How to Recover Plants with Burnt Leaves from Too Much Fertilizer

Much further than we think, the main problem with plants is the excessive care we give them, especially houseplants.

Continuous irrigation and great contribution of fertilizer which ends up rapidly withering our plants and exacerbates the real problem, thinking that the more we contribute to the factory, the faster the problem will be solved.

And this excess often causes the appearance of burnt leaves due to excess fertilizer.

Let’s not forget that the manure or fertilizer we use for our plants is salt and therefore an excess of salt reduces the absorption of water and burn the roots. Something we don’t see with the naked eye until the real problem appears, the burnt leaves.

In this article we will see how to recover a plant with burnt leaves due to excess fertilizer.


Main symptoms of too much fertilizer in a plant

It often happens in plants that several completely different symptoms (for example, excess water or complete dryness), cause similar symptoms, although with subtle differences if we know how to look for them.

In the case of symptoms of excess fertilizer in a plant, it looks a lot like, for example, excessive sun Leaves with burnt edges, straw-brown in color and crisp in appearance.

Here we show you what a plant with burnt leaves from too much fertilizer can look like.

  • Appearance: leaves with burnt edges on the sides and tips.
  • Color: very dark green color, intense.
  • Touch: crisp-looking leaves, where when you touch the tips of the leaves, the dry remains come off easily.

Steps to Recover a Plant with Burnt Leaves Due to Too Much Fertilizer

If burnt leaves appear on our plant due to excess fertilizer, we must start by cleaning the salts at the main entry point, the roots.

The main objective that we must achieve is to lower the levell of salts (conductivity) in the substrate and in the environment of the roots, for which the technique of “root washing” is carried out.

We provide generous amounts of water for cause the fertilizer to move which may have been retained in the pot and substrate, pushing it out of the base through the holes themselves.

We will apply water until there is at least one drainage of 20% of the water supplied. You have to be generous with this water, provided it is of good quality.

Once we have the substrate soaked, we place it in a well-lit area but no direct sun (provided you can move the plant of course). In this way, we will reduce the degree of stress to which it is subjected.

We will leave without paying until we see that the plant begins to regain its original color (original greenery) or we see the first shoots come out.

The burnt edges of already affected leaves can be pruned or, if it covers more than 30% of the leaf, they can be removed directly by cutting the petiole with scissors.

How to Avoid Burning a Plant or Crop from Too Much Fertilizer

White Granulated Fertilizer

Control the application of granular fertilizers

The real problem of granular fertilizer it is that with humidity, the ball decomposes slowly, to the point that we no longer see it on the surface.

However, this does not mean that the granule has moved to lower layers or that the decomposition of the powder granule has ceased to be visible to the naked eye.

If we reapply regularly, it is possible that the the salts come into contact with the roots and the problem begins with the appearance of burnt leaves due to excess fertilizer. We can even react negatively by adding more fertilizer when we see that the plant has stopped growing or has an appearance that does not convince us.

For this reason, it is very important to respect the doses and application times of granular or solid fertilizers. A recommended dose for this type of product in different situations and cultures is as follows:

tall trees 3-5kg/tree
Small trees and shrubs 0.5-2kg/tree
Preparation of soils and substrates 2-4kg/100m2
Large pots (> 30 cm in diameter) 10-20g/jar
Small pots (<30 cm in diameter) 30-50g/jar
Lawn and ground cover plants 300-500g/100m2

Control the application of liquid fertilizers

Liquid fertilizers should be dosed with greater control, because when applying them to water and mixing them, it may seem that the amount is very small (almost ridiculous), but nothing could be further from the truth .

For example, a concentrated fertilizer that can be bought in any specialized store or even on the internet, 1 ml of product in 1 liter of water provides between 0.8 and 1.2 mS/cm of conductivity.

The main ornamental or production plants that we may have at home or in the garden should not be watered with more than 3 mS/cm of water.

read more: Can it be irrigated with pool water?

The dose we recommend depending on the type of plant and its growth period is as follows:

  • Ornamental plants: 1 ml/litre of fertilizer water.
  • Horticultural plants (stimulate growth and production): 0.8-1ml/litre of water.
  • Horticultural plants (maintenance): 1-1.5ml/litre of water.
  • Fruit trees: 0.8-1ml/litre of water.

Thus, except for very poor water quality, we will always be protected from do not exceed the dose with the fertilizer and cause the appearance of burnt leaves due to excess fertilizer.

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