[Megaguide] What are phytosanitary products and what types exist

In this post we have made a guide with the main types of phytosanitary products that exist.

These products help us keep our plants healthy and protect them from harmful organisms, so you must know them and know which ones to use in each situation.


Then let’s go.

What exactly are phytosanitary products

phytosanitary products are products made up of different chemical substances, which are designed to protect our plants.

Specifically, phytosanitary products can be used to:

  1. Prevent or eliminate pests and diseases.
  2. Eradicate rapidly proliferating invasive species (known as “weeds”).

Although they are chemical products, it is important to clarify that phytosanitary products are not harmful to our plants and will not harm them, as long as we use them following the corresponding instructions for each product.

Some of these phytosanitary products (those that can be dangerous to handle) are restricted to professional use, and special qualifications are required to purchase and use them.

But among the ones we are going to see here, most are available to anyone.

The main types of phytosanitary products that exist

There are different ways of categorizing phytosanitary products, but here we are going to divide them according to:

  • Their function.
  • How do they act on the plant?
  • Your performance time.
  • When do they apply?

We see them separately.

1. According to the function they perform

A. Insecticides

Certain insects can invade our plants and become a risk for them, including:

  • Aphids.
  • Flies.
  • Ants.
  • Worms and caterpillars.

Insecticides prevent the appearance of these insects or eradicate them once they have appeared on our plants.

Depending on the type of insecticide we use, we can use it to eliminate adult specimens (adulticides), their larvae (larvicides) or even their eggs (ovicides).

B. Acaricides

Mites are small arachnids that attack plants and can pose a risk to their survival.

The best known example for all garden lovers is the spider mite, but there are other types.

As with insecticides, acaricides can also be used to eliminate mites at different stages (eggs, larvae and adults).

C. Herbicides

Weeds are plant species that settle in the same soil as our plants and compete with them for resources such as water and nutrients.

The problem with these invasive species is that they tend to multiply very quickly, so they can drown the rest of the plants.

In these cases, we need to use a herbicide. There are two types: 

  • Selective herbicides: they are designed to affect a specific type of species, so they are safe for other plants (for example, there are specific herbicides for grasses).
  • Total herbicides: they harm all species without distinction, so they must be used with great caution.

D. Fungicides

Fungi are one of the most dangerous enemies in any garden.

They are silent, reproduce quickly and cause various diseases that, in the worst cases, can lead to the death of the affected plants.

We talk about fungi such as:

  • Powdery mildew.
  • Fusarium.
  • Botrytis.
  • Rust.
  • Bold.

Faced with the attack of these fungi, it is best to apply a fungicide that eliminates them (either a specific one or a broad spectrum one) as soon as possible.

E. Bactericides

In some cases, the origin of the diseases that our plants suffer are certain bacteria that infect them.

Depending on which one, there are certain specific bactericides.

F. Molluscicides

Snails and slugs are great plant eaters. When they proliferate excessively, they can pose a danger to them.

In these cases, it is necessary to apply a molluscicide phytosanitary. 

2. According to their behaviour in the plant

Depending on the way in which the phytosanitary products act once inside the plant, we have:

  • Systemic: these types of products are incorporated into the plant's sap and spread throughout its organism. In some cases, they can be applied to the substrate so that they absorb it through the roots. 
  • Penetrating: penetrating phytosanitary products infiltrate the tissues surrounding the area where they have been applied, but do not get incorporated into the sap.
  • Contact or surface: this last group of products remain on the surface of the plant once applied. The disadvantage is that, in case of rain, the product comes off.

3. According to the product's action time

In this category, we find two types of products:

  • Shock action: its effect is immediate and eliminates the organisms that are attacking the plant, but they do not last long.
  • Residual action: this type of product lasts over time and can protect your plants from pests and diseases in the long term.

4. Depending on when they are applied

Finally, depending on when they are applied, we find phytosanitary products of:

  • Pre-emergence: those that are used preventively to avoid the appearance of pests, weeds or diseases.
  • Post-emergence: those that are used once the harmful organisms have invaded the plant.

You already know the main types of phytosanitary products that exist 

No matter how well we take care of them, the risk that our plants suffer an attack by harmful organisms is impossible to avoid.

That is why you must know the main types of phytosanitary products and know when to use them to keep your plants healthy.

If you need it, in our catalogue you will find a wide variety of phytosanitary products suitable for different situations.

And if you have doubts about which one to use, you just have to contact us so that we can help you.