The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

By Bernard

Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom Gb

I've been wondering if it is possible to damage plants by over-feeding them. Previously I have thought that plants only take from the soil the nutrients they need, but having recently seen the drastic effect of planting an acid-lover in an alkaline soil, I'm beginning to wonder if plants can suffer as we do from being given too rich a diet and I would welcome the thoughts of members on this subject.



Yes you can over feed plants, it normally shows up as discolouring of leaves, bascically the plant is being burnt, personally I use a season long feed, Vitax Q4, these are granules mixed in with the compost. This will last all the growing season normally.

14 Feb, 2011


Sadly, I have done it myself! Too much nitrogen usually results in the new growth turning black and shriveling. Older foliage may fall off. Too much phosphate will cause chlorosis, much like iron deficiency. Too much potash will cause symptoms like salt burn: brown tips and edges to the leaves, with a narrow yellow band just inside. Confusingly, too much micronutrients (iron, zinc, manganese, etc.) will usually cause symptoms identical to deficiencies of thes elements!

15 Feb, 2011


I am always feeding my garden to keep it at its best, but always worry about overfeeding which would have the opposite effect to that of which I desired.

Best to follow the instructions on the bottle or packet.

15 Feb, 2011


And, when in doubt, remember that while too little food slows plants down, too much can kill them!

15 Feb, 2011

How do I say thanks?

Answer question


Not found an answer?