Are your plants looking a bit droopy? Too yellow, washed out or easily disturbed? As a novice gardener, your biggest challenge in growing a healthy plant family is learning to identify nutritional deficiencies in plants. Even experienced gardeners still have trouble realizing what is wrong with their plants. Learning how to identify plant nutritional deficiencies is an important step in anticipating any problems your plants may have, and therefore helping to protect your plant investments. Here are some tips to learn how to identify nutritional deficiencies in plants so your garden can thrive.
What could be wrong with your plant?
Let’s say you notice that one of your favorite plants is looking down a bit. You have been fertilizing and watering regularly. What could be wrong? There are many things you must learn to look for in order to solve plant problems. In many cases, your plant may be suffering from a combination of things. First things first: learn how to identify some common problems. These include insects, disease, poorly drained soil, or poor overall soil composition. In most cases, it will be easy to see if your plant is suffering from any pests. Most pests or insects leave telltale signs. Slugs leave slime trails, and various insects leave chew marks and speckled debris marks. As for poor soil, you can often check to see if a plant is being overwatered by seeing if the soil seems too wet. Many soils that have poor drainage can experience poor root growth, root rot, and overall poor health.
Other causes of plant disease
Before diagnosing your plant with nutritional deficiencies, there are a few possibilities you need to eliminate after an insect, poor water drainage, and over or under watering. Check the temperature. If your plant is next to a heating or cooling vent, this could be a problem. Extreme heat or cold will undoubtedly slow plant growth or affect the health of your plant. Does your plant get too much sun, too little? Another possibility to check is how much fertilizer the plant is receiving. Many gardeners today tend to over-fertilize in hopes of an impressive and robust garden. However, adding too much fertilizer to your plants can lead to salt damage. A plant that has received too much fertilizer can look shriveled and burned, even when the soil is moist.
Counteract nutritional deficiencies of plants
Just like us, plants need certain nutrients to stay healthy. Most plants require macronutrients (nutrients found in relatively large doses) and micronutrients (small doses of essential nutrients). Examples of plant macronutrients include potassium, calcium, nitrogen, phosphorus, magnesium, and sulfur. Micronutrients can include iron, boron, manganese, zinc, copper, and molybdenum. saffron buy online A plant takes in all of its nutrients through the root. Water plays an important role in the transfer of these nutrients to the roots of the plant. For nutrients to reach your plant, make sure they get adequate water.
Symptoms of Plant Nutritional Deficiencies
If a plant’s leaves appear distorted or the tips appear dead, this could be a sign of calcium deficiency. Old, dead leaves, in the lower part of the plant, as well as spindly, yellowed leaves characterize a nitrogen deficiency. Slow growth and pale yellow leaves, particularly on the outer leaves, may indicate a magnesium deficiency. Small leaves with a reddish or purple tint may indicate a phosphorus deficiency. Older leaves that appear burned around the edges may indicate a potassium deficiency. If new growth turns yellow while old growth remains green, this may be a sign of sulfur deficiency. Sulfur deficiencies are more prevalent in drier climates and can lead to stunted growth.