Effects of Nutrient Translocation

26.05.2020 – The ability of a plant to transport nutrients from one plant part to another mainly depends on the species and the stage of development. Some nutrients can be distributed easily within the plant while others are difficult to relocate or even not translocatable at all. This has a significant effect on occurrence, severity and correction of deficiencies.


Local deficiencies which can lead to significant yield losses can occur. Especially micro-nutrient deficiencies can easily depress plant growth and performance due to the limited capability of translocation. Foliar fertilization with WUXAL guarantees nutrient requirements where they are needed, preventing local deficiencies caused by poor distribution.


The following list shows to what extend single nutrients are mobile within plants:


N mobile
P mobile
K mobile
Secondary nutrients
Ca immobile
Mg mobile
S mobile
B immobile*
Cu poorly mobile*
Fe poorly mobile*
Mn limited mobility*
Mo quite mobile
Zn limited mobility*


* The mobility may vary with species


Mobile elements can be transported from areas with relative excess amounts to parts with low concentrations. In case of insufficient nutrient availability, the plant strives to relocate elements to plant parts like the growing points to further allow proper growth. If elements are mobile and this translocation is possible, the severity of the mild deficiencies can be relieved or delayed. With increasing deficiency, first deficiency symptoms will become visible on older plant parts.


Immobile nutrients cannot be relocated in direction of the growing tissue. As a result, visible symptoms of severe deficiencies will occur on younger plant parts first, and plant growth may be depressed.


Besides the nutrient-specific phenological parameters, the information on the first occurrence of a deficiency is very helpful to determine which deficiency the plant is suffering from. Subsequently, exact recommendations to correct the deficiency can be made. 



The more limited the ability to transport an element within the plant, the better you can observe the effects of foliar applications in different parts of a single plant. The applications have a significant local benefit and even if the transport out of treated leaves and tissues is relatively small, they have a short-term, critical benefit to the plant.



Foliar fertilization shows great effects for all nutrients and can be shown vividly in practice, especially for immobile nutrients. Zinc is highly immobile in pistachio trees. Several foliar zinc applications to only one part of the tree can satisfy the zinc requirements of the applied tree part. In the picture above this is the right side of the tree. The left part of the tree remained untreated. The element cannot be relocated within the plant, so that a severe deficiency occurs on the left side of the tree.


Properties of WUXAL Foliar Fertilizers


  • Prevention and control of nutritional deficiencies
  • Maximum efficiency by applying a minimum of nutrients
  • Economical applications in conjunction with pesticides
  • Yield increase
  • Quality improvement

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