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Ferric chlorosis, instructions to cure it

Ferric chlorosis, instructions to cure it


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Ferric chlorosis: how to care and which plants are most at risk. Useful instructions to prevent it and mistakes to avoid to effectively treat affected plants.

Thereferric chlorosisis a disease related toiron deficiency in plants.

Ferric chlorosis

There iron deficiency in plants, technically ferric chlorosis, manifests itself with asymptomtypical, the color of the leaves. The leaves show a pale color, from shades ranging from faded green, to whitish to yellow. If you are wondering why leaves turn yellow, the answer may be related toferric chlorosis.

Plus the iron deficiency it is accentuated and the more the leaves tend to yellow, starting with the younger ones, with the presence of green only near the ribs where chlorophyll still manages to develop correctly. The leaves turn yellow because theferric chlorosisprevents the correct formation of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is the photosynthetic pigment responsible for the green color of the leaves.

In the progress of the state of chlorosis caused by the iron deficiency, the plant loses its leaves as a result of the drying of the leaf edges and the entire vegetative development stops. If no action is taken to restore the chemical balance, the plant perishes and dies as if by suffocation.

Do you need a chemical analysis of the soil?

The positive side of the iron deficiency in plants is that a chemical analysis is not always needed to discover it, because the color of the leaves (as they say, the leaves speak to us) is a good detector of plant diseases.

The care is also quite simple and consists in adding the right amount of iron to the soil, which can be done with the products on the market.

Warning! Thereferric chlorosisit is not always linked to the low amount of iron present in the soil, sometimes it could be the pH reaction of the soil to be wrong. What does it mean? That the variations in soil pH strongly affect the absorption of nutrients.

The plants most affected are the so-called "acidophilic plants“, That is, those plants which, in order to effectively absorb nutrients (iron in prmis), need a pH reaction that tends to be acidic around 6 or even 5.

It is no coincidence that in the large family ofacidophilic plantsthe plants most affected by are listedferric chlorosislike theazalea, L'oleander, the camellia ... Not only acidophilic plants, also plants like thecitrus fruitsthey can suffer a lot from ferric chlorosis. Let's take the example oflemon plant. Lemon (like other citrus fruits) wants a pH reaction between 6.5 and 7.5. If the soil pH rises, the plant will stop absorbing iron. So there is no iron deficiency in the soil, this element is simply not available due to the increase in pH.

Soil pH and iron absorption

It might be appropriate to know the pH of the soil because depending on its value, the availability of the mineral elements necessary for plants varies. If the reaction of the soil tends towards neutrality (pH around 7), almost all the minerals will be able to dissolve in the water contained in the soil. Minerals such as calcium and magnesium, are more soluble in basic solutions (pH> 7), and are the most "required" by basophilic plants. Other nutrients such as iron, manganese and copper are more soluble in acidic solutions and do not dissolve in high pH water.

Why does iron deficiency prevent the formation of chlorophyll and lead to leaf yellowing?
Because iron, together with magnesium, is one of the main constituents of chlorophyll molecule, essential for plant life. In addition, iron is present in some of the enzymes that regulate cellular metabolism, particularly respiration. There iron deficiency it is a serious fact for the plant and is extremely frequent in soils particularly limestone.

What to do?
If you want to act rough, all you have to do is add a soil improver and correct the irrigations.
On the contrary, if you want to be more analytical:

  • Do a research on the affected plantferric chlorosis, what is its ideal pH reaction?
  • Measure the pH of the soil and correct it with soil improvers until you reach the ideal pH range for the cultivated plant
  • Correct the irrigations

Checking the pH of the soil is not difficult at all, just litmus paper and follow the guide:how to measure the pH of the soil.

Ferric chlorosis: cure

As mentioned, ferric chlorosis gives iron deficiency it is a reversible phenomenon and with the correct treatment the leaves turn green again. Usually the problem is highlighted in spring in the first period of the vegetative stage and is accentuated as the days become warmer and the hours of light increase.

In order not to have to intervene with massive care, the best thing is to prevent the problems caused by iron deficiency correcting the chemical balance of the soil. It can be done well in autumn by adding soil improvers during preparation or digging, and then the following season also intervening, if necessary, with a fertilizer based onchelated iron.

In addition to iron deficiency, the other shortcomings that we can see from the analysis of the leaves are: magnesium deficiency (chlorophyll is missing and the leaf appears faded in the central part); manganese deficiency (the leaf whitens between the veins and tends to fall); zinc deficiency (the leaves remain small and the fruits do not ripen).

The use of soil improvers (acid peat, guano, pollen ...) is essential for prevention, but it is even more important to avoid those mistakes that tend to increase the pH of the soil.

Ask yourself this question:how do you water the plant?

If irrigation is done with tap water or hard water, the problem lies here! If you have limescale problems in your area, know that your water is not suitable for irrigating plants. You should use distilled water (such as that from the air conditioner) or equip yourself to collect rainwater. Rainwater is perfect for irrigating plants, which is why the oleanders you see on the street are healthier than the oleander plant you have in the garden!

Iron-based fertilizers for plants

Unfortunately, if iron chlorosis has now affected a large part of the plant, in addition to prevention, it will be necessary to intervene with an emergency iron administration. On “this Amazon page” you will find a selection of very effective iron-based fertilizers. From iron sulphate to chelated iron, up to more complex formulations capable of rapidly integrating iron into the soil.


Video: Iron Deficiency Chlorosis in Minnesota (May 2022).