What is the Chelated Iron for Lawns & Plants?- Benefits & Use

 Your lush, green lawn is starting to show signs of iron deficiency, including yellowing leaves and slowed growth. Left untreated, this deficiency can deteriorate your lawn’s health, ruining its aesthetic appeal and potentially leading to more severe damage.

The application of chelated iron for lawns effectively addresses this issue. This specially formulated product provides a highly absorbable form of iron that can quickly restore your lawn to its former vibrant, healthy state.

Hello, fellow garden enthusiasts! As a horticulturist, I’m excited to share some valuable information regarding chelated iron and how it can dramatically improve the quality of the grass on your lawn. Let’s dive in!

What is Chelated Iron?

Chelated iron has been chemically altered to bind more easily with plant roots, allowing for better absorption and utilization. Essentially, a chelating agent, usually an organic compound, encapsulates the iron ions, preventing them from reacting with other elements in the soil. This makes it easier for plants to access and absorb the iron they need for growth and overall health.

Need Of Chelated Iron lawn In Your Home or Garden

When applied to your lawn, chelated iron helps fight off weeds and other undesirable plants that can take over. It works by inhibiting the growth of these unwanted plants while boosting the health of existing turf. Not only does it make your lawn lusher and greener than ever before, but it also reduces weed growth without harsh chemicals or manual weeding.

Chelated iron can also help keep your lawn looking its best during the hot summer. Encouraging turf growth and reducing weed pressure keeps water levels where they should be and prevents moisture from escaping too quickly. This ensures that your lawn retains more of its natural color throughout the season and looks lush even in times of drought.

Types And Availability of Chelated Iron Fertilizer:

The good news is that chelated iron comes in many forms, from liquid to granular and even spray-on products. The key here is choosing the right product for your needs and lawn type. 

For example, if you’re dealing with alkaline soil, there may be better choices than a chelated iron fertilizer designed for acidic soils. Whatever the case, research and pick a product that suits your turf’s needs.

Regarding availability, you’ll find chelated iron products in most garden centers and home improvement stores. If you are still looking for one locally, then an online search should bring up plenty of options at competitive costs for you to choose from.

Over the years, I have utilized various chelated iron products for my lawn, and a few favorites have consistently yielded exceptional outcomes. Such as

My 4 Best Iron for Lawns

  • Southern Ag Chelated Liquid Iron, 1 Gallon
  • Simple Lawn Solutions Liquid Iron Fertilizer
  • Root 98 Warehouse Fertilome Chelated Liquid Iron, 1 Gallon
  • LawnStar Chelated Liquid Iron

Benefits of Chelated Iron for Plants & Grass

Chelated iron can significantly impact the health and appearance of your lawn grass by providing a bioavailable source of iron. Some of the key benefits include:

  1. Enhanced green color: Iron is essential for chlorophyll production, which gives plants a vibrant green color. A lawn with adequate iron will display a lush, green appearance.
  2. Improved overall health: Chelated iron ensures your grass has the nutrients to thrive, resulting in better root growth and overall plant vigor.
  3. Reduced yellowing: Iron deficiency can lead to chlorosis, causing leaves to turn yellow. Chelated iron helps prevent this issue by providing access to essential iron.
  4. Compatibility with various grass types: From cool-season grasses like Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass to warm-season varieties like Bermuda grass and St. Augustine grass, chelated iron can benefit a wide range of grass types.

Application Tips and Best Practices

To maximize the effectiveness of chelated iron, consider the following tips when applying it to your lawn:

  1. Conduct a soil test: A soil test will help you determine the iron levels in your soil, allowing you to apply the appropriate amount of chelated iron.
  2. Apply during the growing season: Chelated iron is most productive when applied during the active growing season of your grass type, usually in spring and fall for cool-season grasses and spring through summer for warm-season varieties.
  3. Follow the label instructions: Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application rates and proper mixing procedures.
  4. Consider using a foliar spray: In addition to soil applications, chelated iron can be applied directly to the leaves of the grass via a foliar spray. This can respond more immediately, especially if the grass shows iron deficiency.
  5. Monitor and adjust: Keep an eye on your lawn’s appearance and performance, adjusting chelated iron applications based on observed results.

Difference Between Chelated and Non Chelated Iron for Lawns

Chelated Iron:

It is a type of iron that has been chemically bound to an organic molecule, forming a stable complex that helps in its absorption by plants. This process ensures that iron remains readily available for plants, even in soil with a higher pH level. Some commonly used chelating agents include: 

  • EDTA, 
  • DTPA, 
  • EDDHA.

Bioavailability & Absorption Rate: Chelated iron is typically more bioavailable than non-chelated iron, particularly in alkaline soils (pH above 7) where iron can become “locked up,” making it less available to plants. The chelating agents help keep the iron soluble, allowing it to be absorbed by plant roots at a higher rate.

Efficacy: Chelated iron works quickly and effectively to remedy iron deficiencies, resulting in a greener and healthier lawn. This makes it an excellent choice for poor yards due to a lack of iron.

Advantages: Some key benefits of chelated iron include its high bioavailability, quick absorption, and ability to work well in various soil types. These properties make it an effective solution for treating iron deficiencies and keeping your lawn green and lush.

Disadvantages: The main disadvantage of chelated iron is its cost; it is generally more expensive than non-chelated iron. Specific chelating agents may be less effective at certain pH levels, so choosing the right one for your soil is essential.

Non-Chelated Iron

Non-chelated iron is a more straightforward form that isn’t bound to an organic molecule. Examples of non-chelated iron include ferrous sulfate and ferric sulfate.

Bioavailability & Absorption Rate: Compared to chelated iron, non-chelated iron has a lower bioavailability and absorption rate, especially in alkaline soils. This means it’s less likely to be taken up by plant roots and may be less effective in treating iron deficiencies.

Efficacy: Non-chelated iron is still a practical option for treating iron deficiencies in lawns. However, it may be slower and less efficient than chelated iron due to its lower absorption rate.

Advantages: The primary benefit of non-chelated iron is its lower cost than chelated iron. This makes it an affordable option for maintaining the health of your lawn.

Disadvantages: The main downside of non-chelated iron is its limited effectiveness in alkaline soils with higher pH levels. It may also take longer to see results as plants absorb non-chelated iron more slowly.

We Recommended:

  1. Soil Types: If your soil has a pH level above 7, you’ll likely benefit more from chelated iron products, as they are more effective in alkaline soils.
  2. Time of Year: You’ll want to apply iron treatments during the growing season, as plants are actively absorbing nutrients at this time. Using iron during the winter months may not be as effective as these products need to be absorbed by active plant roots for best results.
  3. Lawn’s Specific Needs: Consider your lawn’s needs when choosing an iron treatment. Chelated iron is likely the best option if you’re looking for a quick, effective solution to treat iron deficiencies. However, non-chelated iron products may be better if cost is of primary concern.

Frequently Asked Question

Why Add Chelated Liquid Iron to Lawns?

Does a spreading yellowish haze plague your lawn? Fear not! A thorough soil test can unveil the natural iron levels present. Surprisingly, the issue may not lie with the iron itself but rather the pH level being too high. This unfortunate circumstance hinders your lawn’s ability to absorb iron, water, and vital nutrients. But fret not! Lowering the pH can unlock the secret to enhanced iron uptake.

But wait, there’s more! If the tests reveal an iron deficiency, it may be due to the leaching of soil nutrients over time. This is common in areas with heavy rainfall, resulting in a less-than-fertile substrate for healthy growth. Not to worry, though.

 By replacing it with the right product, you not only improve the health of your grass and soil but also witness a burst of vibrant turf color without the excessive growth that often follows nitrogen overload. Exciting.

How is Chelated Iron Used in Soil?

When chelated iron is applied to the soil, plants offer enhanced availability and absorption of iron. It’s also more resistant to being washed away by rain or irrigation, ensuring a stable iron supply to the grass.


Chelated iron and non-chelated iron are effective solutions for treating iron deficiencies in lawns. Chelated iron has a higher bioavailability and absorption rate, making it ideal for alkaline soils with a pH above 7. It also works more quickly to remedy iron deficiencies, producing greener and healthier grass.

Non-chelated iron is less expensive and can still be effective in neutral to slightly acidic soils, but it may take longer to see results. When selecting an iron treatment for your lawn, consider the soil type, time of year, and specific needs of your grass. This information lets you choose the right iron solution for a lush and vibrant lawn.

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when applying chelated or non-chelated iron, and only use iron treatments when growing your lawn. Doing so will help ensure you get the best results and keep your grass looking its best all year round.

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