Copper deficiency

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Mottled or patchy yellowing, necrotic spots and droopiness of mature leaves.


Deformities, puckering and holes in young leaves.


Blackening of root cortical tissue just under the skin.

Diagnostic summary

  • What you see on plants

(any one of the following is indicative; rarely all are present)

- stunted growth.


- mottled interveinal chlorosis and drooping of mature leaves.

- small necrotic spots on mid and older leaves, followed by yellowing of the area around the spots, then spreading necrosis.

- young leaves may show various deformities including puckering, missing sections of blade and irregular holes.

- the upper surface of young unexpanded leaves may have a silvery appearance.

- storage roots with patches of brown or black in the subsurface layer, at harvest or after a short period of storage.

  • Occurs in calcareous (alkaline) soils, acidic sandy soils, organic (peaty) soils.

Characteristics and occurrence


Confusion with other symptoms

Diagnostic tests



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