Alkaline Soil and Iron Chlorosis
Posted February 21, 2013
Can alkaline soils cause iron Chlorosis? Absolutely! Plants that grow in alkaline soils usually suffer from iron and manganese deficiencies resulting in chlorosis. The higher the soil pH, above neutral, the harder it is for the plant to uptake nutrients including iron and manganese. Alkaline soils have a pH of 7.0 or higher.
Chlorosis is the yellowing at the tips of shoots and between the veins on leaves. Sometimes the tips of leaves will even look burned. Chlorosis will also cause dieback of branches. The plant or tree will not thrive and could even die unless proper care is taken. Correcting Iron deficiency can be done quickly and easily by applying a chelated iron (sequestered) FerriPlus. Ferriplus can be used as a foliar spray or in dry form around the base of trees or plants and watered in well. It is quickly absorbed through the leaves or root system, with seeing results in as little as a week. Kelp Meal an alternative for slight chlorosis, but if you have a severe iron deficiency, you should use the chelated iron for faster absorption. Because Kelp Meal is slow release, it can be used as a maintenance supplement later on.
To help bring down the pH of your soil you can apply sulfur annually. An ideal time to apply would be late winter. Langbeinite is a great choice of sulfur to bring down your pH and add other nutrients at the same time. The overuse of sulfur can be toxic to plants and the soil. It’s better to under use then overuse! Keep in mind, if you are always aware of your plants and tree and their changes it’s easier to correct little problems at early stages and much less time consuming in the long run! An ounce of prevention!