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Calcium Supplementation and Deficiencies in Plant Growth

Michigan State University says 14 minerals are essential to a plant’s health. Michigan State University also says that calcium is one of those important minerals. But, what does it do in a plant? Why do you need to use it for your plants? What situations do you need to use it in your business? We are going to look at using calcium or calcium supplementation for your specific grows and why to consider it.

Why is this a thing?

A human and a plant are alike in that they need to take in nutrients to grow or repair. Of course we both do it differently, but it does not change the fact that we still need nutrients to repair or grow bigger. Therefore nutrient deficiency can be something that happens to a plant. Plants do not have a mouth so they cannot tell you what they need right away. You could have a nutrient deficiency in your grow and not even know about it. You have to know what to look for as far as a deficiency goes.

When does this actually happen?

The situation is much more common with people who are growing hydroponically. The truth is that most people who use soil are getting enough calcium and magnesium out of the soil to have a healthy plant. A person who grows their crop hydroponically has to supply all the nutrients through supplementation. It is in this situation that you are going to more likely run into a nutrient deficiency, if any exists. This is the secret sauce that most growers keep to themselves as far as their nutrient levels and what they are using. Nevertheless it is an issue you should be aware of because it could seriously stunt the growth of your crop and that might hurt your pocketbook in the long run. Keep in mind that some people like to start in soil and then move to a hydroponic method later. If you do this then you should probably monitor your calcium and magnesium levels just to make sure that your plants are getting enough.

You may be wondering what the deficiency looks like. We can tell you that a deficiency in calcium tends to show up as a smaller plant and possibly as localized rot. The most likely places you can observe this kind of problem is in your leaf tips, buds (if any), or the fruits of the plant. There is a good reason for this and we are about to tell you why this could be, but first you have to know what calcium actually does in a plant.

Calcium Supplementation can save money

What does calcium do?

Everyone knows that you drink milk to have strong bones. Everyone also knows that this is because milk has calcium. Plants do not drink milk therefore you have to supplement them if you are growing your products hydroponically. The calcium supplementation in milk and the calcium supplementation you will give to your plants function almost in the same way. Calcium gives strength to the bones in humans. Plants use calcium in their cell walls, therefore their structure is made healthy by the use of calcium. It is most likely why you would see rot and stunted growth–they do not have enough calcium to utilize in their cell structure to protect them or to grow even further out.

If you are growing hydroponically then you have to supply all of the nutrients to the plant. Most experts say that if you are using soil then you are getting enough calcium and magnesium for healthy plant growth. You probably do not need to supplement with a calcium magnesium appointment if you are using soil. There are some growers who do it anyway, but research shows that this may not help very much. But every grower is different and their mixture of supplements is different. There could be some benefit to it based on a few other factors including an important one that you may want to consider.

What about water quality?

You may have to consider a calcium-magnesium supplementation if you have and use treated water. Soft water is known for not having a lot of calcium and magnesium in it. If using treated or soft water then you may want to consider adding calcium-magnesium supplements to your product mix. On the other hand if you have hard water where you are then you may not have to supplement. It is because hard water is said to have a lot of calcium and magnesium in it. You may also want to consider supplementation if you live in a place that has high humidity or temperatures. You may also want to monitor your pH level–plants have calcium and magnesium deficiencies from environments with lower pH levels.

Finally the last thing you should consider is that a plant with a calcium deficiency will have a harder time transporting nutrients around itself. You have to go back to the cell wall. If cell walls are weak the plant will have a hard time pushing nutrients where they need to support growth. If you experience any symptoms of calcium or magnesium problems you should consider adding a supplement to your product mix.

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Referenced article:
Knowing nutrient mobility is helpful in diagnosing plant nutrient deficiencies