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Sulfur for plants: benefits and how to apply it

Sulfur for plants: benefits and how to apply it

Most gardeners and botanists know the importance of nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium for plants. They are called primary nutrients. However, there are also secondary nutrients, which get their name because they are needed less by plants, not because they are less vital to them.

This is the case of sulfur, a mineral that plants need to be able to develop properly, in addition to having a powerful antifungal and pesticide effect. If you want to learn what it provides and how to use sulfur in plants, join us in this EcologíaVerde article in which we talk about the benefits of sulfur for plants and how to apply it on these correctly, as well as which plants need it most.

Benefits of sulfur for plants

doWhat is the function of sulfur in plants? Answering this question we can see what are the benefits of sulfur for plants:

  • It is an irreplaceable part of all proteins generated by the plant as part of its structure, which allows it to grow and develop well, and also of some hormones that plants produce, in addition to intervening in the formation of compounds and oils of different types.
  • In summary, without sulfur the plant cannot perform its basic functions. Without it, the plant begins to show chlorosis in its leaves, turning yellow as when there is a lack of nitrogen. The difference, however, is that sulfur is not easily distributed throughout the plant’s tissues, so chlorosis appears first on the new leaves and not on the old ones, as it does when the plant suffers from a lack of nitrogen. Without enough sulfur, the plant will turn yellow and have difficulty growing and developing.
  • In addition to this, another properties of sulfur for plants is his antifungal functionso it is also common to use it in times when fungal attacks are frequent, either as a fungicidal remedy or preventively.
  • It is also very common to use the sulfur for pest control, and it is that plants can store it naturally and activate it in the face of certain threats, but it is not always enough and sometimes an external contribution can help them a lot. Its use against pests is also both preventive and corrective, being useful in the various phases of treatment of many of the main pests.
  • As if all this were not enough, its use for adjust soil pH It is also widely used for some types of crops, working both as a soil pH reducer and as a fertilizer.

What plants need sulfur

As we have already mentioned, all plants need sulfur to be healthy and develop well, so actually they all need it to a greater or lesser extent. Therefore, not all crops need this mineral to the same extent.

On the one hand, we have those crops that are found in areas where the attack of fungi or certain pests is common. In these, the use of sulfur as fungicide and fertilizer it will be particularly effective, especially in its ideal application conditions, which we will see later.

On the other hand, we have the crops that develop or can develop in more acidic soilsi.e. lower pH. These plants can especially benefit from soils with a good sulfur content, which will adjust the acidity to the level they need. These are some low pH crops:

  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Potato
  • Rice
  • Lentil

Here you can learn more Acidophilic plants or for acid soils.

Sulfur for plants: benefits and how to apply it - What plants need sulfur

How to apply sulfur to plants

It’s important to know how to add sulfur to plants or to the soil of the crop. In this regard, it should be remembered that sulfur is applied both as a fertilizer or nutrient, and as a fungicide or pesticide. In either case, it is possible use powdered sulfur, which is dry sprinkled on the crop or soil, or wettable sulfur, which is diluted in water and sprayed on the crop. Some recommendations must be taken into account when applying it:

  • One is that sulfur should be applied when the temperature is between 20 and 30°C, preferably at dawn or dusk. Above this temperature range, sulfur can burn the leaves of plants exposed to the sun, while below it it loses much effectiveness.
  • The latter, however, is not so important, since most pests and fungi, such as mildew in tomato plants or mites, do not normally appear below temperatures of 20 ºC.
  • Sulfur is slightly toxic to mammals and to a few crops, such as some varieties of apple or artichoke. If you see signs of damage to any of these crops, spray water on them to wash away any debris. As far as mammals are concerned, it can cause irritation, so it must be applied with care and protective equipment.
  • Finally, the use of sulfur is not compatible with that of oil such as Neem. If you apply sulfur on your crop, wait 21 days before applying this type of oil, and vice versa.
Sulfur for plants: benefits and how to apply it - How to apply sulfur for plants

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