Nitrogen Deficiency

Nitrogen Deficiencies: An Overview -What is Nitrogen Deficiency and How to Cure Nitrogen Deficiencies-


When applying fertilizer, it is best to choose a well-balanced general-purpose product that contains both necessary and trace elements. Trace elements are only needed in trace amounts and should be used sparingly. Small amounts of fertilizer should often be applied to sandy soils to provide a consistent supply of nutrients to the plant. Controlled release fertilizers are a time-saving option. Fertilizer should be applied in higher quantities but less often on heavy soils.

Plants can potentially be harmed by nutrient toxicity if too much of a nutrient is applied. Water the plants before applying fertilizer, and make sure the fertilizer is well absorbed after application to avoid scorching the plants. One of the easiest ways to solve nutritional shortages is to apply liquid fertilizers or trace elements to the plant’s leaves.

What is Nitrogen Deficiency in Plants?

Nitrogen-deficient plants exhibit reduced development, depending on the severity of the deficit. Younger leaves, in particular, are restricted in their growth. Longitudinal shoot growth and thickness increase are both hindered. Due to reduced chloroplast and chlorophyll production, deficient plants frequently turn light green to yellowish-green. The leaves begin to wither and dry up, becoming a yellowish-brown color.

Nitrogen is required for leaf development and flower creation. It is a key component of chlorophyll, which is required for photosynthesis. When nitrogen levels are low, the oldest leaves appear pale and lack the luster of healthy leaves. Yellowing begins at the leaf tips and spreads to the rest of the leaves. Use nitrogen-rich fertilizers such as ammonia sulfate or blood and bone. Manures and organic matter can also be applied to the soil.

Signs and Symptoms

Nitrogen deficiency in a plant can be detected visually by specific color or shape changes in the leaves and stem, forced early flowering, necrosis, and other symptoms. Farmers can also detect nitrogen shortage in early blooming. Stems become purple, and shoots emerge slowly; the vegetation is sparse and frail. The last stage of nitrogen shortage in plants kills them and results in crop failure.

  • The entire plant appears light to yellowish-green.
  • Older leaves are undergoing early senescence.
  • A low shoot/root ratio is caused by increased root development and inhibited shoot growth.

Control and Prevention

Nitrogen is a key plant nutrient that all plants require in quite considerable quantities. Fortunately, it is found in almost every plant meal, making it simple to avoid and treat by feeding. Nitrogen regulates plant development and contributes significantly to the greening of leaves. Because it is very soluble in soil, it is quickly lost or leached away by winter rains or regular watering; in order to boost overall nutrient levels, use a balanced feed in the spring to replace nitrogen in the soil. Liquid plant feeds are quick-acting, making them an excellent alternative if a nitrogen shortage is detected. Mulching the soil helps to keep it wet and reduces leaching.