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Nutrient Deficiency In Plants

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Research and information provided by Nosipho Mbele, Zylem’s Junior Technical Manager.

The following page covers the types of deficiencies experienced in plants and what the plant looks like when it is experiencing a lack of the specific nutrient.

brix meter - Zylem
boron deficiency in a plant - Zylem

Boron Deficiency


  • Discolouration of leaf buds
  • Breaking and dropping of buds

Sulphur Deficiency


  • Light green leaves
  • Veins are pale green
  • No spots
Sulphur Deficiency - Zylem SA
manganese deficiency in plants - Zylem

Manganese Deficiency


  • Leaves are a pale colour
  • Veins and venules dark green and reticulated

Zinc Deficiency


  • Leave are pale and narrow
  • Short veins are dark green
  • Dark spots on leaves and edges
zinc deficiency in plants - Zylem
iron deficiency in plant - Zylem

Iron Deficiency


  • Leaves are pale
  • No spots
  • Major veins are green

Copper Deficiency


  • Pale pink between the veins
  • Wilt and drop
Copper Deficiency - Zylem SA
molybdenum deficiency - Zylem

Molybdenum Deficiency


  • Leaves go light green/lemon/yellow/orange
  • Spots on whole leaf except veins
  • Sticky secretions from under the leaf

Magnesium Deficiency


  • Paleness from leaf edges
  • No spots
  • Edges have cup shaped folds
  • Leaves die and drop in extreme deficiency
magnesium deficiency in plants - Zylem
phosphorus deficiency - Zylem

Phosphorus Deficiency


  • Plant short and dark green
  • Extreme deficiencies turn brown or black
  • Bronze colour under the leaf

Potassium Deficiency


  • Small spots on the tips
  • Pale edges
  • Spots turn rusty
  • Tips start to fold
potassium leaf deficiency- Zylem
Nitrogen Deficiency - Zylem SA

Nitrogen Deficiency


  • Stunted growth
  • Extremely pale colour
  • Upright leaves with light green/yellowish colour
  • Appear burnt in extreme deficiency

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Plant Nutrient Deficiency - Zylem SA

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