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Will Ammonia Kill Grass – All You Need to Know!

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Ammonia is an excellent source of fertilizer for your lawn.

Oddly enough, it also has a great potential to destroy the lawn if not used properly.

So, will ammonia kill grass?

That thought probably runs through your mind because you notice that your grass is gradually dying, and the only thing you feed your grass is ammonia-based fertilizers.

Today, in this post, we will explore how different types of ammonia fertilizers affect the grass.

So, let’s begin!

Will Ammonia Kill Grass
Will ammonia kill grass? – Image via Reddit.

Will Ammonia Kill Grass?

Ammonia is an effective fertilizer that helps you grow lush green grass. Contrarily, an overdose of ammonia will cause this beautiful grass to burn and die.

Will ammonia kill grass? YES! It will kill grass if you overuse it.

If used in diluted form, it is an excellent fertilizer.

The primary aim of ammonia in fertilizer is to release nitrogen in the soil. Plants love nitrogen, as nitrogen is integral to the chlorophyll molecule. It also serves as the building block for making proteins.

Still, too much nitrogen is overwhelming and ruins the plant’s system.

Not all types of ammonia salts have the same effect on grass.

The right type of ammonia fertilizer can benefit your lawn by providing nitrogen, which feeds your grass and helps it thrive. Using the wrong type or amount can damage or even kill your grass. It’s important to be careful and choose the appropriate fertilizer for your lawn.

Types of Ammonia Salts Used in Fertilizers!

You will commonly find ammonia in many standard fertilizers.

The grass seems delicate, and too much of an inappropriate fertilizer can burn it. Therefore, it would be best to analyze how potent the fertilizer is. It is essential to understand that several types of ammonia salts are used in fertilizers, and some are not beneficial for your grass.

So, you need to know which type of ammonia-based fertilizer you are using.

There are several types of ammonia salts.

The most common of them include:

Ammonium Nitrate

Ammonium nitrate is the most common type and an excellent nitrogen source—a potent fertilizer that releases nitrogen back into the depleted soil.

Ammonium nitrate is designed to be used on mature grass at the start of spring.

Can we spray it on new grass? The straight answer is NO!

Due to its high potency, ammonium nitrate is best suited for already established and happy grass; as it releases nitrogen quickly, it can kill fresh or unhealthy grass.

Ammonium nitrate contains an N-P-K ratio of 34-0-0; thus, it requires the application of three pounds of ammonium nitrate per every thousand square feet area.

This three-pound rule supplies one pound of actual nitrogen to your lawn.

Ammonium Hydroxide

Household ammonia is also known as ammonium hydroxide.

It is found in ordinary household cleaners such as soap or dish soap and is used to create lawn tonics.

Unlike other types, ammonium hydroxide doesn’t supply grass with sufficient nitrogen, as it is usually applied in small quantities to prevent burns.

Ammonium hydroxide is a powerful solution to eliminate weeds growing in your backyard.

This powerful solution will effortlessly kill your grass.

You wouldn’t want to spray ammonium hydroxide all over your lawn, as you will kill all the greens along with the weeds. You can spray a soap and water mix solution on the weeds without worrying about damage to nearby grass.

Still, using this method to kill weeds on your lawn will result in a patchy lawn, but that can be solved by overseeding your lawn.

Will Ammonia Kill Grass Dead Grass Top View
Dead Grass Top View | Image via Shutterstock.

Ammonium Sulfate

Ammonium sulfate is rarely used as a fertilizer because of its acidic nature.

It is usually not used as a grass fertilizer because it tends to cause acidity in the soil, but it can be used to lower the pH to promote the growth of acidophilic plants.

Most types of lawn grass grow best in a neutral pH level of 6–7. If your garden’s soil is more alkaline, ammonium sulfate can help lower the pH to the neutral zone.

Like all other types, overapplication may cause chemical burns in the grass, mainly if you apply it on a sunny day.

So, you must be careful when applying or reapplying ammonium sulfate products.

Ammonium sulfate has an NPK ratio of 21-0-0. Hence, 5 pounds are required to supply one pound of nitrogen to thousand square feet of grass.

Ammonium Phosphate Sulfate

It is the most common type of ammonia salt used on dehydrated or stressed crops. There are minimal chances that this type will kill or damage your grass.

It is commonly used before planting new grass to boost growth.

It contains less nitrogen than ammonium nitrate and provides the grass with some beneficial phosphorus as well.

But what about its usage quantity? That’s what you want to know, Right?

Six pounds of product release one pound of nitrogen per every thousand square feet of grass.


Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions.

Does Household Ammonia Kill Grass?

Household ammonia is “ammonium hydroxide.” It is typically used as a cleaning agent and not as a fertilizer.

Dilute ammonium hydroxide can be used to fertilize the grass, but it will cause burns.

What Does Ammonia Do to Grass?

Ammonia is highly alkaline, which means it raises the soil’s pH level, and so causes damage to the grass. When ammonia comes in contact with grass, it can burn the leaves and roots, leading the grass to death.

How Long Will It Take for Ammonia to Kill Grass?

Highly concentrated ammonia can kill grass within a few hours. In contrast, a low concentration may cause normal to severe damage.

In short, the speed of the impact depends on the following:

  • Concentration
  • The pH level of the soil
  • Environmental conditions

That’s all!

Now it’s time to summarize the whole discussion.


Now you don’t need to think: “Will ammonia kill grass?” Because you have already got your answer.

Almost all common ammonia salts kill grass except ammonium phosphate sulfate.

You can use this type to feed your younger or newer grass. Other types are either used as a cleaning agent or as a fertilizer for acidophilic plants.

I hope you find this post helpful. If so, don’t forget to share it with your friends.

Moiz Atiq.