NC State Floriculture


Low Substrate Copper Corrective Procedures

Brian E. Whipker, James L. Gibson, Paul V. Nelson, Todd J. Cavins, and John M. Dole

Disclaimer: 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.

Possible Causes
Corrective Procedures
Not using a fertilizer containing copper (eg. calcium nitrate + potassium nitrate).

1. Use a fertilizer that contains Cu.
2. Correct by applying a fungicidal spray containing copper, such as tri-basic copper sulfate if needed.
3. Corrective drench application of copper sulfate at 9.3 ppm of Cu for soilless substrates. Add 0.5 oz. (14.2 g) of copper sulfate (25% Cu) per 100 gallons of water. Do not over apply. Rinse off foliage.
4. Foliar spray of Cu: mix 4 oz. (113.4 g) of tri-basic copper sulfate per 100 gallons of water. It will give a final concentration of 159 ppm Cu. Test on a few plants first. Do not over apply.

Foliar sprays have a greater risk of plant injury. Avoid applications during the midday heat. Plant uptake is enhanced by prolonged drying time, which occurs during humid conditions, especially in the morning. Nutrient uptake through the leaves is also greater in the day than at night, making morning applications more desirable than evening sprays.

Little or no copper provided through the irrigation water. 1. Use a fertilizer which contains Cu.
Don't forget to check out the Plant Root Zone Management (PRZM) Manual for more information! Want to know more? Click here!

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