(7 Fixes) Magnesium Deficiency in Soil, Causes & Effects

Are you looking for a way to improve your garden’s soil health? If so, find Magnesium Deficiency in Soil, Causes, and Effects consider adding magnesium to your soil.

Magnesium is essential for plant growth and can often be lacking in soils that have been overworked or are nutrient-poor.

Luckily, adding magnesium is relatively easy and can be done using natural or artificial methods.

why do plants need magnesium?

Magnesium is a secondary nutrient that is crucial to a plant’s overall health.

As the atom that is located in the middle of the chlorophyll molecule, it is essential to the process of photosynthesis, and it also enables plants to make better use of other nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus.

Plants may exhibit symptoms of magnesium shortage, such as yellowing leaves (particularly in the veins), stunted growth, or poor yield when magnesium levels are too low.

These symptoms can be caused by a lack of magnesium.

Magnesium Deficiency In Soil – Symptoms

Symptoms of magnesium deficiency in plants

Have you ever wondered why your plants can’t seem to get big and healthy no matter how much you water and fertilize them?

Well, it might not be your green thumb. That’s the problem – it might be your soil!

Keep reading to learn more about the symptoms of magnesium deficiency in soil and how to fix magnesium deficiency in soil:

1. Interveinal Chlorosis

Interveinal chlorosis is a symptom of magnesium deficiency. The condition causes leaves to turn yellow between the veins, hence the name.

2. Necrosis

Dark necrotic spots are a telltale sign that a plant suffers from magnesium deficiency. These spots can be found on the leaves of the plant.

These spots will ultimately dry out and fall off, leaving a hole in the leaf behind when they have done so. It is also possible for the plant to perish because of the deficit if the condition is severe enough.

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3. Stunted Growth

When a plant doesn’t get enough magnesium, it can’t produce chlorophyll as effectively, stunting its growth.

This can be corrected by adding magnesium to the soil, but it’s essential to identify the deficiency early on, as stunted growth can be challenging to reverse.

Magnesium Deficiency In Soil – Causes

In case you didn’t know, magnesium is vital for plant growth. A lack of magnesium can cause plants to become stunted, discolored, and less productive.

Unfortunately, many soils are deficient in this crucial nutrient. Read on to learn more about the causes of magnesium deficiency in soil and how to remedy it.

1. Incorrect Soil Ph

An incorrect pH in the soil can cause a magnesium deficit in plants. Multiple metabolic processes, including photosynthesis and nitrogen fixation, need the presence of the ion magnesium.

Magnesium becomes unavailable to plants when the soil pH is too high or too low, leading to deficiency symptoms.

2. Poor Soil Conditions

Soil health is a significant factor in plant health. When soil is deficient in magnesium, plants cannot take up the nutrient, which can lead to magnesium deficiency.

Magnesium insufficiency can be caused by soil conditions that are not optimal, such as compacted soil or low pH levels.

3. Nutrient Imbalance

A nutrient imbalance is a common cause of magnesium deficiency in the soil. When there is an imbalance, the plant cannot take up the magnesium efficiently, which can lead to a deficiency.

A few things can cause a nutrient imbalance, including over-fertilization, acid rain, and too much salt in the soil.

Also, read below fixes for nutrient imbalance.

How Do You Find Out If The Soil Doesn’t Have Enough Magnesium?

symptoms of deficiency of magnesium in plants

There are various ways to determine whether the soil has enough magnesium. One option is getting a soil test kit from a store that specializes in gardening supplies.

This kit will usually include a testing solution and a color chart. Follow the instructions that come with the kit to use it.

Another way to test for magnesium deficiency is to try the penny test. For this test, you will need a copper penny and white paper.

  • First, place the penny on the paper and then add a drop of water to it.
  • Next, wait for the water to evaporate and then observe the color of the penny.
  • If the penny is orange or brown, this indicates that there is not enough magnesium in the soil.
  • Finally, another way to test for magnesium deficiency is to observe the plants growing in the soil.
  • If the leaves are pale or yellow, this is often an indication that the plant is not getting enough magnesium.

It is required to do magnesium deficiency testing on soil since this micronutrient is critical for the development of plants.

Without sufficient magnesium, plants won’t be able to create chlorophyll, which could lead to their death in the long run.

Magnesium Deficiency In Soil – Solutions

Several farmers have reported struggling with magnesium insufficiency in recent years. Let’s discuss the various methods of fixing magnesium deficiency. Stay tuned to learn more!

1. Epsom Salt

Epsom salt is a natural way to provide magnesium to plants and helps improve the overall quality of the soil.

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How To Add Epsom Salt To Soil

While there are many ways to provide nutrients, one of the simplest is to add Epsom salt to the soil. Epsom salt is rich in magnesium, an essential element in photosynthesis.

Additionally, magnesium helps stimulate strong root growth and reduces the yellowing of leaf tissue, which also benefits magnesium supplementation.

To make an Epsom salt solution, combine one cup of salt with two gallons of water, then spread the solution on the soil around the plant’s base.

For best results, use the solution every 4-6 weeks. With a little effort, Epsom salt can help roses thrive and produce an abundance of beautiful blooms.

How to Make a Foliar Spray with Epsom Salt

A mineral that occurs naturally and can be utilized to stimulate the growth of plants is known as Epsom salt.

Its use as a foliar spray may enhance the plant’s capability to take in nutrients and improve its health.

To make a foliar spray with Epsom salt:

  • Mix 1 tablespoon of salt with 1 gallon of water and mix until the salt is dissolved.
  • To facilitate even distribution, add a few drops of soap solution after the salt has dissolved.
  • Then, apply the spray to the leaves of the plant, carefully avoiding the stem and buds.

Apply the spray in the evening so the leaves have time to absorb the solution before being exposed to direct sunlight.

With regular applications, you should notice an improvement in the health of your plants.

2. Dolomite Lime

Dolomite lime is a soil amendment used to fix magnesium deficiency in the soil. It comprises calcium and magnesium carbonate, both minerals essential for plant growth.

Dolomite lime can be applied to the soil by broadcasting it over the surface or incorporating it into the soil.

It is a slow-release fertilizer, so it will continue to provide magnesium to the plants over an extended period.

3. Sulfate Of Potash Magnesia

Sulfate of potash magnesia is a way to fix magnesium deficiency in the soil.

The magnesium in the sulfate helps improve the soil’s physical and chemical properties, which can help plants grow better.

4. Compost Or Manure

Compost or manure is a great way to fix magnesium deficiency in the soil. It is also a great way to add organic matter to the soil, which helps improve soil quality and drainage.

5. Fertilizer

Using fertilizer is one approach to increase the soil’s magnesium content.

Magnesium is crucial for plant health; without it, plants may experience growth retardation or leaf yellowing.

Fertilizers have the potential to alleviate this issue and promote the robust and healthy growth of plants.

Magnesium Deficiency In Soil – Prevention

Magnesium deficiency is a common issue with soil, but there are ways to prevent it.

Adding the proper nutrients to your soil can help keep magnesium levels up and ensure your plants are healthy and productive.

Magnesium is essential for plant growth, so it’s important to take steps to maintain healthy levels in your soil. Keep reading for more tips on preventing magnesium deficiency in your garden!

1. Check for Flower Deficiencies

When it comes to preventing magnesium deficiency in the soil, it’s essential to check for flower deficiencies. Magnesium is crucial for flowering plants, as it helps transport the energy they need to create blooms.

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2. Avoid Fertilizer with Nitrogen

Magnesium is an essential component for plants; deficits in magnesium can result in decreased crop yields and a decline in plant health.

Different approaches can be taken to stop the soil from becoming magnesium deficient.

One is to avoid using nitrogen fertilizers, which can compete with magnesium for plant uptake.

3. Mulch Your Plants

Mulching your plants might help prevent magnesium deficiency in the growing soil. This enables the soil to retain moisture and contributes magnesium to growing plants.

To avoid a magnesium deficiency, you can use any mulch; nevertheless, organic mulches are the superior option.

Magnesium Deficiency in Plants FAQS

Q: How Long Will It Take To Make Up For A Lack Of Magnesium?

Restoration of soil magnesium levels will be a lengthy process. Magnesium-deficient soil is detrimental to plant growth and output.

Q: What Blocks Magnesium Absorption In Soil?

Plant magnesium availability is mainly controlled by soil pH. Soil magnesium becomes less soluble and less accessible to plants when the pH exceeds 7.5.

Q: What Kind Of Fertilizer Has Much Magnesium?

Organic fertilizers tend to have a higher magnesium content than synthetic fertilizers.

This is because magnesium is often associated with carbon in plant materials.

Q: Which crop is highly susceptible to magnesium deficiency

Tomatoes, potatoes, apples, grapes, roses, and citrus are the most magnesium-deficient crops.

These plants need a lot of magnesium to flourish.

Remember, a plant’s vulnerability to magnesium deficit depends on soil conditions and nutritional balance.

Q: Is too much magnesium in the soil bad?

Magnesium is important for plant development, but too much can cause calcium and potassium imbalances.

To ensure nutrient balance, add amendments depending on soil tests.

Q: What does the grass look like when there is magnesium deficiency in the soil?

Older grass leaves may be yellow or brown if the soil lacks magnesium.

Magnesium insufficiency causes interveinal chlorosis, which turns grass blades yellow between the veins while the veins stay green.

Nitrogen fertilizers may not improve poor, scant, or stunted grass. To confirm a magnesium shortage, a soil test is needed.

These symptoms may also indicate other mineral deficiencies or grass issues.

Q: How frequently should I fertilize with magnesium?

Application frequency depends on soil magnesium levels and plant demands.

Magnesium amendments may be needed many times during the growing season for significantly deficient soils.

Q: Does magnesium insufficiency influence crop yield?

Magnesium is needed for photosynthesis and food absorption, therefore a deficit can impede plant growth and output.

Magnesium insufficiency should be treated immediately.


With a bit of understanding and some effort, you can help to fix magnesium deficiency in your soil and encourage a more abundant crop yield.

Following the steps outlined in this article will give you more successful plants and a more enjoyable gardening experience.