Secondary Nutrients - Ca

Now that we've covered the Primaries...

The nutrients known as secondary are Calcium, Sulfur and Sodium. Now, a lot of you would have probably guessed Calcium because calcium deficiency is extremely prevalent in horticulture. The other two, you probably would not have guessed, but we’ll discuss those in the coming weeks.

Calcium (Ca)

  • Responsible for holding cell walls together
  • Sends signals that coordinate cellular activity
  • Things that slow transpiration like cold temperatures or extremely high humidity can influence deficiency activation
  • Deficiency can appear in many forms and can easily be misdiagnosed for other micronutrient deficiencies like Magnesium and Iron
  • Can appear as necrosis on leaf tips or cause weak or hollow stems
  • Can appear as black spots originating in the middle of old leaves
  • Best when separated from magnesium; in fact, high levels of cations like magnesium, ammonium, aluminum and ESPECIALLY potassium reduce calcium uptake
  • Calcium neutralizes cell acids and plays a critical metabolic role in carbohydrate removal


Check back next week for a discussion on the 2nd Secondary Nutrient... Sulfur!

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