Symptoms of Boron Toxicity and How to Treat It

What is Boron?

Boron is an essential trace element of plants. It is used by plants to divide cells and is necessary for the growth of tissues near the head and roots and shoots. It is essential to develop pollen tubes during the pollination of flowers and the production of fruits and seeds. Boron is thought to increase nectar production in flowers, so it is necessary to attract pollinators. It is also essential for a good cell structure. As a result, boron-deficient plant tissues often break early, resulting in brown spots, necrotic spots, cracks, and twists in the fruit and tubers. Excess boron inhibits seed germination. Read more about the symptoms of boron toxicity in plants and how to treat them.

Boron Toxicity

Boron Toxicity

The symptoms of boron toxicity are usually not due to the small amount of boron that is often found in soils. However, in some areas, boron is present in water at concentrations high enough to cause boron toxicity in plants.

Plants that contain too much boron initially turn yellow or brown from the leaves. The leaves tips become dry, and the symptoms spread to the entire leaf.

The symptoms of boron toxicity vary from tree to tree, and instead of damaging leaves, some plants can release sticky substances from branches or stems. Slow growths are typical, and fruit trees may be less fertile.

If you suspect that water contains large amounts of boron, you can confirm your doubt (or not) by testing the water.

Boron Toxicity Treatment

Boron Toxicity Treatment

Boron is more accessible when the pH of the soil is between 5.5 and 7, and the pH is 10.5 or higher. It is relatively easy to digest when the pH is between 4 and 7.5 and a pH above 10. If the soil is very alkaline, the toxicity of boron is much higher, and plants are susceptible to deficiency. Nutrients mean that they are more prone to stress. Therefore, the first step in testing boron toxicity is to ensure that the soil is close to neutral pH. If your plants can still absorb the same amount of boron at a pH of 7, they consume at least other nutrients to make them stronger.

After neutralizing the soil’s pH, it is possible to check if the boron and lime are necessary. The soil indeed contains too much boron, but also contains no calcium, which can help reduce the amount of boron absorbed by the plants involved.

Once the excess boron in the soil is diagnosed, it will take some time to determine its origin. If the cause is pollution (possibly by spraying contaminated water), measures must be taken to prevent further illness. After this, the boron level in the soil should be monitored for several months. It may be enough to solve the problem. On the other hand, you can wash off excess boron from the soil, but it is time-consuming and expensive, It can lead to an imbalance of various nutrients and may not lead to permanent improvement.

If soil boron levels cannot or should not be regulated, this could be a great way to limit plants’ selection to species that tolerate higher boron levels. In a garden situation, consider building a seedling that is planted and get a healthy and balanced soil. You can also make your soil over time (filling treated seedlings or using them as a crust) by composting, etc. But, you need to be careful not to use organic waste. Otherwise, in compost contains a lot of boron. Buying land is the fastest option, but it is more expensive. If you have great fortune, the best solution is to grow tolerant crops.

Final thought

Ideally, for healthy soils and yields, the concentration of boron 0.5-4 mg/kg should be concentrated. Some laboratories can detect levels up to 4 mg/kg. Although it is enough to determine if the soil’s boron is excessive, the information cannot say if the soil is not enough. If you suspect boron deficiency in the soil, make sure that the laboratory, which is selected to perform the test, has a low enough detection limit (the test must be measured to 0.5 mg/kg or less). If the concentration of boron in the soil exceeds 4500 mg/kg, it may be helpful to examine homegrown foods with boron and then seek expert advice for the action.