Copper is an essential mineral for the growth of plants. It plays an important role in several enzyme processes and is key to the formation of chlorophyll.
Copper (Cu) is one of the micronutrients needed in very small quantities by plants. Although needed in small quantities, it's functionality is not to be missed. Copper is anti-microbial in nature and helps keep a lot of plant disease away and participates in numerous physiological processes and is an essential cofactor for many metalloproteins. Soils which have higher levels of N, P and K added to them can cause the copper element to become “locked up” and unavailable. Plants with a copper deficiency may have yellowing new growth; the leaves may curl and twist and not unroll. However, this sort of appearance can explain other deficiencies too.
Many gardeners swear by copper tools and find that working the soil with them helps to reduce slug and snail damage as well.
Function of Copper
Copper activates some enzymes in plants which are involved in lignin synthesis and it is essential in several enzyme systems. It is also required in the process of photosynthesis, is essential in plant respiration and assists in plant metabolism of carbohydrates and proteins. Copper also serves to intensify flavour and colour in vegetables and colour in flowers. Copper helps fight Blight – it is rapid and complete chlorosis, browning, then the death of plant tissues such as leaves, branches, twigs, or floral organs.
Add copper tapes, strips help keep slugs and snails away from your garden.
Deficiency of Copper
Copper is immobile, meaning its deficiency symptoms occur in the newer leaves. Symptoms vary depending on the type of the plant. Typically, the symptoms start as cupping and slight chlorosis of either the whole leaf or between the veins of the new leaves. Within the chlorotic areas of the leaf, small necrotic spots may form, especially on the leaf margins. As the symptoms progress, the newest leaves are smaller in size, lack sheen and in some cases, the leaves may wilt. The apical meristems(growth region in plants found within the root tips and the tips of the new shoots and leaves) may become necrotic and die, inhibiting the growth of lateral branches. Plants typically have a compact appearance as the stem length between the leaves shortens. Flower colour also gets affected and is often lighter than normal. Excess potassium, phosphorus or other micronutrients can indirectly cause copper deficiency. This is what it may look like if your plants are deficient in copper.
Where to Find copper?
Few simple ways to introduce copper to house plants naturally is by watering through a Copper vessel. That could be a copper bottle or copper watering can even. You can also simply try and place a few copper coins (if accessible) in your pot to see the effects of it in your plant growth. Several fungicides have copper as their active ingredient, and some will be absorbed through the leaves. Copper strips are easily accessible at your local nursery or hardware store.
It's always a good idea to invest in copper to keep plant-related issue (and much more) at bay and create happier, healthier garden and keep your indoor plants brighter.
Yours in good health