|Iron chlorosis on purple leaf plum|
Q. I have two purple leaf plum trees, both about 2 years old. They started the year beautifully. One continues to look normal but the other one has all of a sudden taken a turn that bothers me. The leaves are getting pale and see-through-ish. It is a nice full tree, yet young. Is this as simple as not enough water or something else? It had a great year last year.
A. It is most likely iron chlorosis. On purple leaf plum, an ornamental, the leaves turn a pinkish color and eventually very pale instead of the yellow or light green color with green veins we see in plants with green leaves.
If you want to see if a lack of iron is the problem, then make five liquid applications of an iron chelate to the same leaves, using a spray bottle, several days apart. Add a few drops of Ivory liquid detergent to the spray bottle to improve the penetration of iron through the leaf surface.
|Severe chlorosis on fruiting (green leaved) plum|
If it is an iron problem, the leaves will eventually, and progressively with each spray, begin turning their normal dark purple color. It will take several applications with a spray bottle to the same few leaves to make this happen.
Liquid applications to the leaves are not typically as effective as applying it to the soil but you will see the results sooner. One or two applications applied to the leaves will not be enough.
Otherwise, buy some iron chelate containing the EDDHA chelate and apply it to the soil. Do this by dissolving the iron chelate in a bucket of water and wash it in around the roots. You should see a response in the new leaves that come out after the application has been made. This discoloration is also possible if the tree roots are being kept too wet (poor drainage) or if they are damaged.