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Tips to maximize foliar absorption of nutrients

February 20, 2011

Several techniques should be used when trying to maximize foliar absorption of nutrients.

  • Nutrients are generally only absorbed while still wet on the leaf.
  • This preferably means spraying during a cooler time of day, early in the morning, when humidity is up and leaves are wet with dew. Spraying in the middle of a hot day will give you reduced effectiveness in absorption.
  • The best time to foliar fertilize is between 7am and 9am, or after 5pm,  when the stomata  are open.
  • The optimum temperature is about 22° and if the temperature is 26° or above, the spray will be less effective.
  • Always mix the spray thoroughly and apply in as fine a mist as possible.
  • Try to coat both the upper and lower leaf surfaces where practical, as often the spray stays wet on the leaf longer and there are more stomata to facilitate absorption on the lower leaf surfaces of many plant varieties.
  • Take care to avoid leaf burning when spraying in direct sunlight.
  • The use of a quality wetting agent, will prevent formation of droplets on the leaves that act as prisms for the sunlight to focus on and burn. It will also maximize the amount  that will stick to the leaves and aids absorption.

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