Iron deficiency is a nutritional problem that can occur in woody and herbaceous plants in landscapes, nurseries, greenhouses, and production fields. It is most often associated with soils that have neutral or alkaline pH (pH 7.0 or above). Plants that grow best in acidic soils are particularly vulnerable to this condition. In Kentucky, iron deficiency is most commonly observed on pin oak, willow oak, azalea, rhododendron, and blueberry, but other woody plants are also susceptible.
This fact sheet discusses iron deficiency symptoms, cause, diagnosis, and short-term and long-term management of iron deficiency problems. A table listing woody plants sensitive to iron deficiency is also included.
Iron Deficiency of Woody Plants (ID-84) is available online.
For publications on woody ornamental diseases, visit the UK Plant Pathology Extension Publications webpage.
By Cheryl Kaiser, Plant Pathology Extension Support, and Nicole Gauthier, Plant Pathology Extension Specialist