What damage does excess nitrogen cause in plants?

Excess nitrogen is harmful to plants

Nitrogen is an essential chemical for plants because it is what stimulates their growth; However, as with everything in life, its lack and excess can cause serious problems.

The most common mistake these days is to over-fertilize them, which means they are getting more nitrogen than they actually need. But In this article, I will also talk about what happens when this chemical is in short supply. or they don’t have it available.


Excess nitrogen in plants

Leaves may be claw-like

Nitrogen is essential for plants to exist and perform their functions. As I said at the beginning, it is the main chemical that stimulates their growth, which means that thanks to it they can increase their photosynthetic surface (i.e.: mostly green leaves and stems).

But when there are too many, they will start taking damage.

What are the symptoms or damage of excess nitrogen in plants?

The symptoms or damage we are going to see will be next:

  • The lower leaves tend to turn a much darker green.
  • Then the rest of the plant will each time turn the same shade of green as said lower leaves.
  • The plant can grow very tall in a short time, but this will weaken its stems and foliage.
  • As a result of all this, parasites often appear.

How to eliminate excess nitrogen in plants?

It is not easy because depending on the health of the plant, it may take time to recover if it is. But hey, yes we can try, and for that what we’re going to do is suspend the subscriber for a few monthsuntil we see completely healthy leaves growing back.

Besides, In the event that we have the plant in a pot, it may be necessary to remove it from there, remove the loose soil and put a new one on it.. In this way, we can reduce the amount of nitrogen in the substrate even more. Of course, this process must be done with care and patience, trying not to manipulate the roots too much.

On another side, If the pests have already appeared, we will eliminate them with a specific insecticideor with natural products like diatomaceous earth, or lemon water.

What causes excess nitrogen in plants?

Basically one thing: excess fertilizer, and nitrogen-rich fertilizer. Although more than these, the abuse we give to these products does. All these products are sold in packaging to which a label is always attached specifying the dose and frequency of application, as well as instructions for use.

And it’s not like that for fun, but because an excess of nitrogen can be deadly for the plant and harmful for the environment, because if this chemical is not absorbed by the plant, it will end up in the atmosphere. Once there, it will react with substances produced by sunlight, forming nitric acid. This acid is what constitutes acid rain. In addition, it contributes to the deterioration of the quality of the air we breathe.

Another serious problem it causes is in the soil itself. A soil that has received an excess of fertilizer will need years (and a few ‘doses’ of organic fertilizers -responsible- over a long period of time) get over.

Lack or deficiency of nitrogen in plants

Yellow spots on leaves may be normal

Nitrogen deficiency can also be a problem, and a serious one. For that, It is important that we know how to identify it in order to remedy it as quickly as possible.

What are the symptoms or damage of a lack of nitrogen in plants?

If nitrogen is believed to be essential for growth, damages for missing it will be as follows:

  • The leaves turn yellow, starting with the lower ones.
  • Leaf fall.
  • New leaves tend to be smaller.
  • Flowers may appear prematurely.

How to recover a plant that lacks nitrogen?


COMPO Fertilizer for...

The solution is very simple: Just fertilize it with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer. Finding one like this today is easy, because the top-selling are fertilizers that contain this chemical. Ahora bien, es important que elijas el que sea más adecuado para tu planta (es decir, si tienes una palmera por ejemplo, abónala con un fertilizante para palmeras y no con uno para cítricos), y que sigas las instrucciones de uso que encontrarás en container.

Leaves that are already yellow will not recover and will eventually fall offbut the new ones should come out green and therefore completely healthy.

How do you know if a soil has low nitrogen?

The Venus flytrap is a carnivore.

Image – Wikimedia/Lythlady

Nitrogen is vital, so If a soil has little or none at all, it will be a soil in which there will be very little variety of plants, and these will also tend to be small.. For example, many carnivorous plants inhabit very poor soils, so much so that precisely evolving to become predators of insects is nothing more than a survival strategy to obtain nitrogen – in the occurrence of animal nitrogen – and move on.

And it is that we all need a series of chemical substances to survive, and of course plants are no less so.

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