Aquarium plant deficiency

Posted by Wouter Loosman on

Macronutrients

Calcium (Ca)
  • Symptoms: New leaves are distorted or hook shaped. The growing tip may die. Contributes to blossom end rot in tomatoes, tip burn of cabbage and brown/black heart of escarole & celery.
  • Sources: Any compound containing the word 'calcium'. Also gypsum.
  • Notes: Not often a deficiency problem and too much will inhibit other nutrients.
Nitrogen (N)
  • Symptoms: Older leaves, generally at the bottom of the plant, will yellow. Remaining foliage is often light green. Stems may also yellow and may become spindly. Growth slows.
  • Sources: Any compound containing the words: 'nitrate', 'ammonium' or 'urea'. Also manure.
  • Notes: Many forms of nitrogen are water soluble and wash away.
Magnesium (Mg)
  • Symptoms: Slow growth and leaves turn pale yellow, sometimes just on the outer edges. New growth may be yellow with dark spots.
  • Sources: Compounds containing the word 'magnesium', such as Epson Salts.
Phosphorus (P)
  • Symptoms: Small leaves that may take on a reddish-purple tint. Leaf tips can look burnt and older leaves become almost black. Reduced flowers or seed production.
  • Sources: Compounds containing the words 'phosphate' or 'bone'. Also greensand.
  • Notes: Very dependent on pH range.
Potassium (K)
  • Symptoms: Older leaves may look scorched around the edges and/or wilted. Interveinal chlorosis (yellowing between the leaf veins) develops.
  • Sources: Compounds containing the words 'potassium' or 'potash'.
Sulfur (S)
  • Symptoms: New growth turns pale yellow, older growth stays green. Stunts growth.
  • Sources: Compounds containing the word 'sulfate'.

Micronutrients

Boron (B)

  • Symptoms: Poor stem and root growth. Terminal (end) buds may die. Witches brooms sometimes form.
  • Sources: Compounds containing the words 'borax' or 'borate'.
Copper (Cu)
  • Symptoms: Stunted growth. Leaves can become limp, curl, or drop. Seed stalks also become limp and bend over.
  • Sources: Compounds containing the words 'copper', 'cupric' or 'cuprous'.
Manganese (Mn)
  • Symptoms: Growth slows. Younger leaves turn pale yellow, often starting between veins. May develop dark or dead spots. Leaves and shoots diminished in size. Failure to bloom.
  • Sources: Compounds containing the words 'manganese' or 'manganous'.
Molybdenum (Mo)
  • Symptoms: Older leaves yellow, remaining foliage turns light green. Leaves can become narrow and distorted.
  • Sources: Compounds containing the words 'molybdate' or 'molybdic'.
  • Notes: Sometimes confused with nitrogen deficiency.
Zinc (Zn)
  • Symptoms: Yellowing between veins of new growth. Terminal (end) leaves may form a rosette.
  • Sources: Compounds containing the word 'zinc'.
  • Notes: Can become limited in higher pH.

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