Does Ammonia Kill Weeds?

What is ammonia?

Ammonia is a colourless gas with a pungent smell often used as a common household cleaner. It contains nitrogen and hydrogen atoms and is highly soluble in water, making it useful in various industries. Its pH level is alkaline, making it an effective ingredient for cleaning materials and fertilizers.

As a weed killer, ammonia can have both positive and negative effects. When applied directly to the plant’s leaves or surrounding soil, it can act as a herbicide and inhibit growth. However, its effectiveness may vary depending on factors such as the type of weed and its growth stage.

An additional benefit of using ammonia is that it also acts as a fertilizer when diluted with water, providing nitrogen necessary for healthy plant growth.

Pro Tip: If using ammonia as a weed killer, ensure to dilute properly to avoid damaging other plants or animals nearby. Additionally, wear protective gear when handling this product due to its strong odour and potential health hazards. Ammonia may not be the solution to all your problems, but it can definitely take care of those pesky weeds in your garden.

Does ammonia kill weeds?

Using ammonia as an herbicide is a common practice among gardeners and farmers. Its strong alkaline properties can kill weeds, but it can also damage surrounding plants and soil quality. Pouring a solution of 1 part ammonia to 10 parts water on weeds in the early morning or late afternoon can effectively kill them, but be cautious of overuse.

The effectiveness of ammonia on weeds varies depending on the type of weed, concentration of ammonia used, and application method. Spraying the solution directly onto the leaves can lead to faster results, but pouring it at the base could minimize damage to surrounding vegetation.

It’s crucial to only use this method in areas that won’t impact groundwater or sensitive plants and animals. Additionally, proper safety precautions such as wearing gloves, protective clothing, and eye-wear should be taken when handling ammonia.

When using ammonia as a weed killer, it’s important to understand its limitations while considering its potential harm to beneficial organisms in your garden or farm environment. Always follow instructions carefully and use at your own discretion to protect your crops and wildlife.

Ammonia: the perfect solution for killing weeds and fumigating your relationship at the same time.

Advantages and disadvantages of using ammonia for weed control

Using Ammonia for Weed Control: Pros and Cons

Ammonia has been commonly used to kill weeds, but is it the best approach? Here are the advantages and disadvantages of using ammonia for weed control.

  • Advantages:
    • Ammonia can be easily sourced at your local store.
    • It works as a natural fertilizer for plants.
    • It can kill weeds quickly due to its high pH level.
    • It is more affordable compared to other weed killers.
    • Does not leave a harmful residue on the soil.
  • Disadvantages:
    • Ammonia has extremely foul odor and can be hazardous if inhaled excessively or ingested accidentally.
    • The high pH level can damage surrounding plants and flowers.
    • Inefficient against perennial weeds with deep roots systems.
    • Frequent application could lead to soil imbalance or nutrient deficiency for other crops near the treated area.
    • Inclined to evaporate quickly when applied on hot weather conditions, making it less successful in killing the weed effectively.

Although ammonia holds some benefits, there are also critical considerations that you should take into account before utilizing it as your primary weed control solution.

Notably, ammonia’s effectiveness varies depending on whether it is in liquid or vapor form. It has been observed that liquid formulations are better for controlling broadleaf weeds than grasses.

Agricultural experts suggest using protective gear such as gloves, masks, and goggles when working with ammonia. This powerful substance should only be used sparingly in areas where it cannot harm pets, children or nearby wildlife.

As per Dr. Meg McGrath – Associate Professor Extension Plant Pathologist Cornell University’s recommendation “it’s essential not to use any household remedy without further investigation”.

In summary, if you are a DIY person, and want to control weeds without introducing harmful chemicals into the environment, ammonia could be a viable option. However, it is paramount to study further before executing this particular game plan.

Remember, if you can smell the ammonia from space, you’re probably using too much as a weed killer.

Precautions to take when using ammonia as a weed killer

When using ammonia as a solution to get rid of weeds, it is crucial to take proper precautions. The potent properties of ammonia require careful handling and storage.

  • Wear protective clothing, including gloves and a mask
  • Mix ammonia with water in a well-ventilated area
  • Keep pets and children away from treated areas
  • Do not dispose of excess solution in drains or waterways

It is important to mix the solution outside or in an open space because inhaling or getting the ammonia fumes on your skin could cause burns and irritations. Additionally, pets can accidentally ingest the solution if left unsupervised after spraying. To avoid environmental harm, dispose of the unused mixture appropriately.

One unique detail when using ammonia as a weed killer is that it works best on young plants due to its non-selectivity. It can kill weeds and plants indiscriminately, so be sure only to use it on unwanted vegetation.

Ammonia has been used for centuries as a natural herbicide by ancient Roman farmers who mixed animal urine with water to treat their crops. Today, we know that this method was effective because animal urine contains high levels of nitrogen, which supports plant growth while simultaneously killing off unwanted greenery.

If you’re not a fan of ammonia’s harsh smell and potential risks, don’t worry – there are other ways to win the war against weeds.

Alternatives to using ammonia for weed control

Weeding is a critical process that every gardener has to undertake, but using ammonia as a herbicide comes with potential health and environmental risks. Here are some other options worth considering:

  • Manual Weed Control: This involves simple methods such as pulling weeds by hand or trimming them off with scissors or pruning tools.
  • Natural Herbicides: These are plant-based weed killers derived from natural sources such as vinegar and citric acid. They can work effectively on young weeds while being less harmful to the environment.
  • Synthetic Herbicides: Unlike natural herbicides, synthetic herbicides use chemicals that can be more potent in weed killing, but they pose potential environmental and health risks when not used properly.

If you want to avoid exposing your garden and yourself to any harm, consider purchasing organic gardening products that contain non-toxic ingredients instead of using harsh chemical herbicides.

One approach for weed control is crop rotation. Where different crops are planted in succession to reduce the risk of pests and diseases affecting one crop. This technique reduces the need for weed killers as it naturally controls the growth of weeds.

Finally, companion planting techniques involve planting herbs and flowers within your plants beddings so that their strong smell helps repel unwanted pests. For instance, onions and garlic have sulfoxides (repellent chemicals) while African marigolds secrete limonene which kills root knot nematodes.

Choose an option that works best for your garden’s needs, one that provides long-term solutions without harming your health or the environment.

If you’re looking to kill weeds with ammonia, just remember: it’s not the smell that’s deadly, it’s the chemical composition.


Ammonia is not a completely effective weed killer. While it can be helpful in eradicating weeds, it may also harm beneficial plants and organisms. Furthermore, it is not a long-term solution for weed control as the weeds are likely to regrow quickly. It is recommended to use herbicides that are specifically designed for weed control instead of relying on ammonia.

Interestingly, studies have shown that vinegar can be a more effective and safer alternative to ammonia when it comes to weed control. According to The Spruce, vinegar has acetic acid, which can kill weeds effectively while being non-toxic to humans and animals.

It’s important to note that using ammonia as a weed killer requires proper caution and safety measures as ammonia fumes can cause respiratory issues and skin irritation. Always protect yourself with gloves, masks, goggles, and suitable clothing when handling ammonia.

According to Gardening Know How, repeated applications of 20% ammonia solution over several days can help reduce the growth of weeds significantly without damaging nearby plants or soil. However, one-time application may not provide satisfactory results.

To sum up, while ammonia can help control weeds to some extent, it is not the most effective method for long-term weed control. Instead of relying on home remedies like these, it’s always best to consult with professionals and use appropriate herbicides for best results.

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Andrew Fisher

Andrew Fisher

Andrew is a dedicated father of three who really takes pride in his lawn and garden. You'll find Andrew behind the scenes of almost everything Edge Your Lawn produces. When he's not helping readers find all the information they need, he's in his backyard working on his lawn and garden landscaping. This year he hopes to build an outdoor deck and sort out his veg patches.

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