Magnesium is an essential plant nutrient and is a key element of the chlorophyll molecule. Chlorophyll makes plants green and is used by a plant to convert sunlight into energy via photosynthesis.
No magnesium, no photosynthesis.
Photosynthesis is the complex process whereby a plant uses the chlorophyll molecule(s) to convert carbon dioxide, water, and certain inorganic salts into carbohydrates. Carbohydrates form the building blocks for all plant cells.
One of the first signs of magnesium deficiency is chlorosis. Chlorosis is the yellowing of the leaf structure found between veins, giving the leaf a marbled appearance, while the veins remain green. Another indication of chlorosis is for the leaf margins to turn a red-brown-purple colour.
Magnesium is mobile in plants and when a deficiency occurs, chlorophyll in the older leaves is broken down and transported to the new plant growth. This is why chlorosis symptoms manifest in the older leaves first.
If the deficiency is not corrected, the chlorosis will eventually manifest in the new growth. The continued deficiency of magnesium results in leaf necrosis and the dropping of the older leaves will occur. Magnesium is also an activator for various enzymes and a deficiency will lead to a decrease in enzyme activity which will also affect plant growth. Magnesium stabilises the ribosome structures and the breakdown of these structures leads to premature ageing of the plant.
Magnesium plays an important role in many other plant functions such as:
Nutrient uptake control.
Aid nitrogen fixation in legume nodules.
Plant oil and fat formation.
Increases iron utilisation.
We can see that magnesium plays a very important role in maintaining plant growth and health.
Fortunately, it is not difficult to correct magnesium deficiency and below are a few suggestions for you to consider:
Use a fertiliser that includes magnesium in its formulation such as the Dyna-Gro Nutrient Solution range. Doing this means that every time you feed your plants you are providing them with magnesium. Alternatively, you can include into your plant nutrient application programme, a fertiliser that has a magnesium base such as Dyna-Gro Mag-Pro 2-15-4. Mag-Pro has 2% magnesium in its formulation as well as 1.5% sulphur.
Consider starting a regular foliar application of a solution containing magnesium.
Apply dolomitic lime to your soil and or include dolomitic lime in your growing medium.
The application of Epsom Salts is also an effective way to apply magnesium. Use it as a soil drench diluted 1 level teaspoon grammes per 10 litres of water.
I use the following programme for my plants.
Every time I water my plants I ensure that I use one of the Dyna-Gro Nutrient Solutions. Mostly I use Liquid Grow or Foliage-Pro as my base fertiliser. If my plants are approaching flowering or in flower I switch to Liquid Bloom.
Once a month I switch one of the above for Mag-Pro.
I always include Pro-TeKt with all my mixes.
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