Nutrient Basics - Sulfur

Sulfur or sulfate is involved in protein synthesis. It is important in plant metabolism and involved with synthesis and breakdown of fatty acids.

A Sulfur deficiency looks like a nitrogen deficiency accept it shows up in the young leaves first. The young leaves will show yellowing of the entire leaf including veins but usually do not dry out. Also, you may notice the stems are weak. You may notice the leaf tips may yellow and curl downward. Some plants may show purple at the tips of the branches. Purple color is normal in some plant varieties but not usually just at the growing tip.

Causes of Sulfur deficiency are very wet or sandy soils or when soils contain an excess of nitrogen

As with any nutrient too much is just as bad as too little sulfur toxicity will show up with leaf size being reduced and overall growth will be stunted. You will also notice leaves yellowing or scorched at the edges. Excess sulfur may cause early senescence (when plants begin to die back for the winter)

Good Growing,
Dr. E.R. Myers

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