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Chlorosis

FAST FACTS - CHLOROSIS
by Nanette Londeree, Master Rosarian

SYMPTOMS

  • Paling (lighter green to lime-green color) or yellowing of interveinal (between veins) tissue
  • Leaves that are pale green, yellow, or yellow-white
  • Portions of the plant stunted or fail to produce flowers
  • Discolored leaves more prone to scorching and leaf diseases

    CAUSE

  • Chlorosis, yellowing of green plant foliage due to a lack of chlorophyll development
  • Affected plant has little or no ability to manufacture carbohydrates due to chlorophyll insufficiency

    OPTIMAL CONDITIONS

  • Low levels of iron in the soil
  • Soils with pH above 6.5 bind up the iron and make it unavailable to the plant roots
  • High concentrations of limestone (calcium carbonate) make the soil more alkaline (higher pH)
  • Roots that are damaged by a lack of oxygen in overwatered or poorly drained soils
  • Extreme soil temperatures and conditions that restrict air movement into soil like plastic sheet mulching, compaction
  • Soils that contain high levels of zinc, manganese, phosphorus or copper

    TREATMENT

    Prevention:

  • Maintain soil pH at 6.5 or lower through use of soil amendments
  • Maintain good drainage
  • Donít overwater

    Elimination:

  • Lower soil pH by incorporating acidic amendments such as peat moss or leaf mold
  • Add chelated iron to soil
  • Correct watering method / frequency
  • Correct drainage problem or move plant to pot or raised beds

    GOOD GUY / BAD GUY?

  • This is a bad guy; the more chlorotic the plant the more severe the condition
  • If not corrected it can cause death of the plant


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    Last Modified: 08/06/2013