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Chlorosis in plants: what is it and how to eliminate it

Chlorosis in plants: what is it and how to eliminate it

Chlorosis is one of the ailments that commonly affects plants, since it can be caused by multiple reasons, and it produces a reduction in chlorophyll. Precisely for this reason, it is important to know it well in order to remedy it before it becomes fatal.

If you are wondering what is iron chlorosis, calcium chlorosis or, simply, chlorosis, and how it can be treated, pay attention to this practical gardening guide that you will see in this EcologíaVerde article in which we will detail what is chlorosis in plants and how to eliminate it.

Chlorosis in plants: what is it and causes

All plants need chlorophyll to carry out photosynthesis that gives them energy. In order to produce chlorophyll, they need to have access to iron as a nutrient. When this is insufficient, the plant begins to turn yellow due to its inability to maintain the production of chlorophyll, which is what gives the leaves their green color. This process is what is known as chlorosis or iron chlorosis.

The causes for which the plant can present chlorosis are very varied. From the simplest and most direct, which is that the soil is poor in iron or nutrients, until the pH of the growing medium is too highsince alkalinity prevents many plants from absorbing iron properly.

Others causes of chlorosis in plants very common are:

  • The roots are damaged or insufficiently developed.
  • Excessive watering has flooded the soil, drowning the plant.
  • Very low temperatures also tend to produce chlorosis, since they make it difficult for the plant to produce chlorophyll, and soils rich in limestone or with high contents of manganese, zinc or copper (such as those present in some fungicides) also have the ability to produce iron deficiencies.
Chlorosis in plants: what it is and how to eliminate it - Chlorosis in plants: what it is and causes

Chlorosis in plants: symptoms

The first and clearest symptom of chlorosis is the loss of green color in leaves of the plant. When the leaf begins to turn yellow in the space between nerves, but the main nerve remains green, it is very likely that the plant is suffering from chlorosis.

This will start with a slight loss of color, gradually becoming lighter until it ends up turning the affected parts completely yellow or even white. The longer the plant has been affected by conditions that prevent it from absorbing iron, the more severe its chlorosis will be. Typically, chlorosis begins to show in only some parts and, although the affectation may not extend to the entire plant, it is likely that it will end up killing the plant if measures are not taken in this regard. If the nerves of the leaf are also yellow, it means that the chlorosis is already serious. This will be followed leaf necrosis whole, then following the branch and the whole plant.

It is important to pay attention to how chlorosis is appearing, as it can give us clues as to what is the problem that is causing it:

  • If chlorosis begins to manifest itself in the yellowing of younger leavesthis indicates a lack of iron.
  • Yes, instead the leaves that turn yellow first are the old onesthe deficiency is likely to be more zinc or manganese.
Chlorosis in plants: what it is and how to eliminate it - Chlorosis in plants: symptoms

How to eliminate chlorosis in plants

For eliminate chlorosis in plants It will be necessary to remedy the factor that is depriving the plant of iron absorption. As we have mentioned before, these are varied, so let’s see the most common cases of chlorosis and their causes:

  • Iron chlorosis in the vine: In the case of vines, the solution to chlorosis passes through the application of sulfates or iron chelates to cultivation. The contribution of ecological fertilizer, that is, organic matter, has also proven to be effective if it is applied in sufficient quantities.
  • Chlorosis in lawns: In the case of lawns, the most common is that chlorosis occurs either because the soil is very calcareous, in which case the contribution of elements that adjust soil pHor by the local climate, especially in very hot summers.
  • Chlorosis in rose bushes: Being shrubs, chlorosis in rose bushes is no different from that which can affect any other plant. In these cases, the most likely cause will be either excessive irrigation or an inadequate pH in the soil. It will suffice adjust irrigation frequency or the level of acidity-alkalinity of the soil.
  • Chlorosis in fruit trees: It is also common to find cases of iron chlorosis in pear trees or other types of fruit trees. The treatment for iron chlorosis in citrus and other trees can be more varied, since the greater volume of the plant allows other treatments, such as application of blisters or holes in the trunk by which to supply the plant with those nutrients they need. Of course, they must be applied by professionals to avoid mistakes.
  • Chlorosis in aquarium plants: aquarium plants also need iron, and waters with a very high calcium content or with a lot of detritus can prevent the correct fixation of iron by plants. It will be necessary adjust pH levels or add fertilizers.

Now that you know more about chlorosis in plants, we recommend this other EcologíaVerde article on yellow leaves in plants: why they appear and solutions.

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