So, here in the UK we are at last enjoying some warm sunny weather. Ironically, this is the time to keep your eyes open for the tell tale signs of your plants leaves “yellowing”. Change of climate and temperature is one of the things that can effect your plants and witnessing some of your plants leaves turning a shade of yellow. Importantly, the yellowing of leaves can be signs of many things. Common symptoms include such simple things as too much or too little nutrients, certain viruses, not enough light, the wrong ph for that particular plant, the incorrect watering regime and many more complicated systemic problems. Included in yellowing could also just mean that the plants life is coming to an end and this could be taken in to account.
Lets look at watering
So the technical term is “moisture stress”. Meaning the plants suffering from yellowing leaves are most likely to be the victims of over or under watering. This was always a problem for me when growing in a greenhouse or polytunnel. Ventilation, is a must but there is always times when they do get over heated. Overheating, causes the pots to dry out and therefore puts the plants under stress. Quick response can save the day! However if you are away for a couple for days then you are in trouble. Not only do weak plants attract more pests but they will also start the dreaded yellowing process.
Of course watering will help your plants pick back up but the damage is already done. Weak plants will be the end outcome. Usually with smaller fruit or smaller flowers. In the past I have tried a few things including drippers. However I think that the “Autopot” system and a good sized plastic water tank is the answer. Another yellowing of the leaves can be caused by over watering. This probably applies more on house plants where the plant carer tends to over do things. I have a friend who always lovingly kills every plant that she buys. Accordingly, she waters the plants far too much and eventually the plants turn yellow and eventually die.
Hydrostore-Yellowing Leaves-Where did the yellow begin to show
So, the keen plant grower could determine where the yellow started to effect their plants. Firstly, if the yellow appears at the top of your plant then the problem could be an “Iron Deficiency”. Secondly, if the yellow starts at the bottom leaves of the plant then it could be “Magnesium Deficiency”. Lastly, if the plant appears to be yellowing all over at the same time then it could be a “Nitrogen Deficiency”
So, a good idea is to check out the plants ph level. Of course this is more important with some plants more than others. However it would be well worth checking. Especially if you are have other problems such a slow growth. Many plants require ph that is in the neutral range, but some require more acid. Such plants include the “Azalea” family, requiring a very high ph acid soil. Importantly ph can be adjusted using certain hydroponic products such as “Vitalink Products” .
Another related thing to watch out for is for the grower of certain plants. Hence, if you are in the middle of flowering then it could be wise to make sure you have the correct magnesium levels in your water tank.
To emphasise, the ph levels are important factors when checking the levels. Both in hydroponics and in soil growing methods. The incorrect ph levels will cause slow growth with low yields of flowers or fruit.
Finally , I hope this post gives plant growers some insight into this sometimes common problem. So, yellowing leaves are just a small part that we gardeners and plant growers should be aware of. Also there are treatments at your local hydroponics store.