Understanding Plant Nutrition: The Complete Series

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Understanding Plant Nutrition: The Complete Series

An Introduction
Read about the basics on essential nutrients for plant growth, uptake of nutrients and pH’s effect on nutrient solubility. 

Nutrient Sources
The authors take a look at the myth that cation exchange capacity is important to soilless media.

Limestone And pH 
Why does limestone need to be added to soilless media? It’s all about pH management.

Limestone, Calcium And Magnesium 
Limestone provides calcium and sometimes magnesium to container media. This article looks at the nutrient content of different types of limestone and how it influences calcium and magnesium levels.

Irrigation Water Alkalinity & pH 
Water alkalinity and pH are two different measurements. This article explains the difference, how to interpret testing results and how to adjust management strategies accordingly.

Irrigation Water As A Nutrient Source
Water rarely contains enough primary macronutrients, but can be rich in secondary macronutrients. Check out this article for tips on making the most of your irrigation water.

Fertilizers And Media pH 
Why are fertilizers classified as acidic or basic? And how do the reactions produced by the fertilizer affect media pH? Read this article to find out.

Fertilizers And Macronutrients 
This article discusses macronutrient sources, fertilizer formulations and the application of fertilizer to crops.

Fertilizers And Micronutrients
Managing micronutrients is different from managing macronutrients. This article explains the differences and how to effectively apply micronutrients.

Controlled- And Slow-Release Fertilizers
Find out how fertilizing for an extended duration influence pH and nutrition management.

Managing Media pH
Read up on how media, lime, water and fertilizer interact to affect pH management.

Managing Media EC
This article focuses on how to manage media nutrient levels based on soil test EC values.

Diagnosing Problems 
Identifying nutritional problems in container grown plants is not an exact science. Multiple sources can lead you to determine the cause of the problem. This article shares information that is useful for diagnosing nutritional problems.

Correcting Low Media pH
For iron-efficient plants, it is important to take steps to prevent low pH, regularly test media pH and take rapid action to raise pH when pH drops below 6.0.

High pH Problems
High media-pH induced iron deficiency is the most common nutritional problem for crops such as calibrachoa, diascia, nemesia, pansy, petunia, scaevola, snapdragon and vinca. Here are some strategies to rescue crops that are stressed from high media-pH.

Low Media-EC
Has a soil test shown you’re working with a low media EC? Read about what causes low media EC and the best ways to make more nutrients available to crops.

Common High Media-EC Problems
Salt burn and toxicity can result from high EC. Read this article for causes of high EC and how to correct it.

Environmentally Induced Plants
Without transpiration, plants do not uptake calcium or boron, and the environment can affect transpiration. Read about diagnosing these deficiencies and how to correct them in this article.

Poinsettias hang around your greenhouse much longer than short-term spring crops. A preventative approach that breaks the crop down into stages can help avoid the usual nutrition problems. This article shares some pointers to consider at each stage.

Stock Plant Nutrition
The keys for success with stock plants are fairly straightforward: have an organized plan that includes media and fertilizer selection, organize crops into pH or EC groups, monitor nutrition regularly and ensure adequate levels of all nutrients are present in cuttings harvested from the stock.

Liner Nutrition
The keys to achieving well-fertilized plants are to start with adequate tissue nutrient levels in the cuttings from the stock phase, minimize leaching and provide ideal conditions for rapid rooting, ensure nutrients are available when roots emerge and from then on fertilize similar to other bedding plant crops.

To succeed with calibrachoa, you need to monitor media pH regularly and take the proper corrective actions when the media pH gets too high.

Geranium Nutrition
Argo and Fisher pore over the details to systematically identify and correct common nutritional problems found in the greenhouse.

Managing Multiple Species 
Tips for producing multiple plant varieties in one greenhouse.


Bill Argo is technical manager of Blackmore Co. You can eMail him at bargo@blackmoreco.com.

Paul Fisher is an associate professor and Extension specialist in the Environmental Horticulture Department at the University of Florida. You can eMail him at pfisher@ufl.edu.

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2 comments on “Understanding Plant Nutrition: The Complete Series

  1. Anonymous

    could you please reccomend a fertilizer for the q palm you sell at Costco. I live on central coast also in San Luis. Mine is kinda wilting. Thank you for your time.

  2. Anonymous

    could you please reccomend a fertilizer for the q palm you sell at Costco. I live on central coast also in San Luis. Mine is kinda wilting. Thank you for your time.