How to Diagnose Plant Nutrient Deficiency

Diagnose Plant Nutrient Deficiencies

Plant Nutrient deficiency is common in many plants. Below is a list of nutrient deficiency symptoms that may help you diagnose a nutrient problem. Most nutrient deficiencies can be corrected by applying the correct compound. It is important to identify the symptoms and apply the correct nutrient so you will have a healthy thriving plant.


Nitrogen N: Older leaves usually at the base will be yellow. Other foliage is light green. Growth is slow and the stems may be yellow and leggy.

Correct Nitrogen deficiencies with nitrate, ammonium, or urea and manure will work as well.


Calcium Ca: Calcium deficient plants have distorted new growth and the growth tips may turn black and die. You may have witnessed blossom end rot on tomatoes this is due to calcium deficiency. Calcium deficiency is not very common.

Correct calcium deficiencies with calcium or gypsum.


Phosphorus P:  lease may be smaller with a reddish taint. These tips may be burnt and older leaves turn nearly black. Fruit production is limited. Phosphorus uptake is dependent on the pH.

Correct phosphorous deficiencies with phosphate or bonemeal


Magnesium Mg:  leaves are pale yellow, growth is slow. Newer growth may turn yellow with black flecks.

Correct Magnesium deficiencies with magnesium or Epsom salts.


Potassium K:  older leaves look like they are burnt on the edges or wilted. The leaf veins turn yellow known as interveinal chlorosis.

Correct potassium deficiencies with potassium or potash.


Sofer S:  the new growth is pale yellow while older growth is still green. Growth is stunted. More likely to occur in dry weather

Correct so for deficiencies with sulfate


Boron B.: week stems and roots system boats at the tips may die and distorted growth sometimes occurs.

Correct boron deficiencies with Borax or borate


Manganese Mn: growth is slow young leaves are pale usually between the veins of the leaves. The leaves may have black spots. Sheets leaves and fruit are smaller. Plant may not Bloom

Correct manganese deficiencies with manganese or manganous.


Copper Cu: growth is stunted leaves are limp to grow up or fall off. See will also be limp.

Correct copper deficiencies with copper, cuprous or cupric.

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