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Top 6 Reasons Your Crop May be Suffering from Iron Chlorosis.

Updated on July 31, 2016

Iron Deficiency

Throughout my daily visits to nurseries I come across something that we see all too often and we look desperately to find the solution for.

That something is Iron deficiency.

The initial symptoms of iron deficiency appear as interveinal chlorosis and if left untreated may eventually lead to necrosis and crop loss. Now, why a particular crop may be displaying these symptoms may not be so easy to determine, but in this article I wanted to discuss 6 factors that may lead to a crop displaying symptoms of iron deficiency.

#1….Insufficient iron in the media. This is the obvious, but if you have little or no iron in the media your crop may start to display symptoms of iron chlorosis.

#2….Roots being damaged due to root disease or high levels of salts. Most of a plants nutrition is taken up by the roots. If these roots are damaged, the amount of nutrients or in this case iron, that can be taken up by the plant is limited due to the damage caused to the root system.

#3…..Overwatering. Now, overwatering may be due to an increased amount of rainfall, poor irrigation practices or even media that drains poorly. In some crops overwatering essentially suffocates the roots and reduces the amount of iron that can be taken up by the plant.

#4…..Disproportionate ratio between iron and manganese in the media. A poorly balanced fertilizer or a disproportionate level of these elements in the media can lead to an iron deficiency. When iron and manganese are not present in proportionate levels, the antagonism between these two elements can present themselves as symptoms of iron or manganese deficiencies. Now you want to reduce the probabilities of this occurring by using a properly balanced controlled release fertilizer and a micronutrient package such as Suncote and Micromax. I’ve talked to you about them before, so contact me and we can get started with a trial.

#5.....A Crops Higher demand of iron or sensitivity to pH. Let’s face it some crops require higher levels of iron to produce a successful crop and some are more sensitive to how the media pH will affect nutrient uptake. Some may even prefer one type of iron over another. So know the specific requirements for the crop that you’re growing.

#6…..High media pH. Most often iron deficiency is due to a high media pH and this could be caused by the media itself, quality of irrigation water and/ or other products or components that are used in production that can affect the pH throughout the growing process.

I hope this article helped you to identify reasons why your crop may be suffering from an iron deficiency and look out for my follow up to this article where I’ll discuss what you can do to prevent and lower your media pH. Which as I mentioned, is most likely the reason your crop is suffering from an iron deficiency. If you found this article informative shoot me an email, let me know your thoughts and remember "Don’t Grow It Alone."

Nelson Gonzalez



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