Calcium: An important macronutrient for citrus plant development
Calcium is considered a macronutrient for the citrus crop because it is demanded in higher quantities for both structural and physiological functions of the plants. A calcium deficiency can result in leaf and fruit loss and cause cracking of the fruit peel, directly impacting the fruit’s market value for the producer. To ensure proper development, it is fundamental to be vigilant of the citrus plant’s calcium needs.
Marcos Revoredo, an Alltech Crop Science technical manager who specializes in fruits and vegetables, notes that, in addition to using calcium when performing soil management, it is important for the citrus grower to make foliar applications of the nutrient.
“We know that calcium has a very low rate of translocation,” said Revoredo. “That is why when it is foliarly applied, whether during the vegetative, reproductive or fructification phases, we can maintain the necessary quantities for improved plant development.”
This practice has already been adopted by Miltom Boveloni, an orange grower in Mogi Mirim in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. According to the grower, when you’re looking for productivity, calcium is one nutrient that cannot be forgotten.
“In citriculture, we use a lot of calcium, and we always need to make those corrections,” said Boveloni. “I have noticed greater plant development and fruit set, as well as an increase in production.”
Revoredo also notes that the macronutrient is a part of various plant structures, which makes it extremely important for foliar growth, pollination and fructification.
“Calcium is present in the cell wall of various plant tissues such as leaves, pollen tubes and even in the fruit. It is used in the formation of these structures,” said Revoredo. “It is important to maintain the necessary quantities for the leaves, stem, flowers and fruit to develop.”
Physiologically, calcium is linked to metabolism and aids in stress reduction for the plant. Because calcium favors constant photosynthetic activity, the leaf can generate more energy to sustain the flower and, consequently, the future fruit.