Our vegetable starter plants are ready for planting now and are growing rapidly. They only have a small plug of soil from which to extract most of the required nutrients for growth. When that plug of soil becomes depleted of a required nutrient the plant displays symptoms that are caused by one or more deficient nutrients.
Plant Essential Mineral Nutrients are those required by the plant for normal growth and development. We can diagnose some of these nutrient deficiencies by looking closely
at overall plant condition, especially the leaves.
Simply put: the plant can tell us when it is lacking a certain required nutrient.
Here are two examples to illustrate:
Iron Deficiency Stress:
When a plant is deficient in iron they often display the symptom of interveinal chlorosis.
Interveinal chlorosis is a general yellowing of leaves where the veins remaining green as seen in the photo below of Bell Pepper Plants.
The other clue that points to Iron Deficiency is that the symptoms appear and are more striking first in the young leaves (top of the plant) and
not in the older portion (bottom of the plant).
This occurs because iron is immobile once used structurally within the plant. In other words, the plant cannot re-mobilize iron to another site for growth. So actively growing regions (plant top) show the symptoms we recognize as interveinal chlorosis.
At Trees That Please Nursery we recognize this nutrient need and will feed the affected plants with the Soil Secrets Product TTP Supreme Compost.
TTP Supreme Compost contains many of the plant nutrients essential for growth. An analysis of TTP Supreme Compost can be viewed on the
Soil Secrets website via the following link:
Nitrogen Deficiency Stress:
When a plant is deficient in nitrogen they often display the symptom of leaf and stem chlorosis. Clorosis means greenish yellow or yellow.
This general yellowing or Chorosis affects older leaves first
as in the tomato plants photo below.
This occurs because nitrogen is mobile once used structurally within the plant. In other words, the plant can re-mobilize (re-use) nitrogen at another site for growth. So, actively growing regions (plant top) will initially be green while older plant parts are chlorotic.
At Trees That Please Nursery we recognize nitrogen deficiency and will feed the affected plants with the Soil Secrets Product Protein Crumblies.
More information about Protein Crumblies can be viewed on the Soil Secrets website via the following link:
Diagnosing plant nutrient deficiencies is not always straight forward as symptoms may be caused by several deficient nutrients occurring simultaneously. Sometimes a plant may be discolored for other reasons. An over-watered plant sitting in a wet clay soil may have yellow leaves similar to those seen in nitrogen deficiency. It is important to look at all the facts….
Photos and Narrative By:
Staff Plant Physiologist
Staff Plant Physiologist
Trees That Please Nursery
A Retail and Wholesale Nursery
Serving Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Los Lunas, and Belen
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