Last updated: November 18, 2021

What Does Chlorosis Mean?

Chlorosis is derived from the Greek word Khloros, which means 'greenish-yellow', 'pale green', 'pale', 'pallid', or 'fresh'. In terms of gardening, chlorosis describes a condition in which plants have insufficient chlorophyll (the compound that produces green pigmentation on leaves). This results in pale or yellow colored leaves.

Chlorosis, which is the inadequate green pigmentation on leaves, hinders carbohydrate manufacturing during photosynthesis, intervenes the plant nutrition, and ultimately leads to the death of the plant. However, there are a few chlorotic plants that are exceptions like the albino Arabidopsis thaliana mutant that are immune.


Maximum Yield Explains Chlorosis

The onset of chlorosis is most often triggered the plant having a lack of nutrients to synthesize, along with deficiencies of minerals like iron, magnesium, or zinc, along with a deficiency of nitrogen and proteins. A soil pH that is out of range (at which minerals become unavailable for absorption by the roots) may be another factor leading to chlorosis. Waterlogged roots due to poor drainage and damaged or compacted roots might also lead to this condition.

The symptoms of chlorosis can differ depending on factors like the alkalinity of soil, where the higher the pH level, the more chlorotic the plant is. Similarly, the longer a plant has been chlorotic, the more intense the chlorosis is. Most of the time mild chlorosis starts as a paling of interveinal tissues (green color) and a more serious condition of chlorosis would result in yellow color overall. In only a few cases, only a part of the plant is chlorotic and the affected areas may be stunted or fail to produce flowers and fruits. In addition, chlorotic leaves are more prone to scorching and leaf diseases.

Treatment for chlorosis differs with the cause of chlorosis. If it is due to soil compaction, poor drainage, poor root growth, or root injury, then core aerification, tiling, mulching, or some other cultural practice may be needed. Other solutions include foliar application of nutrients, trunk injections, soil treatments, and so on.


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