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

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

If you wonder 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 article in which we will detail what chlorosis is in plants and how remove it .

Chlorosis in plants: what it is and causes

All plants need chlorophyll to carry out photosynthesis that provides them with energy. In order to produce chlorophyll, they need access to iron as a nutrient. When this is insufficient, the plant begins to 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 substrate is too high , since alkalinity prevents many plants from being able to absorb iron properly.

Other causes of chlorosis in very common plants 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 content 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 the leaves of the plant. When the leaf begins to yellow in the space between veins, but the main vein 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 the affected parts are 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. The usual thing will be that the chlorosis begins to show itself in only some parts and, although it is possible that the affectation does 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 leaf veins are also yellow, it means that the chlorosis is already serious. This will be followed by necrosis of the entire leaf , then followed by the branch and the entire plant.

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

  • If chlorosis begins to manifest itself in the yellowing of younger leaves , this indicates a lack of iron.
  • If, on the other hand, the leaves that turn yellow earlier are the old ones , it is likely that the deficiency is more of zinc or manganese.
Chlorosis in plants: what it is and how to eliminate it - Chlorosis in plants: symptoms

How to eliminate chlorosis in plants

To 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 we are going to see the most common cases of chlorosis and their causes:

  • Ferric chlorosis in the vine: in the case of vines, the solution to chlorosis passes through the application of iron sulfates or chelates to the crop. The contribution of ecological fertilizer , that is, organic matter, has also proven to be effective if applied in sufficient quantities.
  • Chlorosis in grass: in the case of grass, the most common is that chlorosis occurs either because the soil is very calcareous, in which case the contribution of elements that adjust the pH of the soil is necessary , or because of the climate local, especially in very hot summers.
  • Chlorosis in rose bushes: being shrubs, chlorosis in rose bushes is not different from that which can affect any other plant. In these cases, the most probable cause will be either an excess of irrigation, or an inadequate pH in the soil. It will be enough to adjust the frequency of irrigation 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 the application of blisters or holes in the trunk through 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 the plants. It will be necessary to adjust the pH levels or add fertilizers.

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