Chlorosis Is Different, Or What Is Missing From Our Plants? Signs Of Deficiency Of Nitrogen, Iron, Potassium, Magnesium, Manganese, Sulfur. Photo

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Chlorosis Is Different, Or What Is Missing From Our Plants? Signs Of Deficiency Of Nitrogen, Iron, Potassium, Magnesium, Manganese, Sulfur. Photo
Chlorosis Is Different, Or What Is Missing From Our Plants? Signs Of Deficiency Of Nitrogen, Iron, Potassium, Magnesium, Manganese, Sulfur. Photo

Video: Chlorosis Is Different, Or What Is Missing From Our Plants? Signs Of Deficiency Of Nitrogen, Iron, Potassium, Magnesium, Manganese, Sulfur. Photo

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Video: Identify the Leaf Yellowing Pattern & Treat Nutrient Deficiency with the Best Fertilizer 2023, January

This year I often saw the picture: among the luxurious green crown of trees and bushes, here and there, like candles, the highlighted tops of the shoots are "burning". This is chlorosis. Most of us know about chlorosis from the lessons of school biology. I remember that this is a lack of iron … But chlorosis is an ambiguous concept. And the lightening of foliage does not always mean a lack of iron. What is chlorosis, what our plants lack in chlorosis and how to provide them with competent assistance, we will tell in the article.

Chlorosis is different. In the photo - iron deficiency in plums
Chlorosis is different. In the photo - iron deficiency in plums


  • What is chlorosis?
  • Non-infectious chlorosis
  • Infectious chlorosis
  • Edaphic chlorosis
  • Ways to combat non-infectious chlorosis

What is chlorosis?

Chlorosis in its essence is an external manifestation of signs indicating that the plant is depressed, that the formation of chlorophyll in its tissues is slowed down and, as a result, the activity of photosynthesis is reduced. This can be a lightening of the leaf blade between the veins, along with the veins, along the edge, spots or over the entire surface, i.e., a change in its color from normal to light green, yellow, cream.

At the same time, the leaves can lose color both from the petiole to the tip, and from the edge of the leaf blade to the petiole, starting from the upper part of the shoot, from the central or from the bottom. These additional characteristics are important to observe when determining the problem, since they and some others, which will be discussed later, suggest the cause of chlorosis. And he has many reasons.

Chlorosis types

Despite the fact that chlorosis, at first glance, has a general concept, science divides this phenomenon into several types:

  • non-infectious chlorosis,
  • infectious chlorosis,
  • edaphic chlorosis.

Each of them has similar external manifestations, but a different reason, from which the measures to combat this disease differ.

Non-infectious chlorosis

The most common non-infectious chlorosis is caused by a lack of any element in the nutrition of the plant: sulfur, zinc, calcium, potassium, magnesium. And most often it is carbonate chlorosis (calcareous, or iron), resulting from iron deficiency.

Iron chlorosis

The most common cause of iron chlorosis is excess lime in the soil, giving it an alkaline reaction (pH = 7 or more), which keeps iron in a form inaccessible to plants. It occurs quite often, since calcareous soils are widespread.

The first symptoms of iron chlorosis appear on plants in spring or early summer, when foliage is lightened at the tops of the shoots, while the veins of the leaves remain green. The provocateur of this phenomenon is usually cold rainy weather, which enhances the alkaline reaction of the soil (waterlogging, cold soil).

With prolonged iron deficiency, young leaves stop growing, and after them, the old ones gradually lose their color. If the problem is not resolved, the chlorotic leaves dry up, crumble, the tops of the shoots die off.

Additional signs of iron deficiency are:

  • insufficient maturation of wood (decrease in frost resistance);
  • shedding of fruits;
  • short node development.

Iron chlorosis is also manifested on vegetable crops. In tomatoes, mainly on the upper leaves, the inflorescences grow small, the bushes often die. The old foliage of beets is small, tough, and the young ones are light with burned tips, the roots are woody. In cabbage, old leaves are lightened, young ones do not grow, the head of cabbage does not ripen, has a bitter taste. In potatoes, old leaves lose their color, take on a scorched appearance and dry out.

Iron deficiency in strawberries
Iron deficiency in strawberries

Manganese chlorosis

Manganese deficiency occurs in calcareous and acidic calcareous soils. However, with a slight deficiency, the color of the leaves does not change, only with severe deficiency. Chlorotic spots of various shades appear, located between the veins. Plant growth is delayed, while the upper bud does not die off.

In addition to trees and shrubs, so-called vegetable indicator plants also react to the lack of this element with chlorosis. In cucumbers, young leaves grow light green with a yellow border, and dotted necrotic spots are scattered along the leaf blade. In tomatoes, the foliage of the middle tier turns yellow, starting from areas remote from the central vein, discolored areas die off. In potatoes, the upper leaves are lightened between the veins, and dotted necrotic spots are scattered over the chlorotic tissue.

Magnesium chlorosis

Lack of magnesium appears on the lower old foliage. The leaf blades lose their color not evenly, but between the main veins, starting from the edge of the leaf. Sometimes the color changes to red or orange. Necrosis begins in the same direction or from the middle of the macula. At the same time, it is not necessary that these symptoms will appear on all branches, and even more so - on all plants.

Additional signs of magnesium deficiency are:

  • weakening of plant growth;
  • smaller size and less intense color of the fruit;
  • earlier ripening of the crop;
  • decrease in frost resistance.
Magnesium deficiency in grapes
Magnesium deficiency in grapes

Sulfur chlorosis

With a sulfur deficiency, the upper, young leaves change color. The veins are highlighted first, and then the tissue of the leaf plate. Often, the leaf becomes white with a reddish tint. Plants stop developing, become more susceptible to a lack of moisture, diseases, and low temperatures.

A sign of sulfur deficiency on grapes is a slight lightening of the upper leaves
A sign of sulfur deficiency on grapes is a slight lightening of the upper leaves

Calcium chlorosis

Calcium deficiency is also manifested by chlorosis. At the tips of the shoots, the leaves become yellow-green with yellow-brown spots, the edges of the leaf blades are serrated. If the lack of calcium is observed for too long, inhibition and gradual death of the root system occurs. In rare cases, necrotic annular spotting appears on the bark.

Additional signs of calcium deficiency are:

  • crushing of fruits, tendency to cracking, sunburn;
  • earlier ripening of the crop;
  • increased susceptibility to the vitreousness of the pulp, internal decay - reducing the shelf life.
A sign of calcium deficiency is the vitreousness of apple fruits
A sign of calcium deficiency is the vitreousness of apple fruits

Nitrogen chlorosis

Initially, nitrogen deficiency manifests itself on the lower old leaves in the form of uniform lightening (both veins and tissues of the leaf plate). At first, the leaves acquire a light green hue, then yellow-green, and with a strong lack of nitrogen, the whole plant loses its healthy color. The volume of the root system decreases. Stuntedness is observed, the stems grow tough, thin.

With chronic shortage, the leaf is small, the upper leaves are inclined at an acute angle in relation to the stem. Flowering begins early, but flowers are small, few in number. Shedding of both color and ovary often occurs.

Additional signs of nitrogen deficiency are:

  • early yellowing or redness of the leaf apparatus;
  • coloring of leaf petioles in a red-brown tint;
  • early ripening of the crop;
  • fruits are brighter in color, but smaller than the variety should be, tasteless.

Most often, this chlorosis manifests itself on overly acidic soils, or during periods of prolonged spring rains, when nitrogen is washed out from the root zone. In the latter case, there is no need to deal with nitrogen deficiency, since when sunny warm weather is established, its content returns to normal and the plant is restored.

Another reason may be a prolonged drought, provoking the death of microorganisms that convert nitrogen into a form accessible to plants. In this case, it is necessary to establish watering, and the problem will disappear.

Lack of nitrogen in sweet potatoes
Lack of nitrogen in sweet potatoes

Potassium chlorosis

With a lack of potassium, chlorosis appears on old leaves in the form of spots along the edges and between the veins. Pale leaves often curl upside down. Marginal necrosis gradually appears. There is a slowdown in plant growth, drying of young shoots.

If the lack of potassium is acute, necrosis can cover the entire leaf blade. Shoots grow short, thin. Plants become unstable to drought and freezing. In addition, the fruits grow on them small, are poorly colored, peas are observed on the grapes, and later - cracking of the berries.

There is a lack of potassium in areas with frequent rains and on sandy soils.

Lack of potassium (potash burn) on raspberries
Lack of potassium (potash burn) on raspberries

Infectious chlorosis

Infectious chlorosis occurs due to infection of plants with a virus from the NEPO group of viruses. It is carried by insects. Just as in previous cases, it begins to appear in the spring, but already in the form of lightening of leaves along with veins, yellow spots or stripes along the veins. In this case, a short node is observed on the shoots, and bordering on the affected foliage. With the arrival of summer, the leaves turn green, but the affected areas remain chlorotic.

Unfortunately, viral diseases are not cured today. The only control measure is prophylactic treatment of plants against virus-carrying insects.

Edaphic chlorosis

Edaphic chlorosis occurs as a result of external unfavorable factors affecting the plant: a sharp deterioration in weather conditions, a sharp change in the chemical composition of the soil, temperature fluctuations in a wide range, excess or severe lack of moisture … And also because of poor survival rate of the scion on the rootstock.

Ways to combat non-infectious chlorosis

When determining the cause of chlorosis, one cannot consider only the external signs of the disease. For a more accurate diagnosis, a set of symptoms is required, including the nature of foliage lightening, the usefulness of the development of new shoots, the "behavior" of old leaves, the quality of the harvest, as well as an analysis of the time and place of occurrence of these manifestations associated with the period of the year, weather conditions, soil quality.

There are different ways to deal with non-infectious chlorosis. Here are the ones that are suitable for any type of it:

  • improving air and water permeability of heavy soils;
  • mulching, in order to preserve moisture in the near-trunk circle;
  • refusal to use manure on calcareous soils, since when it decomposes, carbon dioxide is released, which promotes the dissolution of lime, and therefore increases the carbonization of the soil;
  • if necessary, the regular use of fertilizers containing boron, phosphorus, potassium, iron, manganese, zinc;
  • organization of uniform moderate watering;
  • selection of chlorosis-resistant varieties.

With a lack of iron, the following are recommended:

  • processing of sheet apparatus with iron salts;
  • foliar feeding with preparations containing iron chelate;
  • root dressing with iron sulfate.

With a lack of magnesium, you can use magnesium sulfate, potassium magnesium, ash, dolomite flour.

For zinc chlorosis, zinc sulfate, zinc oxide and superphosphate with zinc are used.

The lack of sulfur is replenished with complex fertilizers - Azophos with sulfur, Kalimagnesia, Diammophos with sulfur.

To compensate for the lack of nitrogen, nitrogen fertilizers are applied - ammonium nitrate, ammonium sulfate, calcium nitrate, and carbamide.

If it is impossible to determine exactly what element is missing, you can feed the plants with any complex fertilizer containing all the necessary substances ("Kemira Lux", "Uniflor Micro", "Universal", etc.).

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