Plants are living beings that need a series of nutrients to be able to carry out their functions normally. Some of them need them in greater amounts than others, but they are all very important, including iron, which is considered a micronutrient. When they are missing, their leaves quickly turn yellow, then turn brown and finally fall off. And I insist, it is “only” a micronutrient. To avoid problems, we are going to explain what function it has, and why it is not highly recommended to give them iron oxide. Many people have spread rumors that iron oxide can be given to plants in the form of watering.
Therefore, in this article, we are going to tell you everything you need to know about iron oxide in plants.
What function does it have?
Iron (Fe) is an essential micronutrient to reduce nitrates and sulfates in the plant. In addition, it helps the production of energy , and, what we immediately see when it is missing: the formation of chlorophyll (the green pigment in leaves). It must be made clear that it is not used in its synthesis, but it is essential for the foliage and young stems to have that healthy green color.
It must be borne in mind that, being a micronutrient, plants require it in lower amounts when compared to other primary or secondary nutrients. Even so, it is quite important for the health and growth of plants. The availability of this depends on the pH of the substrate. If the substrate is too basic, so it has a much higher pH, it will harm the incorporation of this micronutrient to the plants .
Regarding its function, it is a constituent of several enzymes and some pigments. In addition, it helps reduce nitrates and sulfates and regulates energy production within the plant. Although it is not used directly in the synthesis of chlorophyll, it is usually essential for its generation. Therefore, the deficiency of this mineral is usually manifested by chlorosis in the newer leaves.
What are the symptoms of a lack of iron?
Iron deficiency in a plant usually manifests as intravenous chlorosis in the leaves that are new . First of all, determine the cause of this deficiency. You have to examine the roots. If the roots are expressed by an excess of irrigation, they may not serve to absorb the nutrients efficiently. It is important to allow the substrate to dry between waterings to reduce stress on the plant. In this way, we can make an appropriate application of a fungicide that works by saturation when the roots of the plant are diseased. TO
If the roots do not find enough iron in the soil, the first thing we will see is a progressive yellowing of the leaves . In principle, they will only be the newest, but the problem will gradually spread to the others.
Other symptoms that we will notice are:
- Growth slowdown
- The »sad» aspect of the plant
- Appearance of pests and / or diseases
Is it a good idea to apply iron oxide to them?
No . They cannot assimilate rust, so there is no point in applying it. In addition, for it to be useful, it would have to be reduced and transferred to other soluble forms. And that is not to mention that, perhaps, we do not have iron, but brass or some similar metal. As if that were not enough, if it carried lead or other heavy metals, we would pollute the environment.
Iron oxide water
What we can do is use irrigation with iron oxide water. This water is obtained by introducing rusty nails in the water so that all the particles are scattered. In the end all of them end up passing into the water and can be watered with water that has an overdose of this micronutrient.
Many people doubt whether or not this practice is suitable for plant health. It must be taken into account that those plants that need more acidic soils or that are not being grown in an acidic environment tend to have an iron deficiency. Therefore, it is convenient to apply this type of water with oxides to replace this amount of minerals. It also occurs in those plants that are watered with water, the hardest ones that have a lot of lime.
When we water a plant with hard water frequently, the pH begins to rise little by little and iron chlorosis begins to occur, which translates into yellowing of the leaves. When there are symptoms of yellow leaves, it is due to a lack of iron. By not having the plant in a suitable pH and it prevents it from absorbing iron. This means that these symptoms are not the result of a lack of iron, but it is because this high pH level allows it to be absorbed.
In these cases, if we deal with an extra iron oxide thanks to the water in which we have submerged the rusty nails, we are going to give an overdose of this mineral and we will make its recovery easier. It is not bad to pour iron water on plants, but actually the same result can be achieved by using iron chelate and iron sulfate. Using these compounds is a much faster and more direct practice. It is also much safer for the plant.
How to solve the problem?
The most effective – and quick – way to solve the problem of iron deficiency is by providing chelated iron . This is sold in nurseries and garden stores, so it will not be difficult for us to find it.
We dilute one or two small tablespoons (of those of coffee) in 5 liters of water, and water. And if this still does not convince us much, we can fertilize it with fertilizers for acid plants, following the instructions specified on the package.
As you can see, iron oxide in water can be a solution to the lack of this mineral. I hope that with this information you can learn more about iron oxide and its importance for plants.