Copper Deficiency in Plants

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Copper is a necessary micronutrient for plants. Even though it is not classified as a macronutrients, it does not make it any less important. It is simply needed in lower quantities.

How can you spot if your plant is deficient in this important micronutrient?

Copper Deficiency Symptoms

There are a number of visible symptoms with copper deficiency. The most apparent one is interveinal chlorosis. This is a yellowing of the portion of the leaves between the veins. Typically for chloride deficiency this affects leaves of intermediate age first. Eventually, after prolonged copper deficiency, the older leaves are affected as well. Eventually leaves may develop spots of necrosis that eventually spread until the whole leaf is dead.

Copper deficiency symptoms can be similar to that of manganese and magnesium deficiency. There are subtle ways to tell the difference between the common appearance of interveinal chlorosis. When a plant is deficient in copper, the internodes between the plants are likely to be shortened. This is opposite what will typically happen in magnesium deficiency where the internode length will be lengthened. In manganese deficiency, the symptoms typically are more uniform throughout the plant and do not affect older leaves last.

Fixing Copper Deficiency

Copper uptake by plants decrease when the pH of the soil is too alkaline. Deficiencies are most common in sandy soils where there is low organic matter. High levels of phosphorous and iron can also decrease the uptake of copper by plants.

Copper sulfate is the preferred source of copper. It is commonly applied before seeding. Copper fertilizer can be added with your typical N-P-K fertilizer. Complete fertilizers will also contain copper within them.

Other Macro and Micronutrients

As you may know, there are many other macronutrients and micronutrients that are important to proper plant growth. The macronutrients is split up into primary macronutrients and secondary macronutrients.

Learn more about each nutrient and how it effects plants so you can properly diagnose any deficiencies in your plants.

I also recommend checking out Earthpod Fertilizer capsules. While you can get the same results with other fertilizers if you’re very diligent with the right N-P-K ratios and other nutrients, these fertilizer capsules help take out a lot of the guess work. Furthermore, they utilize microbe technology to make sure all the macro and micro nutrients are delivered to your plants.

More information about the element Copper on Wikipedia

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About the author: Carley Miller is a horticultural expert at TheGreenPinky. She previously owned a landscaping business for 25 years and worked at a local garden center for 10 years.

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