Calcium (Ca)

 

Calcium is widely recognized for its important function in plants to increase nutrient uptake, build strong cell walls for sturdier plants, and increase vitality. Maintaining high levels of bio-available calcium in your soil is critical in achieving adequate levels of Calcium uptake. Calcium plays a very important role in plant growth and nutrition, as well as in cell wall deposition. The primary roles of Calcium as a soil amendment are to help maintain chemical balance in the soil, reduce soil salinity, and improve water penetration. Calcium also plays a critical metabolic role in carbohydrate removal and neutralizing cell acids. Every plant needs Calcium to grow. However, once fixed, Calcium is not mobile in the plant. It is an important constituent of cell walls and can only be supplied in the xylem sap. Thus, if the plant's supply of Calcium is diminished, it cannot remobilize Calcium from its older tissues. If transpiration is reduced for any reason, the Calcium supply to growing tissues will rapidly become inadequate.

 

A Calcium deficiency will cause severe plant stress. Visual symptoms include: necrosis at the tips and margins of young leaves; bulb and fruit abnormalities; deformation of leaves; highly branched, short, brown root systems; severe, stunted growth; and general chlorosis.

 

It is important to note that even though many soils contain high levels of insoluble Calcium such as Calcium carbonate, crops grown in these soils will often show symptoms of a Calcium deficiency.

 

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