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Signs of damage
- Wilting on dry, sunny days and drooping appearance.
- Young leaves' growth is stunted, while old leaves are affected first.
- Color changes on leaves. Darker to bluish-green leaves that sometimes develop a metallic bronze-like shine.
- Chlorosis. Particularly between the leaf's veins. Also, purple spots tend to appear underneath the leaves.
- Necrosis of leaf margins and curling up of the leaves tips.
- Stunted growth and fruit development.
- Plants become more prone to frost damage and diseases.
- Crop-specific symptoms. Apples tend to get more acidic and have a slight taste of wood.
How to prevent
The quality of the soil is directly linked to potassium levels in plants. Properly moist soil will help with potassium uptake through the plant's roots. An increase of soil organic matter through compost or manure will also increase and stabilize potassium levels. Depending on the plant's specific needs, choosing water and moisture-retaining soil will prevent potassium and other soluble nutrients from washing off quickly.
With nutrient deficiencies, the plants will start to benefit from fertilizer treatments from the start. This can be done with potassium chloride, the most widely used fertilizer, or alternatives such as potassium nitrate or potassium sulfate. All of this will deliver the necessary amounts of potassium to the environment. Organic alternatives such as seaweed meal or compost rich in decaying banana peels are also available.
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