A calcium deficiency can be detrimental to your plants - learn how to identify and correct the issue with this guide from Humboldts Secret.
If you're like most gardeners, you want your plants to be healthy and lush. But if your plants are looking a little yellow and has stunted growth, they may be suffering from calcium deficiency. Fortunately, it's easy to fix this problem.
In this blog post, we'll show you how to add calcium to your plants' diet and get them back on track. Keep reading for tips on how to solve calcium deficiencies in plants!
What is calcium?
Calcium is a nutrient that's essential for plant growth. It helps plants form strong cell walls, and it's also important for photosynthesis and other metabolic processes.
Why is calcium important for plants?
Calcium is an important element in plant growth and development. Calcium is primarily involved in the transportation of additional nutrients throughout the plant. Calcium also aids in the formation of strong cell walls in the plant. A healthier, disease-resistant plant will display superior resistance to insects and pests.
Calcium is also required for root and leaf development. A plant's roots and leaves may be smaller as a consequence of a calcium deficiency.
Causes of calcium deficiency in plants
There are a variety of causes for calcium insufficiency in plants. Even when the soil contains enough calcium, calcium deficiency may occur! Here are a few to be on the lookout for.
Incorrect soil pH
The optimal pH range for a nutrient is different for each one. The plant can absorb the nutrient from the soil easier at a certain pH level, which varies by nutrient. A decent general range to aim for is 5.5 to 6.5 (slightly acidic).
If your soil's pH is wrong, the plant will be unable to absorb essential minerals. The availability of calcium begins to deteriorate as soil pH drops below 6.0. This happens when soil pH reaches 8.5 or higher as well.
Waterlogged soil is another common cause of calcium deficiency. When the roots are constantly wet, they can't get enough oxygen to function properly. This results in a lack of available oxygen for nutrient uptake.
If your soil is waterlogged, you'll need to address the drainage issue before you can add any calcium. You may also need to raise the soil pH to help the plant absorb more calcium.
Saline soil is high in salts, which can leach essential nutrients from the soil. This is a common problem in arid and semi-arid climates.
If your soil is saline, you'll need to leach the soil before you add any calcium. Leaching removes excess salts from the soil and makes more nutrients available to the plant.
Over fertilization occurs when you add too much fertilizer to the soil. This can cause a variety of problems, including calcium deficiency.
You must ensure that it is adequate for each mineral in the soil, but you must also be concerned with the nutrient balance.
Excess magnesium in the soil may prevent a plant from absorbing calcium. This can happen if you overuse Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) as an additive to your soil, and no additional calcium is supplied by other methods.
Excess potassium in your soil can also prevent a plant from absorbing calcium.
Lack of calcium in the soil
If you can rule out soil pH, incorrect irrigation, nutrient imbalances, and harsh conditions, your garden soil may be calcium-deficient. This might happen for a number of reasons. First, it's possible that your soil previously didn't contain much calcium. Calcium uptake is greatly affected by climate as well.
It's also possible that your soil used to be rich in calcium, but it has since been exhausted. Planting the same crop in the same location for years on end is one of the most common reasons for nutrient depletion in a garden.
How does a calcium deficiency affect the quality of your plants?
Calcium is important for many aspects of plant growth and development. A lack of calcium can cause stunted plant growth, poor root development, and leaf discoloration. Calcium is also important for the proper development of fruit and flowers. A lack of calcium can cause Blossom-end rot, a condition that affects fruits and vegetables. Blossom-end rot is a black or brown discoloration that appears on the blossom end of the fruit. The discoloration is caused by a lack of calcium in the fruit.
Calcium deficiency can also make plants more susceptible to pests and diseases. A plant that is lacking in calcium is less able to resist pests and diseases.
Symptoms of calcium deficiency in plants
Following are the calcium deficiency symptoms in plants:
Brown or yellow tips on leaf edges can be an indication of a calcium deficit, as can general yellow chlorosis throughout your leaves. If you don't address this problem right away, your leaves may become completely necrotic. Still, there are numerous reasons for plant discoloration; therefore, you should do a soil test to determine what your plant lacks.
Calcium-deficient plants grow at a slower rate. If your plants are growing slowly, check your soil for a calcium or nutrient deficit in general. It's possible it isn't the case, but ruling it out will still assist you in finding the source of the issue.
Necrosis is a plant disease that causes tissue death in a portion of the plant. Browning of newer leaves, beginning along the margins and progressing inward, is the most typical cause of necrosis. Necrotic leaves will eventually drop off as a result of this damage.
Calcium is a stationary nutrient, which means the plant can't readily transport it from one area to another within its tissues. This is why younger leaves are most susceptible to calcium deficiency. Because the plant has trouble moving calcium from the older, more established leaves to the newer ones, they turn brown.
Flowers may be lost from a plant that does not have enough calcium, resulting in less fruit at harvest. The fruit seen might be tiny, misshapen, or infested with disease. Blossom end rot is one of the most typical signs of calcium insufficiency in fruit.
How to fix a calcium deficiency in your plants
There are a few ways you can address calcium deficiency in your plants.
Add lime to the soil
Adding lime or calcium carbonate to the soil is one of the most common ways to raise the pH and add calcium at the same time. If your soil is too acidic, adding lime will help to raise the pH and make the calcium more available to your plants.
Apply a calcium fertilizer
Calcium fertilizers are available in both liquid and granular forms. You can find them at most garden stores. Be sure to follow the directions on the package, as too much calcium can be harmful to your plants.
Apply epsom salts
Epsom salts are magnesium and sulfur compounds that can be used to help fix calcium deficiencies in plants. The magnesium in Epsom salts helps to make the calcium more available to the plant, and the sulfur helps to improve the overall fertility of the soil.
You can apply Epsom salts by mixing one tablespoon of salt in one gallon of water. Then, you can either apply the mixture to the soil around your plants or spray it directly on the leaves.
Make a homemade calcium spray
A homemade calcium spray is an easy and effective way to get calcium to your plants. To make the spray, mix one tablespoon of vinegar and one tablespoon of calcium nitrate in one gallon of water.
You can apply the spray to the soil around your plants or directly on the leaves. Be sure to follow the directions on the package of calcium nitrate, as too much can be harmful to your plants.
Gypsum, also known as calcium sulfate dehydrate, is a soil amendment that comes in powder or pellet form. It can be added and mixed into your dirt. Gypsum or bone meal has a very minor effect on soil pH, so there's no need to worry if you're already in the correct range.
Balance with other nutrients.
Both macronutrients (such as phosphorus, potassium, and calcium) and micronutrients are required by plants. The proper balance of all of these in your soil ensures that calcium can link with other nutrients via ionization.
Keep an eye on your soil's nutrient balance you're likely to encounter several nutritional shortfalls at once. Calcium-magnesium insufficiencies may be even more harmful to plants than a single deficiency.
pH water should be used to flush the entire system.
Water pH affects nutrient uptake by plants. Most plants prefer a pH of 6.5 to 7, but some plants (such as blueberries and rhododendrons) like more acidic soil with a pH of 5.0 to 6.0. To make sure your plants are getting the nutrients they need, it's important to regularly test the pH of your soil and water.
If your plants are showing signs of calcium or nutrient deficiency, you can try to raise the pH of your water to make the calcium more available. You can do this by adding a pH up a product such as baking soda or lime.
You may also purchase fertilizers from a garden store. There are several calcium-containing fertilizers on the market to help your soil develop. Keep in mind that excessive potassium or magnesium can cause a plant to reject calcium, so avoid them if at all possible.
In conclusion you can also spray your leaves with a liquid solution containing calcium chloride or nitrate, which is referred to as foliar feeding. If you didn't add calcium to the soil in the spring, this is one of the few ways you can try to keep your plants alive.