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Nutrient Deficiencies in Plants

In this article, we will discuss the reasons of nutrient deficiencies on your plants and why they can't them in the right amounts. Fertilization, which is a very critical stage to be considered in plant cultivation, ceases to be a problem for you when you can accurately determine the needs of your plants and will bring you the highest efficiency.

Your plants can have nutrient deficiencies when they don't have access to enough nutrients inside a medium at the correct pH and EC values or when a buildup in the growing media is present.

If you are not sure whether your plants are properly fed, you should check your plants for any abnormalities on their leaves. These abnormalities can manifest themselves in yellowing, spots, burns, drying and some other forms. You can find our table examining these various leaf spots at the end of the article. It is relatively difficult to detect these abnormalities in the initial stage of deficiency. Abnormalities will become more visible as feeding problems keep unsolved.

-Salt and nutrient buildup in the root zone;

What needs to be done is to take precautions before deficiencies get worse. An initial problem will be easier to solve than an advanced problem. You need to pay attention to whether you are feeding your plants correctly and whether the soil you use contains the right amount from each nutrient. Similarly, it is necessary to monitor whether there is mineral accumulation in your hydroponic system.

Nutrient deficiencies in plants are not always caused by the lack of nutrients. For example, since the nitrogen (N) needs of flowering plants will be less than phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) during the blooming era, fertilizing with high nitrogen during this period will cause excessive nitrogen accumulation in the soil or any other hydroponic media. Nitrogen accumulating in the soil will make it harder for the plant to absorb phosphorus, potassium and many other beneficial minerals.

For this reason, your plants should be fertilized according to the stage they are in. Determining the ideal daily water consumption, NPK and mineral ratio, pH and EC values for your plants will significantly reduce your chances of experiencing nutritional disorders.

When you see nutritional deficiencies in your plants, it is recommended that you run plenty of water through your growing media or hydroponic system and wash off any nutrient or mineral deposits that may have formed in the root zone. Feeding above 900 PPM should be tested in controlled and slow increments so that there will be no build-up in your growing media or hydroponic system.

-pH ve fertilization;

When feeding your plants, it is important that the pH value is between 6-6.5 for soil and 5.5-6.2 for hydroponics.

When your plants can consume nutrients and minerals without any problems, the PPM value (nutrient and mineral amount) will decrease and the pH will increase over time.

From the table below, you can examine the pH values at which essential nutrients and minerals can be consumed most efficiently.

Constantly watering at a pH of 6.5 in the soil and at a pH of 6.2 in hydroponics will not provide you with exactly ideal conditions, but it will ensure that your plants consume a limited amount of all nutrients.

Continuously watering with pH value at the upper limit may cause mineral accumulation in the root zone of plants with a life span of 2-3 months or longer. After a long time, minerals and nutrients that can be absorbed predominantly at low pH values may begin to fall outside the pH range in which your plant can be fed efficiently. For this reason, slight accumulations in the root area, which are not noticed especially during the growth period, may cause nutritional problems in your plant during the blooming era and may cause loss of harvest amount and product quality.

We recommend to growers who look for ideal fertilization conditions should make a nutrient solution with a pH of 6-6.2 for soil and 5.5-5.6 for hydroponics. Fertilizing in this way will balance the tendency to increase pH due to residue in the root zone. In this way, your plants will never go out of the pH range determined for soil and hydroponics.


Almost all growers have at least once made the mistake of giving their plants more fertilizer and expecting more crops. Over fertilizing is the most common cause of nutrients staying out of your plants' use. Some signs of over-fertilization; The burns on the leaf tips or extremely dark leaves. In order to eliminate nutritional disorders, first of all, it should be examined whether excessive fertilization is done.

With the help of RO (reverse osmosis) filters, you can reduce the PPM value of the water you will use in your plants to zero. An average house in our country has mains water between 200-250 PPM. When you filter out 200-250 PPM from your tap water, it will enable you to introduce 200-250PPM more of useful minerals and NPK, and your chances of experiencing nutritional deficiency in your plants will be significantly reduced. Investing in an RO filtering system instead of the expensive fertilizers, will allow your plants to be fed more and efficiently, therefore allow them to produce more and higher quality products.

You should always check with EC (PPM) meters whether you are fertilizing at the correct rates. According to the PPM values of the water in your installation, you can turn to hard-water (water with high PPM) or soft-water (water with low PPM) categories.

You can get help from the table below to understand which nutrient or mineral your plants are deficient in.

Thank you for reading. We wish you happy growing.

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