure on them and after 5 days the leaves turn like brown

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi miguel.
      Most likely, the manure is still a bit fresh. You have to let it dry for at least a week, or more if it is the rainy season.
      A greeting.

  5.   Aina said

    Hi Monica, a few days ago I planted some wildflower seeds in a pot with only horse manure, since I had no soil. The seeds will grow, or is it bad to plant them only with compost and without soil? I would like to know if this will pose a problem when it comes to germination. Thanks a lot!

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Aina.
      Not at the beginning. Acacia seeds found in Africa germinate in elephant dung… and they are beautiful, so I don't think you have a problem with your seeds.
      A greeting.

  6.   Aina said

    Thank you very much, I hope they grow up healthy and as beautiful as Acacia!
    Greetings to you too.

  7.   EDUATE said


  8.   pompilio avila said

    monica. I am pompilio avila, I prepare a substrate based on horse manure with micro organism such as ash. cerro earth. fumes d lonbri .decifected with formaldehyde, hydrated lime and mycorrhosis and I have had a high performance in the control of citrus diseases such as The oranges in Venezuela that you can recommend to me to strengthen that fertilizer

  9.   angel rodrigo gonzales elescano said

    What would be the difference between horse compost and sheep compost?
    It is my most remarkable intrigue…. both in nutrients and properties! and its use….

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Angel.
      Horse manure is poor in nutrients; in fact, it is used more to improve the "fluffiness" of the soil.
      The sheep is, on the other hand, rich at a nutritional level, and is used more both to fertilize the land and to fertilize the plants.
      A greeting.

  10.   Adriana said

    Hello. he had a container of horse manure and it was filled with water from the rain. that gave me the idea of ​​using it to water the plants and fertilize them. Will it work?

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Adriana.
      Yes, of course 🙂 Take advantage of it, but better if you use it on plants that are in the ground, since if they are in pots you could make it difficult for the water to drain.
      A greeting.

  11.   Werner hahn said

    Hi there ! Your page is interesting and informative. But ? Why do you make the recommendation for use so complicated. You speak of tons, hectares, liters, mixes 1-5, M2, and M3. Recommend. X. kg per square meter. And by seedling and most of its readers understand the information (you cannot mix m2 with m3). Greetings.