If you’re a greenhouse, you may already know that calcium is crucial to plant development. Firstly, it helps the plant grow which is essential to growing profitable plants in the horticulture industry. Calcium also helps to strengthen the cell walls, which make it difficult for pathogens to invade. Plus, it contributes to stronger stems.

blooming, calcium rich plants

So what happens when plants don’t receive enough calcium?

There could be a variety of problems such as chlorosis, necrosis, or abnormalities in young leaves, as well as irregular bulbs and fruit.  Calcium can become immobile in some plants, and older plant tissue will not provide calcium to younger leaves. So, these are not ideal conditions.

plant with leaf burn

What can be done to provide plants with enough of it?

In cabbage and kale, calcium deficiency is related to poor transpiration under hot and humid summer conditions. Calcium may be present in the medium, but it may not translocate up from the roots. This creates leaf burn. Using foliar spray once a week (when conditions favor deficiency) with a calcium nitrate fertilizer may reduce this leaf burn.

Blossom end rot on tomato plants can often be mistaken as disease. Typically this can be seen on blossoms furthest away from the stem. Plants are more susceptible when exposed to sudden periods of drought and high soluble salts.

Poinsettias can also be affected by calcium deficiency, which can first look like puckered leaves, often with the tip of the leaf  hooked down toward the ground.

By making sure every plant is receiving enough calcium, you will prevent these issues and have beautiful, store ready plants for your customers.

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