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Why is too much fertiliser a bad thing?

By jason of Mulgrave
10/7/2010 7:29:59 PM

Over fertilization can kill your plants be "burning" them.  This is essentially when the plant is absorbing and abundance of soluable salts.  This in turn causes the roots to shrivel up which then slows the absorption of water.

When the plant can no longer absorb water it basically dehydrates and thus "burns" hence the term "burning".

If you are worried about over fertilisation then there are a couple of things to look out for.  Look for a lot of foliage but few flowers or leaves that show yellow around the tips.

If you suspect over ferlisation then you can try "flushing" the soil with water in the hope that the excess fertiliser will be washed away.  You should also, at that point, cut away the damaged leaves.

If the plant is able, then maybe think about repotting or relocating.

By Margo
10/20/2010 2:10:31 AM

Too much fertiliser can also damage the soil and prevent future plant growth.  Always follow the manufacturers instructions on fertiliser.

Better still, why not create your own with a worm farm or by composting.  You can soak the compost over night in a bucket of water, strain it out and use the liquid as a fertiliser.  Works a treat and is cheap!


By Tony
11/7/2011 2:26:54 AM

Margo is right - too much is as bad as too little.  Also, excess fertiler can run off into storm water and cause damage to the environment.  Excess fertiliser is the cause of algea blooms in many of our rivers and can destroy the ecology of dams.   

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