phosphate deficiency in tomato plants

Identifying a phosphate deficiency in tomatoes

Today we noticed a phosphate deficiency in some of our tomato seedlings.  This particular deficiency manifests itself in a tomato plant on the underside of the leaf.  You will see a  purple color on the underside of the leaf while the top is the normal green.  Here is an example.

The underside of each tomato leaf in these seedlings were all showing the same symptoms

The underside of this tomato leaf has gone puple, indicating a phosphate deficiency
Phosphate deficiency manifesting in tomatoes

Corrective action for a phosphate deficiency

Now that you have identified the deficiency it is actually easy to correct.  My preferred correction is made with an application of 1/4 ounce per linear foot of 0-45-0.  It is more commonly known as triple super phosphate.

How long will it take to correct the phosphate deficiency?

Often your deficiency will begin to get better within a few days as a result of you applying a correction of the phosphorus. Be sure you remember to water the triple super phosphate in with a watering wand.  You want to make certain that the phosphate gets down to the roots where the plant can utilize it.

If after a week you don’t see any change give it another correction and consider other problems.

Is triple super phosphate organic?

Absolutely.  Rest easy, if you’re striving to stay organic you’re good to go.



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