Read on to learn about the most frequent nutrient deficiencies in trees, as well as how to diagnose and correct them
An adequate supply of nutrients helps plants grow properly and protects against various diseases. A plant absorbs a majority of the nutrients via roots in the soil. Therefore, the soil must be regularly mixed with fertilizers and compost. Read below to identify the most common nutrient deficiencies in plants.
- Nitrogen is a core nutrient for plants, as it helps with the growth of leafy foliage. The plant absorbs most of the nitrogen through the soil via its extensive roots. Nitrogen is highly water-soluble. If there is a long rain spell during the winter season, nitrogen is at risk of being washed out of the soil.
This situation will result in a nitrogen deficiency in the soil and, consequently, a deficiency in the plant itself. Following the winter season, the plant would require an adequate nitrogen supply for growing its new shoots and leaves for the spring season.
- If a plant experiences nitrogen deficiency, its leaves turn yellowish and sometimes have pink dots. The plant’s growth is stunted, and it appears spindly. If your plant has yellow leaves during the spring season, it is experiencing a nitrogen deficiency.
A nitrogen deficiency can be cured by thoroughly mixing manure or compost in the soil. You can also add nitrogen fertilizers by yourselves or hire the services of a professional tree nutrient management company.
- Potassium is essential for managing the water uptake process from the plant’s roots and regulating photosynthesis. Photosynthesis allows the plants to utilize sunlight and convert it into energy.
Potassium also aids in promoting the plant’s flowering, hardiness, and fruiting. A plant experiencing potassium deficiency will have yellow leaves with brown edges. The plant will also exhibit less than normal amounts of flowers and fruits.
- If the soil is sandy and chalky, then a potassium deficiency is highly likely as this type of soil is unable to hold potassium. To cure a plant suffering from potassium deficiency, consider using sulphate of potash (fertilizer) or compost made using tomato feed and sugar beet.
- Phosphorus deficiency causes a plant to have slowed growth in addition to dull yellowish foliage. It also affects the plant’s roots thus affecting water and nutrient uptake. This results in more nutrient deficiencies for the plant.
Experts believe that soil shortages of phosphorus are uncommon, but not unheard of. If your area experiences high rainfall, and majority of the soil is heavy clay then phosphorus may be deficient in your soil. Super-phosphate and bone metal fertilizers can be used to return phosphorus levels to normal in the soil.
- Apples, tomatoes, grape vines, roses, raspberries, and rhododendrons are more prone to experience a magnesium deficiency. You will notice that the leaves are turning yellow, and have a reddish-brown tint near the veins. This is more prominent during the early autumn season.
It is important to differentiate the warning signs of a diseased plant from the warning signs of a nutrient deficient plant before starting the plant’s treatment. Magnesium allows a plant to have green and healthy foliage, as well as to efficiently carry out photosynthesis. If the soil in your area is light and sandy, then there might be a magnesium deficiency.
- Magnesium deficiency can be remedied by using Epsom salt and dolomite limestone. However, you should take precautions as overuse might damage your plant instead of curing it of magnesium deficiency.
Manganese and Iron Deficiency
- Manganese and iron are required for efficient photosynthesis by the plant. It aids the conversion of water and light into energy thus helping the plant grow healthily. A manganese and iron deficiency causes the leaves to turn yellow with brownish edges.
It is difficult for a plant to absorb manganese and iron from soil that is alkaline in nature. This problem is most prominent in Ericaceous plants. To get rid of this problem, simply add manganese and chelated iron treatments such as Sequestrene to the soil and near the plant roots.
If you suspect that your plants and trees are experiencing a nutrient deficiency, then why not get in touch with American Tree Experts Inc today. Call us at 973-774-6091 and let our nutrient management experts help you bring your garden back to life.