Potassium deficiency

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Yellowing and brown necrosis spreading from margins between veins of older leaves (J. O'Sullivan).

Diagnostic summary

  • What you see on plants

- older leaves turn yellow and then necrotic in interveinal and marginal zones.


- symptoms usually develop some time after establishment, during the storage root development phase.


- young leaves remain of normal size and colour (but purple tips may be less purple than normal).


- mature leaves may show a pale green interveinal mottle.


- storage roots are small and thin.

  • This is a very common cause of low yields. Root crops have a high requirement for potassium, and several successive crops may deplete the soil of potassium.

  • Common when the soil has a history of cropping with root crops without potassium fertiliser.

Characteristics and occurrence


Confusion with other symptoms

Diagnostic tests




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