Identifying mineral deficiency

Discussion in 'Plants: Science and Cultivation' started by micsir, Feb 20, 2015.

  1. micsir

    micsir New Member

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    Montreal, Qc

    I am caring for an indoor vertical garden built at a recycling facility. I have experience with common mineral deficiencies, but I can't quite put my finger on these patterns occurring on only certain leaves. There are three different problems on three different species.

    First let me give you an idea of how the vertical garden is built and give you a run down of a few issues we've faced.

    The wall is basically drip irrigation sandwiched between two fiber mats. The water is pumped from a bassin at the bottom of the wall that lets the water sit and temper so it isn't too cold.

    An issue we've faced in the past was water quality. It contain lots of iron calcium and manganese and is slightly alkaline(7.5). We didn't find it to cause any harm to the plants although we feared it risked clogging up the system. At this point, the first plant to show issues was a Peperomia caperata. It has paled although we supplement the wall with LED lighting and the foliage has yellowed around the edges on the older leaves. Given a few problems with the Dosatron the wall has lacked proper fertilization over a period of a couple of months so I figure that would be the issue.

    After waiting for a year or so the client finally installed a filtration system which in part eliminates the iron using chlorine. When installed we weren't advised and the technician has the water coming out with over 10 ppm chlorine content. The effects were devastating on some plants such as Pilea glauca. Once adjusted to 3 ppm(which I still find borderline a few days later, we could see other signs of distress on two other species : Philodendron "Prince of Orange" and Philodendron scandens.

    I'm wondering if it'S the impact of the chlorine during that one week at 10 ppm or if the new water chemistry combining alkalinity(7.5), high calcium carbonate and borderline chlorine(3 ppm) are causing certain minerals to be locked out. I'm figuring it's the execess chlorine that had an effect on the plants ability to pump water and what I'm looking at is similar to end rot when plants lack calcium. But the irregular patterns displayed on the P.scandens really confuse me. It is like some of the cell walls in the leave collapsed.

    Pictures of the three plant species in question can be found bellow.I've also attached another three pictures of the wall before the incident so you can have a look at the cool effect we tried to portray of 2D mosaic bottles cascading down a chute.

    Any ideas would be helpful! Thanks in advance, Mike

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