How to treat an over-fertilized plant

Too much fertilizer may potentially cause a chemical burn to form on the roots of your plant. Additionally, it weakens your plant and can make it more vulnerable to pests. It can also cause the whole plant to wilt and die - so to save it, it’s important that you act as soon as you suspect over-fertilizing.

SIGNS OF OVERFERTILIZING

Giving too much fertilizer to your plant can cause something called a fertilizer burn - this is something that you might see happen within a few days of fertilizing. Symptoms of this are the following:

  • Burned and scorched leaves

  • Yellowing of leaves

  • Decreased growth

  • Wilting and collapsing of the plant

Note! The above signs can also be caused by other issues with your plant.

WHAT TO DO NOW:

To fix this:

  • Carefully remove all yellow or damaged leaves from your plant

  • Rinse the soil of the pot thoroughly with water (put the plant under a tap and let water run through the pot). This is important to try and remove any remaining fertilizer residue

  • Cut back on fertilizing for a while (you can skip the fertilizing actions in Planta) to allow your plant the chance to recover

SALT BUILDUP

This can also be a problem with an over-fertilized plant. It’s pretty much salt from the fertilizer that’s been collecting on top of the soil. This can be seen as white, dry dust on the top layer of the soil.

This is not as much a problem, but rinsing the soil is still advised to make sure the roots of your plant are okay and are not getting burnt.


QUESTIONS

HOW CAN I AVOID THIS HAPPENING AGAIN? Always make sure to carefully read the label of the fertilizer you bought and make sure you are diluting it correctly. If your plant has been overfertilized, it might even be a good idea to cut down on the recommended amount even more than suggested on the package.

Also remember that you won’t get a better result by giving extra fertilizer to your plant. This will only cause damage to your plant.

Plants are also more susceptible to fertilizer burn if the soil has been very dry for too long. So, if you know what you missed a few waterings, perhaps skip fertilizing until the moisture of the soil is under control.

THERE ARE SO MANY DIFFERENT TYPES OF FERTILIZERS, WHICH ONE SHOULD I CHOOSE? We recommend using a liquid fertilizer for your houseplants. Our fertilizing schedule is also built upon this type of fertilizing - which you add to your water when watering. This is, in our opinon, the safest and easiest way to fertilize your plant without risking burning the roots or giving too little fertilizer.

WHY IS TOO MUCH FERTILIZER BAD FOR MY PLANTS? Fertilizer contains salts and essential nutrients for your plants, which may otherwise be absent from the soil, and so it’s a good idea to fertilize your plants every now and then in order to really help them thrive. However, these salts can also end up drawing out moisture - another essential component of keeping your plants healthy. As such, when fertilizer is applied to an excessive extent, the consequences can be harmful, resulting in yellow or brown discoloration of the leaves, as well as root damage.