What to do When Your Nutrients Freeze

Frozen Nutrients:

One of the risks of growing in a cold climate is low temperatures can cause your nutrients to freeze.



Fallout is when the salts fall out of the solution due to freezing

What causes this? 

The 2 main factors that cause nutrient freezing are the temperature and the concentration of the fertilizer. Freezing occurs when the salts inside the nutrients crystallize and fall out of the solution, this is referred to as fallout. The colder the temperature, the less salt the water can hold. 


The concentration of salts in the fertilizer is an important factor in whether or not this will happen to you. For example, a strong fertilizer like our Holland Secret Micro will contain a high concentration of salts versus an additive like our Carbo Blast which contains minimal salts. With the higher concentration, you are more likely to have freezing resulting in fallout. 


How to know if freezing has occurred?

To tell if you have fallout, gently shake the bottle and if you hear a rattling sound resembling broken glass you’ll know your salts have crystallized and have fallen out of the solution. But don’t fret! This doesn’t mean your fertilizer needs to be thrown out.


Nutrient freezing is common in colder climates and poses a real problem for growers.

How to salvage your frozen fertilizer:

Simply place the bottle in warm water and periodically swirl the bottle gently for 10-20 seconds. Repeat this step until no more rattling can be heard. Make sure the water is warm, but not hot enough to damage the plastic bottle. An ideal water temperature would be around 50 degrees Celsius. Water temperature, how often you agitate the bottle, and how diluted the fertilizer is will affect how quickly the salts redissolve. Ideally once the process is finished, you should dump the contents of the bottle into a clear container to confirm there are no more salt crystals.




How to prevent this:

Like most things, prevention is always best. Try your best not to let liquid fertilizers fall under 10 degrees Celsius. Anything lower will increase the risk of fallout occurring in your bottles. If this isn’t possible, powdered nutrients and additives can tolerate almost any temperature and may be a better option for those growing in colder climates. 




Good luck! And remember you can always reach out to @futureharvestdevelopments on instagram if you have any questions or need advice.

    Published by Loren Price

    Loren, the Director of Fertilizer Technology at Future Harvest, grew up on a mixed grain and cattle farm in North West Saskatchewan. He went on to study biotechnology and worked in agrosciences in Saskatoon for several years before moving on to Future Harvest and the hydroponic plant food industry. Starting off in fertilizer production, his focus is now on fertilizer formulations and regulatory affairs. His areas of expertise include: agronomy, analytical chemistry, plant tissue culture, plant breeding, molecular biology, and plant nutrition. Outside of work, Loren collects vintage concert T-shirts and is an amateur craft brewer specializing in historical and lesser known styles of beer.

    E-Mail: loren@futureharvest.com

  • Dec 05, 2019
  • Category: Articles
  • Comments: 5
Theo March 14, 2022

Good day, would you know if freezing has an effect on calibration solutions for pH and PPM?

Thanks in advance

Future Harvest March 14, 2022

Hi Theo, while your solutions are likely fine, we can’t say 100% that they haven’t been affected. We recommend you compare the results using a new calibration solution to confirm your old solutions are in proper working order.

Dan.roseberry October 06, 2022

When I mix my azalea for with a little bit of water, it gets very cold (almost freezing) why is this, or what causes it?

Future Harvest October 06, 2022

Hi Dan,

Our fertilizers don’t contain this but other brands sometimes have ammonium nitrate which is very endothermic when added to water. It’s normal so your plants will be okay.

Thanks for reaching out and have a great day.

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