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Monday, March 25, 2013

Pink Leaves on Purple Plum Probably Iron Problem

Iron chlorosis on purple leaf plum
Q. I have two red leaf plum trees both about two 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, pink instead of red and see through-ish. It is a nice full tree yet young. Is it as simple as not enough water or something else? It had a great year last year.

A. It is most likely iron chlorosis. If you want to see if that is the problem try making a few liquid applications of an iron chelate to some leaves using a spray bottle to see if this turns them dark purple (I am assuming you have a purple leaf plum).

            It may take four or five applications with a spray bottle to the same few leaves a couple of days apart since liquid applications to the leaves are not typically as effective as applying it to the soil. Otherwise buy some iron chelate containing the EDDHA chelate and apply it to the soil in a bucket of water and wash it in around the roots.

            You should see it turn dark purple in growth that comes out AFTER you make the application to the soil. This discoloration is also possible if the tree roots are being kept too wet by watering too often or you have poor drainage.

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