Plant Appearance

Fertilizer recommendations may be based on observations of plant leaves, shoots, and/or fruit, as these tissues produce characteristic symptoms of a given nutrient deficiency or excess. Generally, however, this method is inaccurate because (1) symptoms become visible only when nutritional maladies are severe; (2) many other factors, such as poor soil aeration, herbicide injury, insect damage, plant diseases, salinity, etc., may produce symptoms similar to those caused by nutritional disorders; and (3) visual plant observations are deceiving in cases of multielement deficiencies or excesses.

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