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Making Calcium Work for You

Katherine Bennett & James E. Faust's article emphasizes the importance of calcium nutrition in enhancing plant resilience, making leaves more durable and flowers resistant to Botrytis infection. Their research on petunias highlighted that while calcium application has evident benefits, it can also cause phytotoxicity or tissue damage, particularly when concentrations are too high. The risk of this damage varies based on the calcium source, plant species, and environmental conditions during application.

Among the various calcium sources tested, calcium chloride showed the least phytotoxicity and proved effective against Botrytis at optimal concentrations, while others like calcium chelate were harmful to petunias. The research suggests that calcium application is a potential alternative to fungicides in combating Botrytis, given the rising resistance of the fungus to multiple fungicides. However, growers must exercise caution when applying to avoid damaging their crops.

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