Share this post TFUPM Posted April 04, 2014

Copper is an essential element for plant health. While one of the most immobile micronutrients and needed only in small amounts, this trace element is a requirement of all plant parts and must be monitored closely to ensure overall health of the foliage. Copper serves a number of purposes for the plants in a harvest, most notably:

  • Overall plant metabolism
  • Catalyst for photosynthesis
  • Catalyst for respiration
  • Helps to maintain the balance of carbohydrate – nitrogen

A high concentration of copper is actually toxic to plants, however, copper deficiencies can be just as damaging. Unfortunately, copper deficiency is one of the most common deficiencies of all micronutrients. As such, farmers and growers of all kinds must be mindful of the potential for copper deficiency and take appropriate measures to treat or, better yet, to prevent the occurrence. The following are the most common symptoms of copper deficiency:

  • Lack of growth in the plant
  • Downward bend in the petioles
  • Light green leaves
  • Dry tips on leaves
  • In severe cases, leaves become wrinkled, broken, twisted, dried and the plant will eventually die

Not only do copper deficiencies lead to eventual killing of the plant, but they can cause a number of diseases as well. For instance, a lack of copper can cause die-back disease of shoots, particularly in citrus plants. “Yellow tip”, also known as reclamation disease, can also occur with a lack of copper in plants. Finally, exanthema disease, produced by soil factors, may occur due to copper deficiencies. Not only could these diseases form, but things such as storage ability, flavor, and sugar content can be negatively affected. Most importantly, yields are greatly reduced as a result of copper deficiency.

Managing copper deficiencies is critical to maintaining a health crop. From the soil to the leaves, a grower must be sure to use a product that is safe for the environment yet focuses on correcting the copper issue. Increased yields, bright colors, and tasty flavor depend on a proper level of copper. Be sure to monitor your crops for copper levels regularly.

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