Taken up as ionic Mg2+ Magnesium is essential for chlorophyll and sugar formation, playing a central role in maintaining green leaf area and photosynthesis. In addition, Mg is vital for activating enzymes that promote growth and stimulate immune system responses.
Magnesium promotes canopy and fruit development, sugar formation and the uptake of major nutrients, particularly nitrogen and potassium. Low Mg status results in poor nutrient recovery, low growth rates, increased biotic stress and early senescence.
Low Magnesium status affects older leaves first. The main veins on the leaf remain dark green, while the interveinal leaf area goes uniform pale green to yellow, eventually becoming brown and necrotic.
Magnesium stress can affect plant uptake of Nitrogen and Potassium, leading to early maturity and poor development of fruit, with low sugar content. In addition, plant defence and disease resistance can be restricted. Mg stress is often worse in compacted or alkaline soils, during hot, dry growing conditions and when crops are fed high levels of nitrogen-potassium fertiliser.
Usually found on the older leaves of both ornamental plants and tomatoes, for example as an interveinal chlorosis. When severely deficient, leaves can abort and fall off. Spotting or interveinal yellowing are the first symptoms. If not dealt with efficiently the problem will move upwards, affecting other parts of the plant. Magnesium deficiency will seriously affect crop growth, quality and yield.
Check soil status and correct if necessary. Foliar treatment as soon as symptoms appear can be very effective. Routine foliar Mg can improve the later stages of yield building and quality forming.
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