Field of Science

Chlorosis on the rise

An early summer pattern of rainy weather has continued unabated. One out come of this is appearing on a number of plants: chlorosis. This is when plants are not synthesizing enough chlorophyll and leaves appear yellowish although the cells along veins are greener. This happens whenever plants are growing but can not getting enough nutrients, especially iron. It's not that iron isn't there in the soil, but our basic, alkaline, soils make if difficult for some plants to take up enough iron. The chlorosis is more pronounced in plants that like acid soils, low pH, some of my magnolias, particularly the sweet bay, azaleas and rhododendrons, some hydrangeas, and others. A lot of rain seems to worsen the condition perhaps encouraging growth that depletes nutrient supplies. So one of today's chores will be to spread some nutrients aroung to help these plants out a bit. Best to treat your plants before the situation becomes severe when it can take a long time for the plant to recover. In this case you can use a foliar spray or apply some "copperas", iron sulfate, to the soil.  

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