Manganese (Mn)

Last updated: November 19, 2021

What Does Manganese (Mn) Mean?

Manganese is an element with the atomic number 25 and is often in minerals containing iron. In horticulture, manganese is associated with the oxygen-evolving photosynthesis process of a plant.

Manganese is an important trace element in plants. Without it, photosynthesis would not take place.


Maximum Yield Explains Manganese (Mn)

Manganese is a metallic element and one of 13 minerals natural to soil. A plant draws manganese through its roots to its stem and leaves.

Manganese is the backbone of photosynthesis and is the reason leaves have their green color. Chlorophyll can’t capture sunlight’s energy for photosynthesis without manganese.

Soils high in organic matter are also higher in manganese, but manganese can be leached from lighter soils like sand. For these reasons, manganese deficiencies are quite common in light soil or soils with limited organic matter.

Prolonged periods of heavy rain can also produce a manganese deficiency by speeding up the leaching process.

Plants suffering a manganese deficiency will show signs first on the older leaves first, which turn yellow and weak. Because photosynthesis cannot properly take place, plants suffering a deficiency will lose their lushness, have a faded appearance, and appear weak overall.

Sometimes the leaves of a plant with a manganese deficiency will turn purple, red, or brown. This is because chlorophyll is not being properly produced and utilized. If left untreated, the plant will eventually die.

Adding compost to a garden to increase its organic matter will greatly reduce a manganese deficiency. There are also chemical leaf sprays available that can boost manganese. Some people have found that adding Epsom salts to their soil will also boost levels of the micronutrient.


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