Foliar Fertilizer Application – Preliminary Review

Plant nutrient uptake primarily occurs through the roots, but leaves can absorb certain nutrients through foliar sprays or deposition on the leaf surface. This is particularly important for plants like epiphytes or aquatic species that rely heavily on leaf nutrient uptake. Foliar sprays are commonly used when soil conditions limit nutrient availability or in specific crop situations. However, the effectiveness of foliar sprays and the mechanisms of foliar nutrient uptake are poorly understood. This study aims to provide an overview of the current scientific knowledge, practical experiences, and gaps in understanding regarding foliar nutrient application. The study conducted a literature review using agricultural, soil science, and plant nutrition databases to gather recent publications and scientific data on foliar applications. Additionally, interviews with crop and soil consultants were conducted to gather information on standard practices and recommendations. The focus was on greenhouse crops, field crops, fruit crops, citrus, tropical fruits, and cereals. The findings highlight the need to better understand the physiological mechanisms of nutrient uptake through leaves and stems. This knowledge can help identify effective nutrient compositions, determine the need for coating or chelation, and maximize nutrient uptake potential through foliar application. The study also emphasizes the necessity of distinguishing between factual information and beliefs or myths surrounding foliar application to improve fertilizer use efficiency.
Plants, Foliar application
Wim Voogt, Chris Blok, Barbara Eveleens, Leo Marcelis and Prem S. Bindraban. 2013. Foliar fertilizer application – Preliminary review. Washington, VFRC, VFRC Report 2013/2. 43 pp.; 9 tables; 2 figs.; 98 ref. nbsp;