Foliar feeding is linked to higher yields and improved fruit quality but it comes with a warning.
Used in both vegetative and flowering stages by many growers, foliar feeding involves spraying water-dissolved formulas directly onto plant leaves. This method allows for nutrients to pass directly into the plant’s vascular system for visible results within 48 hours. However, foliar feeding is an application that needs to be done correctly.
Foliar feeding is suggested for plants exposed to conditions such as:
- High or low soil pH
- Heat stress
- Too low or too high soil moisture
- Root disease
- Pests and pathogens
- Nutrient imbalances
Advantages of Foliar Feeding
Fast nutrient uptake: Plants respond almost immediately to foliar feeding. Nutrient uptake is considered to be nearly 10 folds higher when it’s applied to the leaves compared to soil. As such, foliar feeding is a clever way to quickly treat deficiency symptoms.
Customized feeding:Since plants require varying amounts of nutrients as they mature, foliar applications during key growth stages can improve your crop’s yield and quality.
Drought resistant:Foliar spray can be applied when the topsoil doesn’t have enough moisture to properly absorb nutrients.
Limitations of Foliar Feeding
Insufficient dosage: The quantity of nutrients applied via foliar spray is not adequate to meet every nutrient requirement of the crop.
Phytotoxicity: Greater concentrations of nutrients in the foliar spray could cause leaf burn as water evaporates and salts remain.
Expense: Due to phytotoxicity concerns, small amounts of nutrients should be applied at a higher frequency. However, this practice can become costly and inefficient.
The do’s and don’ts of foliar feeding
While foliar feeding can be beneficial for your plants, if it’s carried out incorrectly, the application can be damaging to your plants. Here’s are the do’s and don’ts of foliar feeding for optimal plant growth.
Foliar Feeding Don’ts
Don’t use a foliar spray when your lights are on
The combination of liquid formulas and heat from your lights will burn the leaves of your plants. Additionally, when a plant gets too hot, its stomata open to cool down. If the leaf is covered in a liquid that is causing its surface to burn, the plant probably won’t survive. Likewise, foliar feeding is not recommended when the temperature exceeds 75°F The lower the temperature the better.
Don’t use a foliar spray when plants are flowering
Foliar feeding increases the moisture and humidity within the growing ecosystem. When your plant is in flower stage humidity is already high.
Don’t forget to dilute your foliar spray
Read the instructions and stick to the dilution rates on the foliar spray label. If anything, you should over-dilute the foliar spray just to stay on the safe side.
Foliar Feeding: The Dos
Do use a foliar spray in the dark
When a plant enters a dark period, its stem and leaves take about 15 minutes to relax. This is prime time for foliar spray.
Do apply foliar spray properly
Cover plant leaves and stems with a light, misty shower, allowing them to absorb every last drop before the lights come back on. For tight spaces and bottom of leaves, look for spray bottles that can be used upside down.
Do shop around for the best foliar spray
A wide range of foliar nutrient feeds are on the market today and any number of liquid formulas can be used as a spray.
Whether you’re looking for help with the overall health of your crop or an ally against plant pests and diseases, HYSHIELD is an effective way to protect your plants and boost yields. For a powerful foliar spray, just dilute 0.12 – 0.25 oz of HYSHIELD per gallon of water and spray on foliage 3-5 times per week. Stop the spray feed a week prior to harvest.
Our unique chitosan formula tricks plants into thinking they are being attacked by pests and, as a result, the plant’s immune system springs into protective mode. These natural defence mechanisms not only stimulate the plant’s immune system but also keep pests at bay.
Foliar spray is one of the most effective ways to apply HYSHIELD to plants and trigger its benefits.
- On July 28, 2020