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How can I tell which nutrient my plant is lacking?

sick plant

So, you’ve heard about nutrient deficiencies. You might even be able to diagnose them, somewhat. But how do you know what your plant is lacking? Or what your plant has too much of? Well, I’ve looked and found some resources with quite a bit of information. It occurs to me, however, that it would be nice to just get a concise, consolidated answer to the most common nutrient problems. So, here we go:

Nitrogen: Obviously, Nitrogen is important. It’s in the NPK rating (it’s the N), so you want to make sure your plant is getting the right amount. The signs of a Nitrogen deficiency are yellowing of the leaves, which you’ll tend to see begin at the bottom of the plant, and also will start at the tips of the plant and work its’ way inward. Generally, you’ll also see the deficiency when the plant is young, since Nitrogen is primarily responsible for growth. This is nice, because you can correct the problem early. Also, you may not see much growth, or may see spindly stalks or weak root systems.

Now, if you happen to see an abundance of Nitrogen, it will be evidenced by the color of the leaves. They’ll be very dark green – almost black.

Magnesium: A deficiency of Magnesium is very easy to spot. You’ll see yellow leaves, but green veins. You may also see purple, red, or brown spots on the leaves. Magnesium is primarily responsible for supporting healthy veins and leaf production, as well as giving leaves their green color. You’ll notice symptoms first in the older leaves. Leaf tips can also turn upward as they discolor, and may fall off without wilting.

An abundance of magnesium leaves a salt residue, and will kill your leaves. Magnesium abundance can also lock out calcium. There are not otherwise visible signs of a toxicity of magnesium.

Iron: A deficiency of iron looks a lot like a deficiency of magnesium, only you’ll see it on the younger leaves, not the older ones.

An abundance is very rare, but you may see some bronzing, or even spots on the leaf surface.

So what do you do to correct it? Well, for your deficiencies, go ahead and add those nutrients! For a Nitrogen deficiency, I’d recommend our Extreme Blend.

For a Magnesium deficiency, I’d recommend our Organic Cal Mag.

For an Iron deficiency, the best bet would probably be our Micro Nutrient Pack.

Extreme Blend Organic Cal Mag Micro Nutrient Pack

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