No, it's not a new brand of mouthwash.
Chlorosis is the plant equivalent of a human gasping for air. It is the word used to describe the yellowing or bleaching of leaves frequently caused by insufficient sunlight. Or, it might be too much water or disease. Or it might be pest feeding. Or a nutrient imbalance.
Plants suffering from chlorosis are unable to produce chlorophyll. Since plants need chlorophyll to help them convert sunlight into energy, it’s a significant problem that warrants a closer look without delay.
If you notice chlorosis on any of your plants, consider these possible causes:
When I first bought my home, I sent soil samples to the University of Massachusetts Extension lab. [I think over-the-counter soil tests are a waste of money.] For the price of a bag of fertilizer, I learned exactly what was (and wasn't) in my soil.
My soil test results told me that my soil had a superabundance of every nutrient known to humanity except iron. Since plants use iron to process nearly every other nutrient, the previous owner kept adding more fertilizer whenever her plants started yellowing. As a result, the soil had too many nutrients, interfering with the delicate chemical dance between microorganisms, plant roots, water, and nutrients.
I sprayed my plants with liquid iron and applied ammonium sulfate. Over a few years, I was able to bring the excessive nutrient levels down a bit (which is harder than you might expect) and iron levels up. As a result, chlorosis was less common, my plants were healthier, and I saved money on fertilizer that I didn't need.
As soon as you correct the problem causing chlorosis, your plant's little energy factory will kick right in. Everything should start greening up pretty quickly.
You can grow a surprising amount of food in your own yard. Ask me how!
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