Turn your home’s exterior into the envy of the neighborhood with Suntek Residential Landscape for you!

Turn your home’s exterior into the envy of the neighborhood with Suntek Residential Landscape for you!

What is Iron Chelate?

Iron chelate is a compound that is commonly used in agriculture and horticulture to provide plants with a readily available source of iron. Iron is an essential micronutrient for plants, playing a crucial role in various physiological processes, including photosynthesis and respiration. However, iron is often present in the soil in an insoluble form, making it difficult for plants to absorb. Iron chelate helps to overcome this problem by binding with iron ions and keeping them in a soluble form that plants can easily take up.

How Does Iron Chelate Work?

Iron chelate works by forming stable complexes with iron ions, preventing them from forming insoluble compounds in the soil. This allows the iron to remain in a soluble form, making it more available for plant uptake. The chelating agent acts as a “carrier” for the iron, protecting it from precipitation and keeping it in a form that is easily absorbed by plant roots. Once inside the plant, the iron is released from the chelate and used in various metabolic processes.

Types of Iron Chelate

There are several types of iron chelate available on the market, each with its own unique properties and advantages. The most commonly used types include:

EDTA Iron Chelate

EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) iron chelate is one of the most widely used chelating agents in agriculture. It forms a stable complex with iron, preventing it from precipitating out of solution. EDTA iron chelate is highly effective in correcting iron deficiencies in plants and is often used as a foliar spray or soil drench.

DTPA Iron Chelate

DTPA (diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid) iron chelate is another commonly used chelating agent. It has a higher stability constant than EDTA, meaning it can hold onto iron ions more tightly. DTPA iron chelate is particularly effective in alkaline and calcareous soils, where iron availability is often limited.

EDDHA Iron Chelate

EDDHA (ethylenediamine-N,N’-bis(2-hydroxyphenylacetic acid)) iron chelate is a highly stable chelating agent that is especially effective in alkaline and calcareous soils. It has a higher stability constant than both EDTA and DTPA, allowing it to hold onto iron ions even more tightly. EDDHA iron chelate is often used in situations where other chelating agents have proven ineffective.

Benefits of Using Iron Chelate

The use of iron chelate offers several benefits for plants and growers:

Prevents Iron Deficiency

Iron chelate is an effective solution for preventing and correcting iron deficiencies in plants. Iron deficiency can lead to chlorosis, a condition characterized by yellowing of the leaves due to a lack of chlorophyll. By providing plants with a readily available source of iron, chelates help to ensure healthy growth and development.

Improves Nutrient Uptake

Iron chelate not only provides plants with iron but also improves the uptake of other essential nutrients. By enhancing nutrient absorption, chelates contribute to overall plant health and productivity.

Enhances Photosynthesis

Iron is a key component of chlorophyll, the pigment responsible for capturing light energy during photosynthesis. By supplying plants with sufficient iron, chelates promote optimal photosynthetic activity, leading to increased energy production and improved plant growth.

Increases Crop Yield and Quality

By addressing iron deficiencies and promoting healthy plant growth, iron chelate can significantly increase crop yield and quality. Plants that receive adequate amounts of iron are better equipped to withstand environmental stresses and produce higher-quality fruits, vegetables, and flowers.

Application Methods

Iron chelate can be applied to plants through various methods, including:

Foliar Spray

A foliar spray involves applying a solution of iron chelate directly to the leaves of plants. This method allows for quick absorption and is particularly useful in correcting severe iron deficiencies.

Soil Drench

A soil drench involves pouring a solution of iron chelate directly onto the soil around the plant’s root zone. This method allows for gradual uptake by the roots and is suitable for both preventive and corrective applications.


Iron chelate is a powerful tool in the agricultural and horticultural industry, providing plants with a readily available source of iron. By overcoming iron deficiencies and improving nutrient uptake, chelates contribute to healthy plant growth, increased crop yield, and improved overall quality. Understanding the different types of iron chelate and their application methods can help growers make informed decisions and optimize their plant nutrition strategies.