Calcium deficiency in plants

Roles of calcium in plants

After magnesium and sulfur calcium is the third important secondary nutrients, which is required for healthy plant growth. Calcium in the form of calcium pectate makes the middle lamella, which holds the two cells together. For proper growth of young leaves, buds and fruits calcium is required. As a secondary messenger, calcium play very important roles in signalling in plants.
Calcium is naturally present in the soils and therefore, water lifted from the ground sources contains sufficient quantity of calcium.

Calcium deficiency in plant

Calcium is highly immobile in plants and therefore its deficiency first affects young growing meristems. Calcium is taken-up by the transpiration stream through the xylem. Hence, any conditions that slows down the transpiration inhibit the calcium uptake. High temperature, cold, uneven watering inhibits the uptake of calcium from soils. Plants also face calcium deficiency when its concentration is low in the soils. In strongly acidic soils, or soils with high amount of sodium, potassium or magnesium uptake is reduced.

Symptoms of calcium deficiency in plants

Calcium deficiency in plants
Developing guava fruit showing blossom end rot

  • Young branches show stunted and bushy growth.
  • Leaves show brown or chlorotic appearance at the margins, which progress and unites in the center.
  • Leaves edge become necrotic.
  • In fruiting plants, fruits start rottening from the styler end. This is called as blossom end rot, which is characteristics to the calcium deficiency in plants.
  • Young leaves are curled and terminal buds and roots tips are dies.

Diseases of calcium deficiency

Styler end rot of bottle gourd

Blossom end rot of guava

Content first created on 16-07-2021
last updated on 16-07-2021