Are iron compounds suitable for Maryland lawns?

Asked July 14, 2019, 10:18 PM EDT

I inherited an apparently unused bottle of Dexol brand iron compound several years ago from a relative. The product label recommends using it to rectify yellow leaves and other growth problems on shrubs and flowers. A few of our plants are yellow. What's the useful life of this product? The label recommends applying it to yellow leaves to the point of runoff. The label doesn't contain any cautions; are there any we should be aware of? Is there a risk of staining mature concrete with the iron? Are other garden chemicals compatible with this product?

Baltimore County Maryland

1 Response

Hi- there are many reasons for leaves to yellow on annuals & perennials, trees and shrubs. Iron deficiencies are most often seen in plants like blueberry and azalea grown in high pH soil. The symptom is yellowing between the leaf veins, with the leaf veins remaining green. Even in these cases, adding iron will not reverse the symptom. The soil may have adequate iron levels but the iron is not readily available due to high soil pH.

General yellowing can be caused by old age, low soil fertility, shading, and a variety of plant stressors.

We suggest you not use this product around your plants since you have not confirmed an iron deficiency problem in your soil or in your plants. We don't know the useful life of the product. Perhaps you can contact the company. You may want to contact your county landfill to see if they take fertilizer products as part of their household hazardous waste program.