What are nutrient deficiencies?

Some garden soils and potting composts suffer from a lack of nutrient content, leading to deficiency symptoms in the plants growing in them.

Plants can also suffer deficiencies where the growing conditions are poor and the plants are unable to take up nutrients present in the soil. Very acid or alkaline conditions, dryness and water-logging can all make it difficult for plants to take up soil nutrients.

Nutrient deficiencies cause symptoms such as leaf yellowing or browning, sometimes in distinctive patterns. This may be accompanied by stunted growth and poor flowering or fruiting.