Iron in plants

In previous blogs we have talked about the risks that accompany an iron shortage in plants.  This is one of the more common diseases that has a profound impact on the overall health of a plant.  A shortage of iron in a plant will result in a condition known as iron chlorosis.  As we described in earlier entries, this condition can become a widespread and fairly severe condition in plants that results in a very different color of the plant tissue.

Iron chlorosis is a yellowing of plant leaves that affects the appearance of many desirable landscape plants.  Perhaps the most common and primary symptom of an iron chlorosis in plants is the symptom of interveinal chlorosis.  This means that there is a yellowing of the leaves on the plant among a network of dark green veins on the leaves.  If the deficiency is severe enough and/or is left unchecked, the entire surface of the leaves can turn yellow or white and the outer edges may scorch and turn brown as the cells in the tissue of the plant leaf start to die off.  The yellowing of the leaves is caused by a lack of chlorophyll in the plant or it could also be due to the chlorophyll that is in the plant not functioning properly or to its full potential.  Either way it is due to the lack of functioning chlorophyll in a plant.  The presence of iron is essential for functioning chlorophyll.

The limiting in function of chlorophyll does much more than just simply effect the aesthetics and looks of a plant.  Iron is an essential element for plant growth.  It helps the plant to be able to better accept and donate electrons which is highly important for the electron transfer roles in the processes of photosynthesis and respiration.  These processes are the vital processes which help to provide sugars and energy for the plant to grow and function correctly and healthily.

It can be difficult to diagnose the exact and local cause of iron chlorosis.  There is a general yellowing of the leaves and the veins remain a dark green color as explained earlier.  This is particularly more extreme in the areas of new growth as opposed to the areas of the plant that are older.  There are also angular spots that develop on the leaves which do not grow to be as large as leaves with enough iron.

This is something that has heavily affected plants all across the globe.  There are many reactions that govern iron availability in a form that the plant can use.  This makes the diagnosing of a specific local cause of iron chlorosis difficult to diagnose.  However, iron chlorosis regularly occurs in soils that are higher than 7 on the pH scale, or in other words, in soil that is alkaline.  This is not because there is lower levels in the soil, but rather the alkaline conditions make it more difficult for the iron that is in the soil less available for the plant to take up.  In such cases, the iron will remain unavailable for the plant to take up into its system through the roots until these conditions change.  Also, cooler soil temperatures is one sort of condition that also inhibits a plants ability to take up iron as it restricts the air flow into the soil.  There are a lot of different conditions that can have this same effect.  Plastic sheet mulching, compaction, and water-saturated conditions in the soil are all conditions which restrict the air movement and thus inhibit the uptake of iron in plants.

All of these symptoms can be prevented and lessened with the use of any Dyna-Grow complete nutrient formula.  As an overall growth formula that is designed and balanced to combat deficiencies of several different plant diseases.  For more information on how you can combat this and other plant deficiencies, click here to read more about our products that help combat all of your plant deficiencies.