Read about the important relationship between citrus nutrition and the pH of soil and water from a UF/IFAS Extension agent.

The relationship between citrus nutrition and soil and water pH is an important one, according to Brandon White, a multi-crop agent with UF/IFAS Extension. White discussed the relationship in a All In For Citrus podcast, according to a Florida Grower article. According to White, the pH of both water and the soil is paramount for the uptake of nutrients by plants. See the details below.

Citrus Nutrition and pH in Soil and Water

White maintained that both soil and water pH needs to be in the optimal range for plants to be able to uptake nutrients. Citrus nutrition must start with optimal soil and water pH. White said “If your pH gets beyond the optimal range, the essential nutrients might be in the soil but not available to the plant. So, if we don’t have our pH right, it could be an economic waste or have environmental implications if nutrients are not taken up and pollute waters.”

Growers could be wasting money on fertilizers and having nutrients not taken up by the plants runoff into waterways if they are attempting to fertilize soil where the pH is either to high or too low. According to the article, “White noted recent research suggests a narrower range of 5.8 to 6.5 is ideal for citrus. He suggested growers test their soil pH on an annual basis.”

Water pH is important as well. White maintained that water in Florida tends to be alkaline, and that growers should test water pH as well. The tests are quick, easy and inexpensive. The lab results will tell you what the water pH is and your bicarbonate levels. When the levels are too high, growers usually treat by injecting acid into their irrigation water before it hits the groves.”

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