Of the 17 elements that are essential for  plant growth, each is as vital to the overall health as the other in one aspect.  A plant requires them each for their individual roles in order to reach its full potential.  Iron (Fe) is no exception to this rule.  Now, while each of the essential elements has a role in plant health, it is true that the importance of their roles in the overall health and status of a plant vary widely.  Iron plays a number of vital roles in plants that make it an essential element and one of the more important for a plant to grow strong.

One of the more important roles where iron is heavily involved is through the process of creating chlorophyll.  Plants do not require high amounts of iron for this process, but it is absolutely vital to this process none the less.  It also forms a part of several different enzymes that are closely tied together.  These enzymes help to promote the transfer of energy to help power the processes necessary for the plant to survive.  Iron chlorosis is fairly easily noticed if a plant or crop is iron sensitive and can cause a wide variety of issues for the look and health of the plant leaves in particular.  It causes unattractive yellowing leaves, yet the veins of the leaf stay green.  These are just a few of the signs and symptoms of a problem with the balance of iron in your plant.  Other things to watch for include stunted growth, leaf loss, and all of these problems start with the tips of new growth and move toward the older leaves as the condition worsens.  The yellowing gets worse as less iron becomes available due to the fact that if there is less iron available, that means that there is less chlorophyll being formed.  Less chlorophyll means weakened green color in the plant, leading to that yellowing color that we have come to distaste because we know it means that the plant is weakened by a deficiency.

A factor that confuses many people is that iron is one of the more abundant elements in the entire earth’s crust, and plants smaller amounts in comparison with other essential elements for plant growth.  How is it that if there is so much iron and yet little required, but there be a shortage for plants?  There are a lot of factors that determine the availability of iron for a plant to uptake.  Most of the iron in the crust is found in the form of Fe3+, while the form of iron Fe2+ is much more readily available for plants to take up, making the process of taking it up more efficient.

Plants use several different mechanisms to take up iron into its system.  One of the more common mechanisms which plants use is the chelation mechanism, where siderophores are released by the plants.  These compounds then bind with the iron and help make it into a more soluble form.  Another form is where protons are released as well as reductants in the plant roots.  This helps to lower pH levels near the roots.  Lower pH levels promote iron uptake for the plant.

Lowering pH levels in the root zone is one example of something that you can do to help combat the issue of an iron deficiency in your plant.  Other things that one can do to lessen the effects or chances of an iron deficiency is to make sure that the soil is well aerated to promote iron uptake by the plants.  Also, cool wet weather is one way to facilitate the uptake of iron in plants, especially in areas that have marginal amounts of iron available in the soil.  Balancing out the iron levels in your plants can be made simple and easy with the use of our GROW.  This amazing solution is the answer to any plant deficiency problem, including that of iron chlorosis.  If your plants begin exhibiting any of the symptoms that we have discussed today, make sure that you look into our famous GROW™ solution!