Nutrient Deficiencies (Troubleshooting)




Entire plant is light green in color; lower leaves are yellow; growth is stunted


Entire plant is bluish-green, often developing a red or purplish cast; lower leaves may be yellow, drying to a greenish-brown to black color; growth may be stunted


Leaves have a papery appearance; dead areas along the edges of the leaves; growth is stunted


Lower leaves turn yellow along the tips and margin and between the veins; the lower leaves wilt


Young stems and new leaves die


Leaf tissue between the veins is lighter in color; yellowed; papery in appearance


Leaf tissue appears yellow, while the veins remain green


Leaf edges appear dark green or blue; leaf edges curl upward; young leaves permanently wilt


Young leaves turn pale green, while the older leaves remain green; plant is stunted and spindly


Growth is stunted; lower leaves have a checkered pattern of yellow and green


Leaves are stunted, pale green, and malformed


Young leaves are scorched at tips and margins


Occasionally, the nutrients in a hydroponic system are used up faster than they can be replaced, and the plants will show a nutrient deficiency.  A quick fix for most of the deficiencies is to spray the leaves with an all-purpose, foliar fertilizer, although this will not completely solve the problem.  The best remedy is to change the nutrient solution every two weeks instead of every three weeks.  In some cases, it may be necessary to switch to a different type of hydroponic fertilizer, if the same deficiencies persist.

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