Does Ammonia Kill Grass? The Ultimate Guide To Help You Understand Better

Does Ammonia Kill Grass? The Ultimate Guide To Help You Understand Better

In laundry detergent, industrial-strength glass cleaners, and soil fertilizer, ammonia plays a significant role. Your choice of ammonia and the amount you apply can make a significant difference in whether your grass survives the application or benefits from it. The question, “Does ammonia kill grass?” has more variables than most people realize.

Yes, if ammonia is used excessively, it will kill grass. Ammonia is a great fertilizer for your lawn and garden when used in its diluted form.

If it’s such a good form of nitrogen and fertilizer, it’s natural to wonder, “Why does ammonia kill grass?” The gist of the answer is that while plants adore nitrogen, too much of it can overwhelm plants and damage their ability to process it.

For more specific information, keep reading.

What’s Ammonia?

Gaseous ammonia has an offensive odor. Even our bodies contain it; it happens naturally. It’s a crucial ingredient in the manufacture of many items we use every day, including textiles, plastic, and even refrigerant gas. If you own a cooler, you most likely have ice blocks that contain ammonia.

Let’s go back to the ammonia in gardening. When used correctly, ammonia poses no threat to health. If not used properly, though, won’t ammonia kill grass? It’s imperative to rely on fertilizers rather than reaching for any ammonia because it’s highly likely.

Ammonia Toxicity – Will Ammonia Kill Grass

In the absence of nitrate conversion, does ammonia burn grass? Ammonium toxicity is a condition that affects people. It can hinder seed germination and obliterate the plant’s stem and roots. Although there are some precautions you can take, we can’t be certain whether ammonia will kill grass.

If your grass or other plants are in a spot that gets little light, don’t reapply ammonia fertilizer. Or if the weather has been dreadfully cold and cloudy for a while. This automatically rules out using ammonia fertilizer in the fall.

Nitrogen is released by ammonia, but plants need chlorophyll to absorb it into their tissues. The plants hardly make enough chlorophyll when there is no light. So, if there isn’t enough light, will ammonia kill the grass? In most cases, yes.

Ammonia As Fertilizer

Ammonia in fertilizers is primarily used to release nitrogen into the soil, which benefits plant growth.

Chlorophyll contains a significant amount of nitrogen, which is crucial for the plant’s nutrition and survival. Additionally, it is a component of proteins, which are another essential component of plant life.

Nitrifying bacteria transform ammonia, which we add to the soil, into nitrates, which the plants use to create new tissue. So how does ammonia kill grass when it is feeding it?

Types Of Ammonium

Ammonium Nitrate

A fantastic source of nitrogen is ammonium nitrate. It is a common component of fertilizer mixtures and is particularly useful for weed and feed applications in the fall and winter. Since it releases nitrogen quickly, which can kill young seedlings or unwell grass, this type of ammonia is best suited for grass that is already established and healthy.

Ammonium nitrate fertilizers need to be applied at a rate of 3 pounds per 1,000 square feet, with a nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium ratio of 33-0-0. One pound of ammonium nitrate will be applied to your lawn thanks to this three-pound rule.

Common Household Ammonia

It is most frequently used to make homemade lawn tonics. Ammonium hydroxide is a substance found in common household cleaners. Without a doubt, this potent solution can quickly kill your grass. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s incredibly simple to burn your lawn because every product’s concentration will vary depending on the brand of ammonia used.

Since household ammonia must be applied sparingly to avoid the burns we previously mentioned, it does not provide grass with enough nitrogen to be beneficial, unlike other types of ammonia. Having said that, a gardener might not always turn to it for ammonia products.

Ammonium Sulfate

Since ammonium sulfate has a propensity to alter the soil’s acidity, it isn’t frequently used in commercial grass fertilizers. In order to encourage the growth of plants that prefer acidic environments, the pH is typically lowered.

Five pounds of products containing this chemical must be used to supply one pound of chemical to grass. Additionally, excessive application is likely to result in chemical burns in the grass, so you must be cautious when applying and/or reapplying as doing so is simple.

Ammonium Phosphate Sulfate

For newer and younger grass species, ammonium phosphate sulfate is the best nitrogen source due to its softer nature. It is frequently applied prior to sowing fresh grass seed or to jump-start the growth of fresh grass. It provides some helpful phosphorus in addition to having less nitrogen than ammonium nitrate.

When used, six pounds of the substance will produce one pound of nitrogen for every 1,000 square feet. The likelihood that this ammonia will burn or kill the grass is the lowest of any commonly used ammonia.

What Affects Grass From Ammonia?

To be more specific, depending on the type of ammonia and the amount applied to or accumulated in the soil, ammonia will kill grass and weeds in a variety of ways. Ammonia is an excellent form of nitrogen, which is one of the “big three” lawn fertilizers. Because plants don’t have to work for their food and become overworked trying to process it all, an excessive amount of nitrogen from ammonia in the soil will reduce root growth and plant vigor.

Does Ammonia Kill Grass? The Ultimate Guide To Help You Understand Better
Does Ammonia Kill Grass? The Ultimate Guide To Help You Understand Better

Do You Want Ammonia On Your Lawn?

Since it is the most frequently used ingredient in nitrogen fertilizer, ammonia is beneficial for your lawn in the proper dose. The simplest way to use ammonia for lawn care is in commercial fertilizers. If you’re willing to invest the time, money, and effort necessary, you can achieve comparable results using homemade fertilizers. This carries more risk than reward for the majority of people.

What Kind Of Ammonia Is Best For Lawn Care?

The most secure form of ammonia for use in fertilizer and lawn maintenance is ammonium nitrate. Most commercial lawn fertilizers contain it, and plants can easily absorb it in this form. The best form of nitrogen for established lawns is this one because it is so simple for plants to use.

A diluted ammonium sulfate solution or one that contains phosphate may be preferable for new sod or seedlings. Such a small amount shouldn’t cause the soil to become acidic because this form will absorb more slowly.

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Can Grass Absorb Nitrate?

As ammonium nitrate is so easily absorbed, it can be easy to “burn” or overfeed grass, especially new sprouts, plugs, or seedlings. After scattering or spraying the fertilizer on your lawn, use a little irrigation to help “spread out” the mixture and help the nitrogen “stick to” the soil. Although it may seem counterintuitive, studies show that doing so can help maintain a normal soil pH and maximize the benefits of nitrogen fertilizer.

Household ammonia or “ammonium hydroxide” on the other hand is so strong it will kill any plant it comes into direct contact with, even before it is absorbed into the plant as it can cause actual chemical burns on plants as well as people and animals.

Does Ammonia Kill Tree Roots And Weeds?

While we now know the answer to, “Ammonia will it kill grass?”, no lawn exists in isolation from the rest of the natural world. As was already mentioned, there is still a possibility of overfeeding even though several types of ammonia are beneficial sources of nitrogen or nutrition for many plants. Trees have a much higher tolerance for ammonia exposure than do grass and weeds.

On the other hand, weeds are typically just as vulnerable to overfeeding as your lawn is. Overfeeding with the appropriate anhydrous ammonia could be a good plan of action if you need to clear a flowerbed or bare spot. The most crucial thing to keep in mind is that everything in the topsoil, including grass and weed seeds, will be killed by this, just like a spill. Additionally, it might highlight how acidic your soil is.

In order to fix this, you should either flood the area once all the plants have died, then reapply some sphagnum peat or coffee grounds to the topsoil. By doing so, you should be able to rebalance your soil’s acidity and flush out extra nitrogen and ammonia from the surface. Alternately, a small amount of rain (about a foot in a few scattered inches) should achieve the same results. Before planting, you might want to test your soil to make sure the pH is within a healthy range.


How Long Before Grass Is Killed By Ammonia?

If used properly, ammonia can kill and dehydrate grass in one application. Spray the entire plant, including the soil in its immediate surroundings.

Can I Apply Ammonia To My Lawn?

You can apply ammonium nitrate to feed your grass or ammonium hydroxide to kill it with a spray. Ammonia should be diluted 2:1 with water before being applied to the entire plant to kill it.

Does Ammonia Cause Grass To Burn?

Ammonium nitrate is a strong fertilizer, but it can burn new grass. Although it can burn the grass, household ammonia is not an effective gardening solution.

Does Household Ammonia Kill Grass?

Most weeds and grass can be killed with household ammonia. Ammonia dehydrates the cells once it has been absorbed by the plant, which causes them to willingly and completely dry out.

Final Words

Do you think ammonia will kill grass? There are a few things you should focus on first. Ammonia’s ability to kill grass or feed it depends on the type, method, and timing of application.

Use caution when using household ammonia, ammonium nitrate, and ammonium sulfate because they are strong solutions. A gentle fertilizer that won’t harm your grass is ammonium phosphate sulfate, on the other hand. The best ammonia will effectively kill resistant grass depending on the situation.