Last Updated on May 20, 2022 by Real Men Sow
If your garden has been subject to persistent rain for the past several days, you’ll expect all your plants to thrive during this. The majority of your plants may all become lush and green besides your tomato plants, whose once healthy leaves turned a dark yellow color. If that has happened, the only culprit could be magnesium deficiency.
Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms in Tomato Plants
A soil test is a great way to determine if your soil has low magnesium. If you are unable to perform this test for any reason you can do some detective work to determine what is ailing your tomato plants.
How Can You Recognize Tomato Magnesium Deficiency?
Magnesium deficiency manifests as yellow leaves with distinct green veins. This phenomenon is known as “interveinal chlorosis”. Magnesium, an important nutrient, powers chlorophyll formation. What you are seeing is chlorophyll-less foliage. The green chlorophyll that covers the leaves of trees in autumn is what makes them so beautiful. However, this is not what you want on your tomato plants in spring.
What Does Tomato Magnesium Deficiency Cause For The Leaves
As time passes, a magnesium deficiency can cause leaves to turn reddish-purple or brown. The chlorophyll levels also drop. The most affected are the older leaves.
In extreme cases, the leaves may die and plants can become weaker and produce poor fruit. Interveinal chlorosis can also be caused by a deficiency of other nutrients. It’s important that you consider all factors that could lead to a magnesium shortage before proceeding.
Causes of Magnesium Deficiency
Magnesium is a very common mineral and all but the poorest soils have plenty to spare. However, overuse of high-potassium fertilizers such as tomato feeds can result in plants being unable to take up magnesium efficiently.
Magnesium is easily washed out of sandy or other very free-draining soils after heavy rains or overwatering. My toms were planted in the greenhouse border so, considering how saturated the soil outside was, they were probably receiving plenty of moisture traveling horizontally through the soil. In retrospect, I should have eased off on the watering sooner!
How to Cure Tomato Magnesium Deficiency Using Epsom Salts
Epsom salts, also known as magnesium sulfate, are the fastest way to fix a magnesium deficiency. They can be purchased from pharmacies or online shops. In a spray bottle, mix a solution of Epsom salts to 1 liter (quarter gallon). Use a fine spray setting to wet your tomato plants’ leaves every two weeks. The leaves will absorb it quickly. Avoid spraying during hot sunny days and when there is likely to be rain.
Can You Overdose Epsom Salts For Tomato Plants
There will be a temptation to overdose, but don’t do it. Although it may seem that more is better, plants can be unable to absorb certain nutrients, which can lead to additional problems. It’s best to use an Epsom salt treatment in combination with a liquid seaweed fertilizer or tomato fertilizer that contains seaweed.
How Does Epsom Salts Help Tomato Plants
The nutrients in liquid seaweed will increase the plant’s vigor and speed up their recovery. This general plant tonic is also available in case of a wrong diagnosis. It is notoriously difficult to diagnose nutritional deficiencies.
If the excessive use of high-potassium fertilizers causes this, you should stop using tomato fertilizer until your symptoms improve. Mulch with well-rotted compost to increase the health of your tomato plants. The majority of nutrients in compost are rich, including magnesium. It will slowly be incorporated into soil by earthworms or other soil life. This will improve the soil’s structure, and allow it to retain magnesium and other nutrients. Keep in mind that the ultimate plant food is compost. It is the foundation of a healthy diet for plants.