Nutrient deficiencies of Angelonia

By Amy Williams, Brian E. Whipker, Paul V. Nelson, John M. Dole, Brenda R. Cleveland and F.R. Walls

Fertility monitoring and management for angelonia requires a balancing of the plant’s needs. Growers must be aware and manage the root substrate pH, electrical conductivity (EC) and provide adequate, but not excessive, levels of all essential elements.
Nutrient deficiency descriptions are unavailable for most floriculture crops, yet growers must often make quick diagnoses. A research project initiated at North Carolina State University in Raleigh documented deficiency symptoms in Angelonia angustifolia ‘Carita Purple’, to assist growers. Using a plant diagnostic lab to identify the source of problems is still the best way to ensure accurate diagnoses, since many nutritional, physiological, insect and disease problems can mimic each other.

Disclainer: Growers should read and follow all label directions. Test the corrective procedure on a small number of plants prior to applying it to the entire crop.

Macronutrients · Micronutrients

Macronutrients
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Description

Possible Causes and Management
Nitrogen (N) (top)
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Nitrogen deficiency develops as overall smaller plants with less axillary branching.

Low Substrate Nitrogen
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Nitrogen-deficient shoots are about two-thirds the length of the control shoots.

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As symptoms progress, shoot length remains stunted and develops a stiff upright stem.

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Advanced symptoms are noticeable when the lowest most mature leaves develop a yellow-green basal chlorosis, which progresses to a reddish-brown necrotic withering.

Phosphorus (P) (top)
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Initially, phosphorus-deficient leaves develop a faint dark green cast.

Low Substrate Phosphorus
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With advanced symptoms, there is little to no axillary branching on the stunted shoots and the phosphorus-deficient plants develop a dull green cast compared to the control.

Potassium (K) (top)
Click for Larger Image Initially, potassium deficiency appears on the mature leaf tips as a light green chlorosis, which quickly turns brown.
Low Substrate Potassium
Click for Larger Image As symptoms progress, the mature chlorotic leaf tips develop brown to black necrotic patches on the margins.
Click for Larger Image Advanced symptoms show complete necrosis of the lower mature leaves. Eventually the necrotic regions curl and develop a withered papery texture.
Calcium (Ca) (top)
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Initially, calcium-deficient plants develop small brown necrotic spots on the margins of the young chlorotic leaves.

Low Substrate Calcium
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Calcium deficient plants are small and compact compared to the control.

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As symptoms progress, a light yellow-green marginal chlorosis develops on the young and recently mature leaves. These leaves begin to curve and pucker which causes them to look deformed.

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At advanced stages, the young to recently mature leaves begin to curl downward. The young leaf tips develop a brown necrosis, while the flower buds turn brown and abort.

Magnesium (Mg) (top)
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Magnesium deficiency initially appears on the mature leaf margins as a light green interveinal chlorosis.

Low Substrate Magnesium
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The mature leaves quickly develop tan to brown necrotic patches, which originated at the chlorotic margins.

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Close-up of a advanced mature leaf with tan marginal necrosis.

Sulfur (S) (top)
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Sulfur deficiency initially appears as small severely stunted plants with little to no axillary branching.

Low Substrate Sulfur
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As symptoms progress, the internodes remain short and develop a pink to purple pigmentation near the shoot tip.

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Sulfur-deficient plants are short, compact and rigid at advanced stages.

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Shoots are extremely stunted and lack axillary branches. The young to mature leaves are short and narrow compared to the control. Overall the plants develop a faint lime-green cast.

Micronutrients (top)
Photograph

Description

Possible Causes and Management
Boron (B) (top)
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Initially, boron deficiency affects the young leaves, which are often twisted and deformed. A light green marginal chlorosis develops on the young to recently mature leaves, while the entire plant becomes glossy.

Low Substrate Boron
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As symptoms progress, the young to mature leaves become slightly shorter, wider and glossier than the control, with a bleach-white basal chlorosis.

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The chlorotic shoot tip develops a rosette appearance because it has stopped elongating. Small-deformed buds turn brown and abort.

Copper (Cu) (top)
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Copper-deficiency first appears with a curling of the young leaves in a spiral manner.

Low Substrate Copper
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The young to recently mature leaves develop a severe downward curling with recessed midveins.

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As symptoms progress, the mature leaves develop a tan to brown necrosis on the margins.

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The mature leaves become more necrotic and begin to curl at the leaf tips. Overall the leaves develop a dull blue-green cast, compared to the control.

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The copper-deficient flowers develop a dramatic pink pigmentation, compared to the purple control.

Iron (Fe) (top)
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Initially, on iron-deficient plants the young leaves develop a light green chlorosis and the recently mature leaves show a faint interveinal chlorosis.

Low Substrate Iron
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As symptoms progress, the young axillary shoots develop a light whitish-green chlorosis.

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Advanced iron deficiency shows the recently mature to upper-mature leaves with a distinct light green interveinal chlorosis. A uniform light yellow-green chlorosis appears on the young leaves.

Manganese (Mn) (top)
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Initially, manganese deficient plants are often small and develop a uniform light green chlorosis, while the recently mature leaves develop a marginal chlorosis.

Low Substrate Manganese
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As symptoms progress, the shoots fail to elongate and there is little to no axillary branching. The shoots develop a dull light green chlorosis and recently mature leaves appear slightly smaller than the control.

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Severely stunted chlorotic plants with thick canopies are advanced symptoms of manganese deficiency.

Zinc (Zn) (top)
Click for Larger Image The initial symptom of zinc deficiency is a tan necrosis on the mature leaf tips, which then begin to curl.
Low Substrate Zinc
Click for Larger Image Symptoms progress to a severe necrosis of the leaf tips which advances to the middle of the leaves.
Click for Larger Image This close-up shows the withered curling leaf tips of the mature leaves. These necrotic leaves become papery and eventually begin to collapse.

Amy L. Williams is a graduate research assistant, Paul V. Nelson is professor in floriculture, John Dole is associate professor in floriculture, and Brian E. Whipker is assistant professor in floriculture at North Carolina State University, Department of Horticultural Science, Box 7609, Raleigh, NC 27695-7609.Brenda R. Cleveland is agronomist and F.R. Walls is assistant director, Agronomic Division of North Carolina Department of Agriculture, 4300 Reedy Creek Road Raleigh, NC 27607-6465. We would like to thank Paul Ecke Ranch, Encinitas, CA., Tom Abramowski, Rockwell Farms, Rockwell, N.C., and the North Carolina Commercial Flower Growers' for grant support, Paul Ecke Ranch for supplying the cuttings and Smithers-Oasis for supplying the propagation medium.

Disclainer: Growers should read and follow all label directions. Test the corrective procedure on a small number of plants prior to applying it to the entire crop.

© Copyright NC State University, 2003

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