Deficiency Symptoms ABC

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Boron deficiency (B)

Boron deficiency in vegetables may often be discerned at the meristems. A lack of boron may cause roots to become hollow and to die off. Leaves may appear malformed, and fructification is reduced. As is the case in sugar beet, boron deficiency may also cause so-called “heart rot” in other root vegetables.


Boron deficiency in aubergines, cucumbers and tomatoes frequently occurs on alkaline soils, and in aubergines will cause thickening of the abaxial leaf veins. Tomatoes will exhibit reduced fructification, stunted shoot growth as well as brittle young leaves, with thickened leaf veins. There may also be orange discolouration, beginning with younger leaves. In cucumbers, boron deficiency will manifest as deformed leaves and thickened abaxial veins. Cucumbers are however less frequently affected. Typical symptoms of boron deficiency in cabbage are hollow stems and, in case of prolonged deficiency, necrotic tips. This will have a negative impact on plant growth.


Cultivation of vegetables on calcareous soils (>5% CaCO3) should be avoided. In order to prevent boron deficiency on normal soil, periodical foliar application of EPSO Microtop® is advisable. These applications may be combined with plant protection measures. An alternative is to use a nutrient solution via irrigation system. If recognised in time, even an already-existing boron deficiency may be addressed by way of (foliar) application.

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