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Iron sulfate for plants: what it is for and how to use it

Iron sulfate for plants: what it is for and how to use it

All plants do not have the same type of requirements and when we talk about soil pH, we are dealing with one of the most difficult or annoying problems to solve, especially for less experienced gardeners.

Iron sulfate is one of the most used products in this type of situation, although in order to get the most out of it, it is necessary to know it well. if you want to learn what is iron sulfate for plants and how to use itor even how to make homemade iron sulfate for plants, join us in this EcologíaVerde article.

What is iron sulfate

When we talk about iron sulfate for gardening we are always referring to Iron(II) sulfatea chemical compound made by reacting sulfuric acid with metallic iron.

It is very easy to find in garden stores and other specialized surfaces, usually in two large formats: as a bluish-green powder, or in the form of white or brown granules. The powder is more rapidly absorbed, while the granules act much more gradually.

What is iron sulfate for plants

The main use given to this substance in gardening is for lower soil pH. Plants need to absorb a multitude of nutrients from the soil, but when the soil is too alkaline, the roots can no longer get the iron they need and symptoms of iron chlorosis. When the leaves of the plant seem to lose color and only the nerves are green, it is an unequivocal sign of chlorosis, and normally it does not mean that the substrate or the soil does not have iron, but rather that the roots of the plant cannot absorb it because too high a pH.

This happens especially often with plants such as hydrangeas, camellias, gardenias or azaleas, among many others. They are the species of acidophilic plantswhich need acid soils to be able to develop well, that is, low pH. At this point, hydrangeas deserve a special mention, as they are often forced to turn their flowers pink, inducing chlorosis, in a practice that seriously stresses and threatens the health of the plant. If you are going to get a hydrangea with pink flowers, make sure that they are by variety, and that their leaves look a healthy green and not yellow or white. Here you can learn more about acidophilic plants: what they are, examples and care.

It is also common to find plants suffering from iron chlorosis in areas where running water has a lot of lime. Watering plants with running water is a very common practice, and there is nothing wrong with it when we are not dealing with acidophilic species. However, when the water is heavily laden with lime, continuous irrigation ends up profoundly altering the pH of the soil, raising it and making it alkaline. If you start using iron sulfate for your plants because they need it, make sure you start watering with neutral water, or let it sit for 24 hours before using it, and don’t use the last few inches of the container.

To learn more about the subject, we recommend reading How to measure the pH of the soil. We also advise you to learn more about this problem by reading this other post about Chlorosis in plants: what it is and how to eliminate it.

Iron sulfate for plants: what it is for and how to use it - What is iron sulfate for plants

How to make homemade iron sulfate

It is possible to prepare homemade iron sulfate, although we recommend doing it only in extreme cases where you cannot provide yourself with it on specialized surfaces. The reasons are that the prepared iron sulfate is not expensive, and with the one we will make at home there is no way to calculate exact doses, in addition to being a tedious and slow process. Even so, we teach you how to do it:

  1. Prepare a container of water, which can be just a plastic bottle.
  2. add some iron materials such as nails or nutssubmerged in water next to a small amount of sulfur.
  3. It is important to remove it two or three times a day so that the sulfur reacts with the iron.
  4. After about 15 days, it will have taken on the characteristic color of iron oxide, and the mixture will be ready to be used in small quantities in the irrigation water and applied if necessary.

How to use iron sulfate for plants

The most common is to apply diluted in irrigation water O well add it to the soil of the plants in the garden. In pots, it is more common to just change the substrate for a specific one for acidophilic plants, which already has a suitable pH.

In irrigation water the proportion tends to be 3 grams per literwhile on land it is usual to use a few 40 grams per square meter. In both cases, the application will not work if we do not stop watering with running water or if we do not rest it before. Even so, it is important to read the specifications and specific indications of each product and make sure to follow them. If the iron chlorosis is not stopped quickly, the health of the plant will get worse and worse with fatal results, so always act quickly.

Now that you know the uses of iron sulfate for plants, we encourage you to discover Sulfur for plants: benefits and how to apply it.

If you want to read more articles similar to Iron sulfate for plants: what it is for and how to use itwe recommend that you enter our category .

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