Symptoms of Common Nutrient Deficiencies in Hydroponic Lettuce by Neil Mattson and Tanya Merrill

Education Industry News

Managing the nutrient solution of hydroponic crops can be much more challenging than container grown crops because: 1) hydroponic solutions are often captured and reused which can, overtime, lead to deficiencies of some elements and excess of others; and 2) pH changes much more quickly in hydroponics than in container-grown plants. Hydroponic growers should monitor nutrient solution pH and EC daily as well as periodically have their nutrient solution tested by a laboratory to make sure nutrient supply meets plant needs. Monitoring plants to look for visual symptoms is another tool that can be used to detect nutrient deficiencies. Lettuce is one of the most commonly grown hydroponic vegetables. Currently there are few resources in the literature regarding photographs and descriptions of common nutrient disorders in hydroponic lettuce. Therefore, the objective of this study was to grow butterhead lettuce in nutrient solutions deficient of individual macro- and micro-nutrients to document visual symptoms of nutrient deficiencies.

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