Iron deficiency in plants

Role of iron in plants

Iron is the chief constituent of chlorophyll, which imparts green color to the leaves and involved in photosynthesis, a process vital to plants. It activates catalase enzyme involved in mitigation of stress in plants. Iron is actively involved in the process of oxidation-reduction. Plants absorb iron in the form of ferric ions (Fe3+).

Iron deficiency in plants
Iron deficient plants show yellowing in the younger leaves 

Symptoms of iron deficiency

Hibiscus leaves turning yellow
Hibiscus (Gudhal) plant showing typical symptoms of iron deficiency

Chlorosis (yellowing of leaf) is main symptom of iron deficiency, which can be visualized in younger leaves. In iron deficiency yellowing is marked by green veins. Only the areas between the veins are yellow. If the deficiency is not corrected on time, leaves become small and growth is retarded.

How to correct iron deficiency

There are two reasons of iron deficiency in plant. One is the iron deficiency in the soil, which can be corrected by the application of iron fertilizers. Other is the alkaline pH of soil, which make the roots unable to absorb iron from the soil. On appearance symptoms following measures should be adapted in order to correct the iron deficiency in plants:
  1. Acidify the soil by amendment pelleted elemental sulfur (14 to 56 gram per cubic foot of soil).
  2. In iron deficient soil, chelated iron fertilizers should be added.
In small pots following methods should be adapted to order get rid of iron deficiency:
  1. Prepare the potting mix by adding organic manure in good quantity.
  2. Be sure that proper drainage is provided in the pot.
  3. If symptoms are seen, dig-out the top soil by without causing damage to the roots and replaced them with good and healthy fine granulated and sieved soil.

Content first created on 21-01-2022
last updated on 21-01-2022