The basis of plant health comes from the soil in which they grow. Their nutrition is essential to their health and to their durability, so it is essential that the plants get all the macronutrients necessary for their development. Very often we struggle to save plants in bad shape. Regularly, this indicates a problem related to the low availability of nutrients in the soil. It is obvious that plants need nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (commonly called NPK), but their health is complex and nutrient deficiencies can come from many causes.
The yellow, pale and stunted leaves are some signs of a nitrogen deficiency. Nitrogen is essential for photosynthesis, cell health and the development of chlorophyll. Soil depletion, in nitrogen, occurs when large amounts of carbon are added to the soil, usually after the death of nearby plants and their decay. Micro-organisms will use available nitrogen to decompose the new carbon source. They will quickly deplete the available nitrogen for the plant. To remedy a nitrogen deficiency, consider planting nitrogen-generating plants near the deficient plant, such as beans and peas. A plant with a lot of nitrogen will appear with very green leaves.
Phosphorus ensures a healthy cell division, fruiting and root growth. As with nitrogen deficiencies, plants without phosphorus will have difficulty developing. The edge of their leaves can darken and become reddish brown or purple. Flowers or fruit will not grow. Cold temperatures, heavy precipitation, and acidic soil can help to deplete the phosphorus soil. To decrease the pH of the soil, add bone flour directly to the soil. Over time, the overall growth and color of the plant should return to normal.
Potassium plays a key role in the ability of a plant to fight disease and in the start of fruiting. A deficient plant in potassium will show signs on its leaves. The edges of their leaves will be brown or yellow. The banana peels buried at 3/4 cm below the surface of the soil are an excellent source of potassium, just as the banana is for us.
Magnesium deficiency may be similar to potassium deficiency. The main difference is that a magnesium deficient plant will almost always have the edge of the yellow leaves, not brown. Magnesium is a necessary element of chlorophyll, and therefore its deficit hinders photosynthesis. To correct this deficiency, if you do not use a slurry or a magnesium-rich decoction, sprinkle Epsom salt on the floor before watering.
Calcium deficiency is evident when you discover weak leaves with yellow spots. Sometimes they’ll even start rotting. Calcium is essential to the structural cell walls of a plant, so that a plant will gradually weaken in the event of deficiency. Crushed egg shells, mainly composed of calcium carbonate, can cause calcium after burial in the area surrounding the deficient plant. This article succinctly details the signs of each deficit and the solutions to be made. Of course, there are other ways to improve soil quality by growing a large number of plants and introducing organic matter and compost. The priority is to always work with nature, helping if necessary, rather than controlling natural processes.