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Plants and Water

Posted By: Plant Magic

Does Foliar Feeding Work?

Foliar feeding allows for direct plant fertilisation by spraying nutrients on the leaves and the stems. The nutrients are subsequently absorbed and utilised by the plants, which is why foliar feeding is thought to be an extremely quick method.

Providing plants with plant food through foliar feeding can help nutrients to supercharge plants, improving yield and plant health. The danger of leaf burn can be a downside with foliar feeding and following instructions closely is essential.

Foliar feeding’s effectiveness is affected by a few factors, which can help to improve or decrease its efficiency.

 

Surfactants Use

Ensuring the foliar feed covers leaves appropriately is very important and surfactants help to prevent the solution from being concentrated in droplets because of surface tension. Plants form a cuticle, or a wax layer, as a defence mechanism to ensure foreign substances aren't absorbed through the leaves.

A surfactant in a foliar feed will improve the solution’s absorption and coverage through the cuticle. The surfactant used needs to be compatible with the used foliar solution, which will depend on both the composition and the wax content of leaves. Plants’ surrounding environment will affect both of these factors.


pH Levels

The pH level of the foliar feed will affect how the nutrients’ solubility and how they interact with other components. For plants to absorb nutrients adequately, nutrients need to be in a soluble form. Acidic pH levels (pH 4.0 to 6.0) tend to improve how the nutrients are absorbed through the surfaces of the leaves.

Hydroponic PlantsAdditionally, pH levels can affect the sprayed compounds’ phytotoxicity and the cuticle’s charge, the latter which relates to the selectivity of ions of the leaves. Should the foliar feed have a pH imbalance, it can easily cause burn areas in plants and lead to leaf spotting, dead leaf tips, soft tissue death, and other dead areas in the plants. Managing pH levels is vital for plant health:

  • As solubility increases, pH levels decrease.
  • Fungi and certain beneficial insects can be controlled with acidic solutions.
  • pH levels of 6.0 or below tend to help pesticides be more effective.
  • Leaf burn is caused by either extremely high or extremely low pH levels.

Our suggestion: Evolution, which is a tonic designed to revive struggling plants and provide much needed nutrients.

 

Volume of the Spray

The efficiency of nutrient absorption will also depend on the volume of the spray of the foliar solution. With higher volumes of spray, there is a more effective and a more uniform coverage. With a lower volume of spray, the opposite is observed.

Balance is essential, so that the volume of the spray isn’t too high and it runs off the leaves but also that it covers leaves appropriately. The entire canopy and new leaves in particular must be covered. A higher concentration of foliar spray will increase the uptake.

Hydroponic nutrients help plants to grow healthy and strong, providing better yields with higher disease resistance. Get in touch with our team to enquire about our range of hydroponic solutions.

Our Blog: Hydroponic Tips & Tricks

Whether you are an expert who already has a thriving crop of healthy plants, or you are trying to grow your very first hydroponic yield, we can help you to grow the strong and healthy crops you have always wanted.

Here at Plant Magic Plus, our team of gardening experts work very hard behind the scenes to provide you with the high quality nutrients, additives and growing media that will help you to get the most out of your growing plants.

But we understand that successful horticulture is about more than just having good quality chemicals, nutrients or fetilisers, that's why we have written this blog to provide you with the insights, tips and techniques you will need to give your garden that extra magic touch.

From helpful advice about watering your plants in soil and a guide to magnesium nutrients, to top tips about growing hydroponic vegetables and a comprehensive overview of microbes, we’ve got everything covered.

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