Nutrient deficiencies of Brachyscome 'Jumbo Mauve'

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

Fertility monitoring and management for Brachyscome 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 Brachyscome 'Jumbo Mauve', 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
Photograph

Description

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

Low Substrate Nitrogen
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As symptoms progress, the stem of the nitrogen deficient shoots develop a red to purple pigmentation and the young to mature leaves are smaller, when compared to the control.

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Advanced symptoms show the upright architecture and stunted growth of the nitrogen deficient plant compared to the trailing habit of the control.

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Basal yellow-green to yellow-orange chlorosis of the lowest oldest mature leaves are symptoms of advanced nitrogen deficiency.

Phosphorus (P) (top)
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Initially, phosphorus deficient plants are darker green and smaller than the control.

Low Substrate Phosphorus
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When compared to the control shoot (top), the picture illustrates the progression of phosphorus deficiency symptoms: initial (second from the top), moderate (3rd from the top) and advanced (bottom) symptoms show little axillary branching and necrosis of the older mature leaves.

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With advanced symptoms, the yellow-green chlorosis of the mature leaf tips turn tan to brown and have a papery texture.

Potassium (K) (top)
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Initially, potassium deficiency appears as small thin plants with a dark green slightly glossy appearance.

Low Substrate Potassium
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As symptoms progress, the young to recently mature leaves become smaller and develop a light green marginal chlorosis.

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Advanced symptoms show an upright architecture of potassium deficiency compared to the control.

Calcium (Ca) (top)
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Calcium deficient plants are small and compact compared to the control.

Low Substrate Calcium
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As symptoms progress, small tan spots develop on the mature leaflet tips and within the middle of the leaf.

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Large crater-like depressions develop on the surface and underside of the mature leaves. The young and recently mature leaves are deformed and develop a black tip necrosis. The flower stalk has collapsed and the flower is abscising.

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Calcium deficient flowers are often deformed and incomplete in development. The flower petals are shorter and thinner compared to the control.

Magnesium (Mg) (top)
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Initially, the mature leaves of magnesium-deficient plants are smaller and develop a light green chlorosis.

Low Substrate Magnesium
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The young and recently mature leaves develop a yellow-green marginal chlorosis, while tan translucent spots appear on the young to mature leaves.

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Advanced symptoms progress into the recently mature and mature leaves as a severe yellow-green interveinal chlorosis which progresses to necrosis of the leaf margins.

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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Overall the plants take on a light lime green color and the young to recently mature leaves appear slightly smaller than the control.

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The shoots are lacking axillary branching and appear thin and spindly. At advanced stages the chlorosis remains a uniform lime green throughout the entire plant, which progresses to a light whitish-green color of the young leaves.

Micronutrients (top)
Photograph

Description

Possible Causes and Management
Boron (B) (top)
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Initially boron-deficient plants have a leathery texture and a small compact appearance.

Low Substrate Boron
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As symptoms progress, the young and recently mature leaves become small and deformed. The petioles of the recently mature and mature leaves are abnormally wider with white midribs. The shoot tip develops a rosette appearance.

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The flowers of boron-deficient plants are often deformed and incomplete. The petals are shorter than the control and the base of the petals have become thin and bleached white.

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Advanced symptoms of boron deficiency include short compact rigid plants that have a glossy dark green appearance and a leathery texture.

Copper (Cu) (top)
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Initially, copper deficiency began with a light green chlorosis of the young to recently mature leaves.

Low Substrate Copper
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As symptoms progressed, the mature leaves developed small tan to brown necrotic spots on the entire leaf, beginning on the leaflets and moving toward the middle of the leaf.

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Advanced copper-deficient plants developed a light green to yellow chlorosis of the recently mature leaves, which progresses to the middle of the leaf and quickly turns to a brown papery necrosis.

Iron (Fe) (top)
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Iron deficiency begins with the young to recently mature leaves developing a light green interveinal chlorosis.

Low Substrate Iron
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As symptoms progress the chlorosis becomes more dramatic and begins to progress down the plant.

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The young to recently mature leaves turn whitish-green and the mature leaves develop a light green color. The lowest oldest mature leaves remain dark green while the rest of the plant exhibits chlorosis.

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Advanced iron deficiency shows the young leaves bleached white with a brown necrosis, which begins on the leaf petiole. The recently mature leaves are uniformly light yellow and the mature leaves are light green.

Amy L. Williams, Dharmalingam S. Pitchay and James L. Gibson are graduate research assistants, 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. The authors thank Paul Ecke Ranch, Encinitas, Calif., Tom Abramowski, Rockwell Farms, Rockwell, N.C., and the North Carolina Commercial Flower Growers' for grant support, Paul Ecke Ranch for supplying the vegetative cuttings and Smithers-Oasis for supplying the propagation medium. The images and corrective procedures can be viewed at http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/floriculture.

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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