The Q&A Archives: fertilizer

Question: if i over fertilizer a plant how can I get rid of the fertilizer?

Answer: If it is a container plant and you used a water soluble fertilizer, you can try to leach the fertilizer out of the soil. Water it thoroughly so it drains several times in succession. If it was slow release granular sprinkled on top of the soil, replace the top inch of soil to remove the granules.

If it is planted in the landscape and you used a slow release granular fertilizer, try scraping away the top bit of soil to remove the granules. If it was a quick acting granular, you can try leaching the soil. Apply about an inch of water every day for several days in a row to try to push the fertilizer down past the root zone of the plant. The risk here is that you would severely overwater the plant and cause root damage as a result. If it was a water soluble product applied as foliar feed, rinse the foliage with plain water and try deep watering -- the effects of overusing this would not be very long lasting.

To some extent the outcome depends on how badly you overfertilized and with what type of product, what kind of soil you have and what kind of plant it is. Good luck!

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