In this article how to reverse fertilize burn we will discuss different methods for eliminating the effects of over fertilization. The bad effects of over fertilization are more pronounced and severe than under-fertilization. You can easily overdo fertilization and there are other factors as well that can come in harmony to create excessive problems for your lawn. In fertilizers there are different types of salts. These salts exist in very high amounts. These salts can pull moisture away from the plants roots. This moisture drawing process is called reverse osmosis. Reverse osmosis happens when there is more salt content in soil than salt exists in plant.

You can reverse the negative effects of the over-fertilization process but it doesn’t happen in quick way and you have to wait for bringing the things to normal conditions. Due to over fertilization the plants grown in container are more severally affected when compared to those grown in ground. But you can easily reverse the over-fertilization side effects on plants grown in container when compared to plants grown in ground. The process of leaching is highly effective in correcting the health of soil affected due to excessive fertilization.

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What are the Major Symptoms of Over Fertilization?

There are several over fertilization associated symptoms. The following are the common symptoms of excessive fertilization

  • Stunted growth
  • Excessive growth of foliage with few blossoms
  • And discoloring on the edges of leaves

The damage is more severe in plants roots. High salt content in fertilizers can burn the roots of your lawn grass and plant. It also reduces plants roots ability to absorb moisture. So this harmonious combination of limited water absorption ability as well as burning can drastically affect the plants overall growth. The affected roots also severally weakened because of the disease and cultural issues.

Wait and be Patient!

This reversal of excessive fertilization can take few weeks so the results will not be noticed in few days.

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Over Fertilization Treatment


Leaching is the process more common for eliminating the excessive salt and nutrients. Leaching is the process where water is used for curtailing the bad effects of excessive nutrients and salt. Leaching is highly effective for remove extra nutrients out of the soil or below the roots zone of the plant enabling the recovery process.

Plants in Containers

First check the surface of your lawn soil around the plant if there is a white crust or not. If you use the leaching process for curtailing or eliminating then it is important to note that during this process soluble salts make their way to the plant roots and can cause more harm.

So it is important to remove the crust of the soil carefully from the rest of it. Care is important and not more than one quarter inch of soil from the surface removal is recommended. In some cases the crust is very hard that can be picked out in large pieces. So it is necessary that not too much of soil is removed with crust.

If you remove too much of soil then you are exposing your plant to too much stress. Once this crust is removed then you can start the leaching process.

You can easily save your plant from the damage due to over fertilization. If you are using the leaching process for container plant then fill the container to the top edge with distilled water at room temperature.

Distilled room temperature water is the best remedy because this water has no dissolved minerals and will not expose your plant to further stress.

If distilled water is not available then you can use filtered water instead. Allow all the water to drain from the plant during this leaching process.

Wait and be patient because the larger container needs sufficient time for water draining process to complete. You need to repeat this leaching process 4 times. During this leaching process excess fertilizers will be drained out from the soil through the container’s bottom.

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Plants in the Ground

For ground plants leaching process place the garden hose the plant’s base. Then turn the water hose on so to produce enough a steady trickle.

For diluting the effects of fertilizer allow the water hose to run for enough amount of time so that a sufficient amount of water runs through the soil. Make sure the root zone also achieves enough treatment so overall plant is protected from bad effects of excessive fertilization.

Remove Dead or Dying Foliage

It is also important to remove the dead as well as discolored and dying foliage. Because plant can’t make these dead or dying foliage healthy again and their existence is just wastage of energy. Your plants can produce new and health foliage once it recovers from the trauma of over-fertilization damage.

Preventing Over Fertilization

To avoid over-fertilization; if you are not clear about the exact amount of fertilizer then use half to a quarter of the amount list on the package. For best results it is often recommended by experts that too little is better than too much. Fertilizer needs of different plants vary. Similarly there is also difference in formulations and some plant may be susceptible to certain formulations. Some plant types such as succulent can’t deal with rich fertilizers while on other hand fast growing plants find it easy to handle. So it is important to thoroughly research the fertilizer needs of your plants to avoid excessive fertilization.

How to Prevent Fertilizer Burn in Grass?

The following steps can prevent fertilizer burn in grass;

  • Organic fertilizer; instead of using chemical fertilizers use organic one. Organic fertilizers are easily broken down by your lawn soil microbes so there is less chances of fertilizer over burn.
  • Follow the instructions on your fertilizer package and avoid using more than the mentioned amount. Also consult expert for getting knowledge about the exact fertilizer needs of your lawn.
  • Curtail lawn stress: if your lawn grass is in poor condition then it is not recommended to make it health with too much fertilization. Because weak grass is more prone to burn by excessive chemicals. Similarly avoid too much fertilization for lawns that are already stressed by drought, disease or hat.

Also Read: Grass Looks Dead After Cutting

How To Treat Fertilizer Burn in Grass?

If you over fertilized your lawn then take the following measures;

  • Remove the fertilizer: if you use the granular fertilizer or you can still ground then remove it before it dissolves.
  • Use water as discussed above under leaching process for eliminating the bad effects of excessive fertilization.
  • Your lawn will not recover from the fertilization over burn in quick span of time so be patient and wait; it needs weeks to recover from this over-fertilization trauma.

The information in this piece of content is best to the author knowledge about subject matter. It is just for information purpose and not a substitute of expert’s opinions.