Iron Deficiencies In The Garden

IMG 3384 1024x768 Iron Deficiencies In The Garden

Fall is a great time to check your plants for overall health.  As the leaves start falling I want you to keep on the lookout for under-preforming plants like this azalea, with faded leaves and deep green veins. The weeks before deciduous plants begin to shut down for the season are some the the best times to preform a healthy check on your shrubs and trees.  This particular Azalea has a common problem that’s easy to spot this time of year, iron deficiency.

Iron Deficiency:

Iron deficiency occurs in high alkaline soil. The high Ph of the soil binds Iron in the soil, and prevents plants from absorbing it and creating chlorophyll, and passively prohibits photosynthesis.  Severe cases of Iron deficiency will cause leaves to go from faded green with green veins to a solidly bright yellow color, before dropping off the bush. It is a condition that can be exacerbated by over fertilization, or by very wet and swampy conditions, so knowing the area around your plant is important in diagnosing the case of the problem.

Iron deficiencies occur most commonly in acid loving plants like Camellias, Azaleas, and fruiting vines and trees, so if you prefer to grow many of these you will want to check them periodically for iron problems.


The quickest way to correct an iron deficiency is through an application of any common garden fertilizer to the drip line of the effected plants, or an application of liquid iron. Fertilizers with slow release control to them are best, and although a liquid iron application will provide immediate results, they quickly fade out with rain, and a more long term solution is necessary. The easiest long term solution for improving your garden shrubs health is by applying a leaf mold, homemade compost, or bagged manure to the garden bed, and mulching over it for the winter.

Iron deficiency can damage or kill your garden shrubs if it is not eliminated, so check your shrubs and trees over as you complete you fall garden tasks and set yourself up for better success with in the spring!

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  1. Iron deficiency is a plant disorder also known as lime-induced chlorosis.It may characterized by leaves turning yellow or brown in the margins between the veins which may remain green, while young leaves may appear to be bleached. One treatment will be choosing appropriate soil for the growing conditionsor by adding well-rotted manure or compost.

  2. plumbing says:

    Symptoms of an iron deficiency include leaves turning yellow or brown in the margins between the veins which may remain green, while young leaves may appear to be bleached. Fruit would be of poor quality and quantity.

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