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Improving Performance With Calcium

Katherine Bennett & James E. Faust

Over the past five years, researchers Katherine Bennett and James E. Faust have investigated the role of calcium in bolstering plant health and resilience. Calcium is an essential nutrient that strengthens cell walls, enhancing the plant's ability to ward off pathogens.

A unique aspect of calcium is its immobility within plants, leading to deficiency symptoms in new growths. However, high levels of calcium can improve plant tissue strength and reduce susceptibility to Botrytis infections, even if there's no visual change in the plant. The uptake of calcium is passive and influenced by the plant's transpiration rate.

Consequently, environmental factors impacting transpiration can influence calcium uptake. Flowers, with their reduced transpiration rates, contain significantly lower calcium levels than leaves. Providing plants with calcium can be achieved through various methods, such as water-soluble fertilizers, incorporation into the growing media, natural presence in well water, or direct sprays onto plant tissues.

Future discussions in this series will further explore the benefits of calcium, particularly its role in strengthening leaves and reducing flower susceptibility to infections.

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improving performance with Calcium
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