KEY TO PLANT NUTRIENT DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS

(from UA Systematic Approach to Diagnosing Plant Problems" by J.L. Green, O. Maloy, & J. Capizzi) There is much variation among plant species with regard to specific nutrient deficiency symptoms.

A. Symptoms appear first or most severely on youngest leaves

1.         Interveinal chlorosis young leaves.

a.         Only younger leaves exhibit interveinal chlorosis.

This is the only symptom.                                                                               Iron

b.         In addition to interveinal chlorosis on young leaves,

gray, or tan necrotic spots develop in chlorotic areas.                                    Manganese

c.         Young leaves are very small, sometimes missing leaf

blades altogether, and internodes are short giving a rosette

appearance.                                                                                                     Zinc

3          lnterveinal chlorosis absent. Young leaves remain rolled, or appear needle-like in

grasses. Failure of growing points.

a.                    While younger leaves have interveinal chlorosis, the tips
and lobes of leaves remain green followed by veinal

chlorosis and rapid extensive necrosis of the leaf blade.                                Copper

b.         Symptoms appear at the top of the plant.  Terminal buds die,
giving rise to a witch's broom. Young leaves become very

thick, leathery, and chlorotic. Rust color cracks and corking.

occur on young stems, petioles and flower stalks. Young

leaves are crinkled.                                                                                          Boron

c.         Margins of young leaves fail to form, sometimes yielding

strap-leaves. Growing point ceases to develop, leaving a
blunt end. Light green color or uneven chlorosis of young

tissue. Root growth is poor - roots are short and thickened.                          Calcium

B. Symptoms do not appear first or most severely on youngest leaves   

1.         Chlorosis is general; no interveinal chlorosis.

a.         Entire leaf blades are chlorotic. Only the lower leaves are

chlorotic followed by necrosis and leaf drop.                                                            Nitrogen

b.         Leaves on all parts of the plant are affected and sometimes

have a beige tinge.                                                                                          Sulfur

2.         Chlorosis interveinal. Interveinal chlorosis first appears on oldest leaves.

a.         Only recently mature or older leaves exhibit interveinal

chlorosis.                                                                                                         Magnesium

b          Chlorotic areas pale yellow, affects whole plant; leaf edges

curl upward.                                                                                                    Molybdenum

3.         Leaf chlorosis is not the dominant symptom. Symptoms appear at the base of the plant.

a.         At first all leaves are dark green and then new growth is     
stunted.  Purple pigment often develops in leaves,
particularly older leaves.                                                                                 Phosphorus

b.         Margins of older leaves become chlorotic and then burn or

small chlorotic spots progressing to necrosis appear

scattered on old leaf blades.                                                                           Potassium

c.         Bronze colored necrosis of leaves. Plants prone to wilt.                                Chlorine

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