Iron Deficiency

Iron is one of the trace elements needed in minute quantities for plant growth.  Without it chlorophyll is not produced.  If the iron supply is deficient, chlorosis (yellowing of the foliage) occurs and production of food by the leaves is seriously hampered or stopped.

Iron deficiency is easy to recognize because it causes the tissue between leaf veins to turn yellow but the veins stay green.  If a plant remains iron deficient for several years it may die.

The trouble is rarely lack of iron in the soil.  A much more common occurrence is one where the iron element is tied up chemically in a form that makes it unavailable to the roots.  In a soil high in pH, acid loving plants are susceptible to iron chlorosis.  If they are planted near foundations of buildings they sometimes suffer in this way because lime is released from the concrete or mortar.  In poorly drained soil they may behave similarly.  In a spring that is cool and wet iron deficiency may also be more noticeable due to excessive moisture in the soil and the low soil temperatures.

Plant species vary in their susceptibility to iron deficiency with roses, raspberries, mountain ash, spirea, apple, currant, and cranberry, birch, strawberry and elder being the most susceptible.  Conifers such as pine, fir, junipers, cedars and spruce are less susceptible but may show general needle yellowing especially on the new growth.  Other plants may also become iron deficient.


Iron deficiency in plants is corrected by supplying minute amounts or iron in a form available to them.  The most rapid results are obtained by the convenient method of applying chelated iron as a foliage spray or watering into the ground.  The additions of scrap iron to the soil do not appear to be beneficial to plants.


Apply at any time during the growing season when symptoms of iron deficiency occur.  Re apply one month later if symptoms persist.  Iron deficiencies cannot be rectified with only one treatment.  

Plant Prod 7% Iron Chelate 
  • Quick green-up results - 3 to 7 days on smaller plants
  • Effective over a broad range of pH
  • 7% iron chelate - concentrated and goes further (250g covers 500m2 of lawn)
  • No sulfates - non-burning
  • Dissolves quickly, does not plug hose-end sprayers