Give Me a Bottle of Something – I’m Deficient!

(Is your Grow Store your fix? Maybe!)

One of the really cool parts of growing is you become attentive. You observe. When your plant looks wrong – you know it! So then you research and look for pictures similar and find the closest looking to your plant’s symptoms is a #### deficiency. Then you head to the grow store for some ##### supplement. At least that was my personal start to solving these kinds of problems. But then I realized food is only one aspect to plant health.

A deficiency could be the expression of other problems affecting your plant. There are many factors to consider before searching for chemicals or organics to supplement. If you are using a prepared hydroponic or organic blend suitable for the plant your growing, you really shouldn't see a deficiency.

The big common exception is calcium/magnesium deficiency. This nutrient when in short supply can cause a number of problems including blossom end rot in tomatoes. Some plants grow very fast and need constant supply of calcium otherwise the calcium with settle in soil, leaves or stems. Calcium supply is also affected by inconsistent watering. Some soils may have low levels of calcium and if you are using reverse osmosis water, then you also have reduced calcium. So calcium/magnesium supplementation can be helpful in many situations. But for other deficiency suspicions, you might suffer by turning to a supplement as the first attempt to resolve the problem. For example, you see yellow leaves and determine that your plant must need more nitrogen. That may be correct. But it might also be that you were over watering and adding the extra nitrogen didn't help and now the over-fertilization is attracting bugs.

Below is a check list of possible problems you can build on when diagnosing plant problems. View/Save Chart 

 Your grow store could be your “fix” for calcium/magnesium deficiencies.  But other deficiencies could point to other factors in your current environment that could be impacting health.  Maybe you need a fan for example!