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Prevent and Correct Iron Deficiency in Plants

Updated on September 1, 2016

In my previous article I discussed reasons why your crop may be experiencing symptoms of iron deficiency. If you missed it, you can follow this link to read it.

In many cases the reason your crop is suffering from iron deficiency is due to a high media pH. So I wanted to discuss a few preventative measures you can take to reduce the probability of your media pH creeping up and then what you can do to correct the situation when faced with high media pH.

So lets start with a few preventative measures you can take.

  • You can start by choosing media and lime charge suitable for your particular crop and production site. Don't overlook your water quality when choosing the lime rate. If your irrigation water has high alkalinity, you will probably need less lime in the soil. Not getting the lime rate right may cause your media pH to be too high, making iron unavailable.

  • Make sure the levels of Fe in your feed program are sufficient for the crops that you are growing. One way to boost these levels is by incorporating into your program a reliable micronutrient package such as Micromax, Osmocote Iron or a small amount of Peters Liquid STEM.

  • If your irrigation water contains a high level of alkalinity, your media pH will slowly increase over time, this will tend to occur more rapidly in smaller pot sizes. So you may need to look into acid injection as a way to neutralize some of the excess alkalinity in your irrigation water.

  • And lastly, if you irrigation water contains a high level of alkalinity and you have a way to provide consistent liquid feed to your crop another solution you might consider is Peters Excel pHlow. Peters Excel pHlow contains PeKacid and will provide your plants with the nutrition they need while easily and conveniently reducing the alkalinity of your irrigation water. It essentially works by chemically neutralizing the alkalinity of your irrigation water which ultimately is what drives your media pH over time. . Remember the alkalinity of your irrigation water is what affects your media pH and not the pH of you irrigation water.

So let’s say you’ve taken these precautions, but you determine that your root zone pH remains high during production and now you need to lower it.

One unique tool to lower your media pH is periodic applications of a highly acidic water soluble fertilizer. One such product that will do this for you is ICL's new Peters 21-7-7 Acid Hammer, which is sure to lower your media pH.

I hope this article has helped you prevent and correct iron deficiency in your crops and that you found some value in it. If you're experiencing deficiencies anywhere in your nursery contact me now at and let's get them corrected.

Nelson Gonzalez

Territory and Key Accounts Manager

ICLSF Americas Digital Media Lead

M 305 890 6155 |


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