How to identity major nutrient deficiencies symptoms in vegetable plants.
Biodiversity, Gardening, Gardening Tips, Green House, Indore Plants, IPS Gardening, Nutrients Management, Urban Farming Nov 24, 2020
When you grow vegetables it’s difficult to get expected yield without nutrients application. Mainly when you are growing vegetables in a container on terrace or balcony definitely it’s difficult to get yield without nutrient application. You must “feed your soil” every 10-15 days at regular intervals. Otherwise plants may face nutrient deficiency symptoms. The symptom of a nutrient deficiency can range from yellowing and poor growth to flower and fruit failure, which may reduce the yield, plant may die and `even plant may susceptible to lot of pest and disease infestation. Fortunately, plants show some symptoms of nutrient deficiency so that we can act quickly to correct the problem without significant harm to your harvest.
Nutrient deficiency symptoms in plants can be confusing. Most of the plant nutrient deficiencies look similar to symptoms of pest and disease incidence.
Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are the three essential “macro” elements for the plant growth so let us look at the importance of these nutrients and their deficiency symptoms, their function and fertilizers to help correct deficiencies.
Function – Nitrogen is one of the major nutrient required by plants in large quantities and is necessary for healthy leaf growth.
Deficiency symptoms – Nitrogen deficiencies are easy to identify because they affect the entire plant
- Poor and stunted growth.
- Leaves become very small.
- Leaves turns to pale yellow colour.
- Limited shoot growth.
- Reduced flowering.
- Decrease in fruiting.
Excess of nitrogen causes: These include:
- Increases leaf growth.
- Leaf turns into dark green.
- Leaves and stems turns into succulent.
- Lack of fruits.
Nitrogen nutrient Source: The best source of nitrogen is organic matter or compost. fish emulsion. Manure, plant meal, bonemeal, fish meal, cotton seed meal, coffee grounds, soybean meal, composted legumes (peas, beans, peanuts), multinutrients
Function: Phosphorous is one of the major primary nutrient required by plants in relatively large quantities and is essential for cell division, strong stems, and good for root development. Essential for photosynthesis. It is the most important nutrient for seedlings when they are growing quickly.
Deficiency symptoms –
- Leaf bronzing and mottling – Lower leaves and stem look reddish or purplish.
- Stems become very thin.
- Stunted or slow growth
- No fruits bearing.
- Premature fruit drop
- Stunted root growth.
- Cell division is affected.
Excess of phosphorous symptoms:
- Increased weed growth.
- Stunted plant growth.
- Harms beneficial root fungi,
- Decreases the plant’s ability to uptake zinc.
- Decreases the plant’s ability to uptake iron (deficiency shows as yellowing between leaf veins)
Phosphorous nutrient Sources: The most common organic fertilizer that supplies phosphorous is rock phosphate. Bonemeal, colloidal phosphate, rock phosphate, New Jersey greensand, superphosphate.
Function: Promotes disease resistance; necessary for root development and cell wall structure development; moisture conservation; promotion of photosynthesis.
- Lower leaves spotted,
- Leaf tips and edges turn yellow and bronze.
- Stems become weak
- Stunted root growth
- Reduced vegetative growth
- Plant become susceptible to wilting and wilt diseases;
- Fruit quality affected – Small, thin skinned, poor colour and poor flavour fruits.
Excess of potassium symptoms:
- Poor quality fruits.
- Reduced absorption of magnesium and calcium.
Phosphorous nutrient Sources: Potash rock, manure, granite dust or meal, New Jersey greensand, fish meal, seaweed, kelp meal, wood ashes .potassium sulphate or nitrate.