Plants require a nitrogen boost for vigorous vegetative growth and development. Nitrogen helps plants achieve rapid growth, increasing seed and fruit production and enhancing the quality of leaf and forage crops. Nitrogen deficiency can actually delay flowering by increasing the time to first bloom and reduce the overall size and quality of the yield.
How Plants Use Nitrogen
Nitrogen is taken up by plant roots and combined into organic substances in the plant, such as proteins, hormones, vitamins, enzymes, and chlorophyll. Chlorophyll gives the plant its green color and is responsible for photosynthesis. Without nitrogen, the plant simply cannot grow because it cannot produce proteins, amino acids, or even its very own DNA. This is why plants become stunted when they do not have access to enough nitrogen. They simply cannot make their own cells.
Symptoms of Nitrogen Deficiency
The most common symptom of nitrogen deficiency is a yellowing of the leaves, and lack of growth. Nitrogen is mobile in the plant, therefore the plant will transfer nitrogen from older leaves to feed younger, developing leaves. This causes the older leaves to gradually turn pale green or yellow, beginning in the tips of the leaves, then working its way toward the direction of the main stem. New growth becomes weak and spindly. Overall growth may also be stunted.
As the deficiency progresses, the older leaves become uniformly yellow (chlorotic). In an extreme nitrogen deficiency, leaves may approach a yellowish white color. Older leaves may show an increased tendency to wilt under mild water stress and fall off the plant much earlier than usual. The young leaves at the top of the plant usually turn pale green and become smaller in size. Branching is often reduced in nitrogen deficient plants, resulting in short, spindly plants.
Using Nitrogen Boost
Understanding the nitrogen requirements for plants makes it easier to meet their needs. If nitrogen deficiency symptoms are detected, immediately apply House & Garden’s Nitrogen Boost. Your garden will immediately look greener and lusher due to the additional levels of nitrogen available to the plant. Nitrogen Boost can be applied until the third week of flowering.
Always apply Nitrogen Boost at the rate recommended for your growing conditions and the type of plant that you grow. Excessive or improperly late-applied nitrogen can delay maturity, reduce yields and/or make the crop more attractive to insects. If the excess is severe, leaves will begin to dry up and fall off the plant. Immediately flush plants with clean water if your plants show any signs of nitrogen toxicity.