Chelate

Definition - What does Chelate mean?

A chelate is a specific kind of chemical compound that is more easily dissolved and absorbed than other types of molecules and chemical compounds. It is made up of a metal ion and a chelating agent that creates multiple soluble bonds to the ion. This chemical structure makes it easier for chelates to be absorbed in a solution.

Chelates are sometimes added to fertilizers to enhance a plant's ability to absorb nutrients.

MaximumYield explains Chelate

A chelate is an agent that creates multiple bonds with a metal ion, such as zinc or iron. It may also bond with minerals such as nitrogen, potassium, or phosphorous, all of which are important elements for a plant's health. Because nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous are generally more readily available in soil in many areas, they are rarely chelated. However, because zinc and iron are not as available, they are often chelated and added to fertilizers.

If these elements are added to fertilizer or soil on their own without chelates, they will often become bound up in the soil and will not be available to the plants. Chelates prevent this from occurring and help plants absorb more nutrients.

When considering which type of chelated fertilizer to use, you will need to know your soil’s pH. For example, humic acid is a common chelating agent, but it is only soluble in solutions that have a pH of 6.0 or higher. On the other hand, fulvic acid is a chelating agent that is soluble in any pH solution. Amino acid chelates are most soluble in soil with a pH of 5.0 - 7.5.

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