Chlorosis: Symptoms, Prevention and Treatments

Chlorosis is a discoloration of the leaves of plants due to a deficiency of minerals and especially iron. It is characterized by yellowing of the leaves and tends to stunt the growth of affected plants. Here are some tips to combat chlorosis in the garden.


The chlorosis comes from a mineral deficiency of the plant or a soil that is too calcareous, but this is not a disease. The plant will then not be able to put its roots into the ground properly and will tend to become loose. This is one of the main symptoms of this problem.

When a plant is touched, we see a yellowing growth on the oldest leaves then slowed down, because photosynthesis is less and less present. Finally, as the youngest leaves are also starting to turn yellow.

Depending on the deficiency, other symptoms may be observed. During a magnesium deficiency, the leaves change from a yellow color, then brown and eventually fall. If it is a lack of phosphorus, the leaves will change color as with the magnesium† As the plant produces fruits, they will become less and less regular. Finally a shortage of nitrogen- completely discolors the leaves.

The plants most susceptible to chlorosis are: azaleasthe rhododendronsbut also the roses

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Prevention and Treatment

To avoid the risk of chlorosis, a soil investigation Before planting, the best preventive measure is to know what type of soil you have. The organization of the garden can then be done based on the results obtained. To reduce the risk of iron chlorosis, it is recommended to water the garden with rainwater

As for the treatment more specifically, it is enough to disperse bone meal at plant level in spring for nitrogen chlorosis. For iron chlorosis you can also sprinkle in addition to using rainwater iron chelate during the month of March. For the rest, a nice contribution from compost reduces the impact of chlorosis.

It is possible to solve this problem even under the potted plants† The easiest way in this case is to repot the plant with new soil. A contribution in fertilizer is also recommended to provide the minerals and nutrients necessary for proper plant growth. It is also possible to place objects lightly rusty in the soil if the plant is susceptible to iron chlorosis.