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Leaf symptoms

Plant symptoms

Likely environments
= Small, pale green or yellow, occurring first at the lower fronds. = Degree of yellowing indicates severity of deficiency. = Yellow rachis and midribs with narrow leaflets that roll inwards. = Tips of affected leaflets may turn purplish brown. = Reduced frond production and plant growth rate. = Reduced petiole cross section (PCS) in mature palms. = Delay in onset of first harvest = Reduction in yield. = Waterlogged conditions (pH <4). = Shallow or compacted soils. = After application of organic residues with wide C:N ratio.

N
Nitrogen

Drainage

Deficiency Symptoms in Oil Palm

= Yellowing of entire foliage.

= Clusters of affected palms next to healthy palms on welldrained soils. = Low-lying areas or basins that are difficult or uneconomic to drain. = Blocked drain outlets. = Compacted soils (hardpan).

Cover Plants

= P: Reduced leaf size. = P: Lusterless dark green leaves. = K: Marginal yellowing; necrosis starting at tips of older leaves. = K: Leaf base and midrib remain green. = Mg: Yellowing of older leaves particularly at interveins. = Mg: Yellow mottles on leaf tips which become necrotic and desiccated. = P: Very dark green or dark redpurple bines. = P: Poor establishment. = P: Stunted, reduced growth. = P: Leaves progressively smaller along the bine. = P: Defoliation.

Mg Mg

P
Phosphorus

= Short fronds. = Stunted; reduced vegetative growth. = Trunk diameter decreases with increasing height (pyramid shape). = Eroded topsoils. = P-fixing sedimentary soils. = Soils from volcanic ash.

Cu
Copper

= Small chlorotic streaks in leaflet tip that gradually turn yellow. = Pale green to yellow-orange streaks along leaf interveins, but pinnae remain green. = Necrotic, desiccated leaf tips. = Midcrown chlorosis. = Retarded growth and reduced palm length. = Stunting and palm death. = Peat soils. = Very sandy soils (>90% sand). = After large applications of P and N fertilizer without sufficient K. = After large applications of Mg fertilizer.

K
Potassium

= Confluent orange spotting, diffused midcrown yellowing or white stripe Yellowing or white stripe. = Chlorotic or necrotic spots on older fronds. = Flat-topped appearance in young palms. = Reduced frond size and delayed development of entire crown. = = = = Peat soils. Shallow or compacted soils. Low pH sandy soils. Ex-forest or savannah grasslands where intensive cropping was practiced.

Fe

= Pale green to yellowish-green interveins. = Chlorosis of the youngest 3-4 fronds. = Yellow, desiccated older fronds. = Frond snapping in middle or upper crowns. = Collapse of spear and leaf cabbage.

Iron

Mg
Magnesium

= Olive green to ochre patches on leaflets exposed to light, but shaded pinnae remains green. = Ochre to bright yellow fronds that turn necrotic. = Sandy soils with shallow or eroded topsoils. = High rainfall areas (>3,500 mm/yr). = Over-fertilization of other nutrients causing imbalance with Mg.

= Very calcareous soils (pH >7.5). = Deep peat soils. = After large applications of P fertilizer. = Deep organic soils over sandy soils.

S
Sulfur

= Bright yellow color. = Orange necrotic spots. = Reddish discoloration on leaf margins starting from leaflet tip. = Ex-grassland savannah soils.

B
Boron

= Brittle with dark-green color. = Abnormal leaf shape (crinkle leaf, hooked leaf). = Pale, transparent spots aligned on either side of secondary veins in very young palms. = Reduced frond length leading to flat-topped appearance. = Truncation of frond tip (blind leaf). = Fish-bone appearance of severely affected fronds. = Palm death due to necrosis of palm growing point. = Poor kernel formation (partly parthenocarpic fruits). = Peat soils and very sandy soils = Acid soils (pH <4.5) or very alkaline soils (pH 7.5). = After large application of N, K, and Ca fertilizers.

POTASH & PHOSPHATE INSTITUTE

INTERNATIONAL POTASH INSTITUTE

Southeast Asia Program