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Copper Deficiency

Copper Deficiency

You're dealing with a lack of copper when young leaves start to wither and dry out. This happens because copper is not mobile in the plant, meaning young leaves draw copper from older leaves. The leaves curl down and hang limp. They will also get a faint blue glow. Stems, branches and twigs can be less strong and might break easier. A plant with copper deficiency will also grow slower than a healthy one.

How do you recognise a copper deficiency?

  • Wilting and desiccation of younger leaves.
  • Leaves curl down and get a faint blue glow.
  • Stems, branches and twigs are less strong.
  • Small leaves with brown spots.
  • Tip burns on the leaves.
  • Delayed growth.
  • Young leaves turn dark green and will twist.

What is the (possible) cause?

  • Low copper levels in the soil or substrate.
  • The pH value of the soil or substrate is too high.
  • Too much iron, aluminium, manganese or calcium in the soil.
  • The root of your plant system functions poorly. This can be due to diseases, damage or low temperature.

How can you prevent it?

Prevention is better than cure. Choose a copper rich potting soil for your plant to grow in. Use one of our basic nutrients (like Dutch Pro Soil or Hydro/Cocos A+B) to reduce the likelihood of a deficiency. Also keep abiotic factors in mind. These include temperature, light intensity, acidity, amount of moisture and wind strength.

How can you cure it?

You can add extra copper by fertilising. If you think a high pH value is the cause, we recommend rinsing your system with clean, pH-controlled water. Results will be visible within a few days. Older leaves might not recover and are best removed. You can also use a pH additive such as Growth Technology pH DOWN.

What does copper do for the plant?

Copper increases the resistance of the plant. It plays a role in enzyme reactions that are important for photosynthesis. In addition, copper ensures the formation of lignin. Lignin makes the cell wall waterproof, sturdy and better protected against bacteria and fungi.
an overview shot of some leaves and a stem that are suffering from a copper deficiency
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