Cookies on Plantwise Knowledge Bank

Like most websites we use cookies. This is to ensure that we give you the best experience possible.


Continuing to use means you agree to our use of cookies. If you would like to, you can learn more about the cookies we use.

Plantwise Knowledge Bank

Your search results

Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers

Nutrient Deficiency


Recognize the problem

Stresses such as soil salinity, pathogens and air pollution induce their own characteristic set of visual symptoms. These symptoms closely resemble those of nutrient deficiency. Pathological symptoms can often be separated from nutritional symptoms by their distribution in a population of affected plants. If the plants are under a nutrient stress, all plants of a given type and age in the same environment tend to develop similar symptoms at the same time. To study the exact cause of the disease, plant parts are to be examined for the following:

1)    Specific nutritional problem for deficiency

2)    Nutrient requirement of the crop

3)    Concentration of nutrients for the recommendations


Visible nutrient deficiency symptoms can be a very powerful diagnostic tool for evaluating the nutrient status of plants. Many of the classic deficiency symptoms such as tip burn, chlorosis and necrosis are characteristically associated with more than one mineral deficiency and also with other stresses that by themselves are not diagnostic for any specific nutrient stress. Their detection is extremely useful in making an evaluation of nutrient status. The nutrients used by and available to crops must be balanced.


  • Proper nutrients should be provided to the plant
  • To advise the recommendation, the mature plant parts should be sent for analysis
  • Correct growth stage and time are the most crucial things in plant analysis. Plant parts that correlate with the yield should be selected.
  • Different methods are adopted to prepare plant samples for analysis. These are total leaf analysis, pot culture and tissue testing.
  • The plant samples should be well processed through standard method to avoid any contamination.

The recommendations in this factsheet are relevant to: India

Authors: S. G. Matale
tel: 08149693479 email:
©CAB International. Published under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 licence.

Plantwise Factsheets Library app

Get all of the factsheets and pest management decision guides from this website in an offline format via the Plantwise Factsheets Library app.