A grower needs to stay on top of his garden and constantly look for problems so that he may overcome deficiencies before they get out of control. Here on the central coast we have many people growing and we get constantly questioned about their individual grows. The biggest thing we ever see is nutrient deficiencies. We also have some great sources of information in our areas grow shops. We have some great shops here on the central coast in cities like Templeton, San Luis Obispo, and Grover Beach. So out of the office we went to check out our friendly grow stores and we list some of their answers to these problems and what they have to help you as far as products.You will also need to understand some basics about plants and nutrients to know what is being talked about on these pages.
First off you need to understand about mobility in the plant and how different nutrients respond to that. Nutrients like Nitrogen(N), Phosphorus(P), Potasium(K), Magnesium(Mg), and Zinc(Zn) are mobile and can move around the plant. There are also nutrients like Calcium(Ca), Sulfur(S), Iron(Fe), Boron(B), Chlorine(Cl), Cobalt(Co), Manganese(Mn), Molybdenum(Mo), Selenium(Se), Silicon(Si), and Copper(Cu) which are immobile and do not travel through the plant itself. The reason you need to know this is many nutrient deficiencies look alike EXCEPT that the difference is where they show up.
Mobile deficiencies are first seen in the older leaves because the nutrients themselves move to the new growth from there. Immobile deficiencies first appear in the new growth because the plant is unable to get the nutrient itself there moved from old growth. It is totally dependent on what is coming into the plant from present feedings.
The next thing you have to understand is about PH. PH is probably the single most important thing for your plant. By being off on your PH it can confuse the beginning grower because it can lock out so many nutrients the grower ends up treating for a nutrient deficiency when the element is simply locked out because of the PH. The PH for soil growers is 6.5 for proper nutrient uptake. By keeping it at 6.5 your plant will be ready to receive all nutrients in the full doses you have elected to give them. For hydro and soiless growers you will find your plants like things a little more acidic so by keeping things at 5.8 you will find that to be perfect for plants growing in those mediums. I can't emphasize this enough about PH. If you don't read anything else on these pages about nutrient deficiencies then read this PH section twice. I hope I've made my point.
Symptoms of Nitrogen deficiency include; red stems, small growth, pale appearance of the plant, and a rapid yellowing of the lower leaves that spreads up the plant. To remedy this particular ailment click on the picture to read all the details.
Phosphorus deficiency symptoms include; red stems and slow, stunted, or deformed growth but also include darker green lower leaves as well as leaves that may yellow then die. Click the pic to find out what you can do.
Another issue similar to Nitrogen and Phosphorous deficiencies, Potassium deficiency has similar symptoms and include, curling of leaf ends as they die and stretching of the plant. This can be taken care of by clicking the pic and reading all the things you can do.
Plants lacking Calcium balance can result in the soil becoming too acidic.
If the new growth of a plant contains yellowing, it is probably suffering from Sulfur(S) deficiency.
Magnesium(Mg) deficiency usually starts in the middle of the plant and spreads to the younger leaves. Leaves turning yellow, or even white, with the veins remaining dark green is the best indicator of Magnesium(Mg) deficiency.
Pale leaves with dark green veins are indicative of Iron(Fe) deficiency.
When large amounts of Magnesium(Mg) are present in the soil, yellow or necrotic (dying or dead) spots will occur on the upper leaves. To cure, foliar feed with chemical fertilizer containing Manganese(Mn).
Dead or greying shoots that appear burnt are indicative of Boron(B) deficiency.
Mb deficiency includes yellowing of middle leaves and can be treated by clicking the pic to learn all the details.
When white areas form at leaf tips or in between veins, the plant is Zinc deficient.
Indicated by yellow or burnt leaf tips.