Plant Nutrient

Mineral Deficiencies

& Solutions

There are sixteen chemical elements that man knows of that are important to any plant's growth and perpetuation. These elements are then divided into two separate groups, those being mineral and non∼mineral.

Plants, like all living things, need micronutrients and other minerals in order to properly metabolize sugars and therefore grow and thrive. Such a strong argument for the use of fertilizer spikes that contain these micronutrients and other needed micorminerals. I hate to sound like I'm advertising for the companies that make them, but to you newer gardeners who may not yet be sold on the idea of using a balanced fertilizer and supplements like seaweed and kelp, bonemeals, and other organic proven standbys, the pictures I've presented here of a passiflora cultivar named cincinnatta I hope will sway your opinion.

The above photo shows a severe iron deficiency in the leaf veining, notice how pale and lime green the leaf itself is, and the veining is darker than the leaf. The leaves have also curled up a bit on themsleves. This is a classic sign of lack of iron in the soil for the plant to intake, which is a common dilemna here in south Florida.

To cure this, I sprinkled about a tablespoon of Ironite onto the surface of the 6" pot. Then I watered the plant very lightly for the next week and new growth began to appear lower on the stem. The second photo shows the new growth 2 weeks after initial treatment, on the same stem.

Calcium Deficiency will show outward causal effects. Notice in the photo how the leaves are upwardly curled? This is a sure sign of calcium deficiency. This is shown on Berstein, which was corrected and now no longer exists on this plant. However, be aware that some brugs just naturally show this sign, and with no calcium deficiency. A noteable cultivar that comes to mind is Lagenbusher Garten. His leaves are always curled a slightly bit upwards, but there is no lack of calcium. It is just a characteristic of this particular cultivar.

Poor calcium uptake by your plants can be due to several things. One, an excess of nitrogen and potassium in your fertilizers. Try to use the appropriate balance for brugmansia, and at the rate noted on the package or bottle. Another cause could be a lack of water uptake by the plant, thus disallowing the plant to get the needed calcium up into the green living tissue.

So right away, you can see the benefits of making available to your beloved house and landscape plants, these micronutrients and minerals, and these are in addition to any fertilizers you will be using.

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