Documenting Nutrient Deficiency and Accumulation Rate in Vegetables

Greenhouse hydroponic study to document nutrient deficiency symptoms in various annual and perennial crops


26 Mar 2015

2014 Annual Interpretive Summary

Using nutrient deficiency symptoms alone to identify plant stress can be challenging. Different plant species express symptoms in unique ways, making diagnosis difficult. The purpose of this project is to develop high-resolution photographs of nutrient deficiency symptoms of important horticultural crops under carefully controlled growing conditions. Using hydroponic culture in the greenhouse, each essential plant nutrient is individually omitted from the nutrient solution and deficiencies are allowed to develop. High-resolution photographs are taken throughout the growing season as the symptoms appear in the foliage or in the harvested plant part. Symptoms of several crops have now been completed (including cucumbers, okra, blueberry, coffee, lettuce, papaya), with broccoli being most recently added to the collection.

This image catalog will allow field practitioners to better identify nutrient disorders and implement appropriate management interventions to relieve nutrient stress.