Got Calcium? Hope So

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jumpincactus

jumpincactus

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Great article about a macronutrient that is more important than some folks think.



Calcium is considered a plant macronutrient. In their book “Plant Physiology 4th edition,” Frank Salisbury and Cleon Ross define a macronutrient as any element with a concentration above 1,000 mg/kg or 0.1 percent in the plant tissue. Secondly, calcium is not mobile; it cannot be moved through the plant’s vascular tissues because it is locked away in structural compounds of the plant.

In the book “The Use of Nutrients in Crop Plants,” the authors reviewed a variety of studies that suggest plants exhibit a linear increase in total calcium concentration in their tissues as they grow, which suggests that calcium is a physiological requirement throughout the entirety of a plant’s life cycle.

With these assertions in mind, what is the function of calcium in plants and how much is required for a plant to be healthy and productive? Let’s take a dive into the inner workings of plant physiology.

Physiological Roles of Calcium
What follows is by no means an exhaustive review because a large body of research is currently being undertaken to better understand the complex and numerous chemical and electrical relationships among calcium and other cellular components.

Calcium and the Cell Wall
Calcium is an important constituent of pectin—the outer-most layer of the cell wall. Also called the middle lamella, this layer of complex polysaccharides (carbohydrate molecules) cements adjacent cells together and is responsible for the rigidity of plant tissues. The biochemistry involved in the synthesis of pectin is rather complex, but it occurs in the late phases of mitosis (cell division) when the cell plate is being formed between the two daughter cells.

Recall that calcium is considered an immobile nutrient. The reason for that is due to the element being “locked-up” in molecules that are structural in nature. This means those molecules cannot be degraded to release calcium for other purposes during a plant’s growth cycle. For this reason, most deficiency symptoms occur in the newly formed tissues of the plant.

The bottom line: Calcium is a constituent of the cell wall (i.e., pectin layer), which is constructed during cell division and is responsible for plant rigidity. Because calcium is part of the cell wall, it is not possible for it to be remobilized for use in other parts of the plant.

Calcium and Cell Division
Numerous authors cite calcium’s importance in the migration of chromosomes during the anaphase portion of mitosis. Anaphase is the period of cell division where the chromosomes are aligned with the cell’s central axis. This phenomenon occurs with the assistance of the mitotic spindle, which is a series of proteins that segregate the chromosomes for allocation to daughter cells. The formation of the mitotic spindle is thought to be controlled by the relative concentration of calcium in the cytoplasm.

In his review paper entitled “Calcium: A Central Regulator of Plant Growth and Development,” Peter K. Hepler cites other authors’ studies that suggest calcium concentration in the cytosol (internal cell fluids) is tightly controlled; the plant cell will actively pump calcium from the cytosol to storage areas (e.g., endoplasmic reticulum or network of membranous tubules in the cell’s cytoplasm), which leads to the formation of the mitotic spindle.

With that in mind, it might be counterintuitive to think of low calcium as a detriment to cell division; however, one must consider that cell processes are tightly controlled. Considering the ideas of homeostasis and calcium deficiency, the resulting logical outcome is that a cell that is unable to modulate (balance) cytosolic calcium concentrations would also be incapable of controlling the development of the mitotic spindle. This would result in uncontrolled cell division in concert with poor cell wall development (i.e., lack of calcium to build pectin), leading to weakly formed and (potentially) genetically compromised young tissues.

The bottom line: Calcium plays a significant role in the organization of genetic material during the process of cell division. An appropriate concentration of calcium in the cytosol triggers the chromosomes to be allocated between the two new cells that form during the cell-division process.

Connecticut Pharmaceutical Solutions (CPS); Ph.D. in botany/plant ecology (Rutgers University)

http://magazine.cannabisbusinesstimes.com/article/october-2017/got-calcium.aspx

 
MedicalDave

MedicalDave

Good write up thanks for sharing.

Could you explain this section of the linked article?

“The upper tolerance of calcium for plants is not known, and most fertigation programs call for a concentration between 150 and 300 ppm extractable from the growth media or in solution. Be mindful: Calcium will interact with phosphate in solution and, therefore, should not be applied in feeds containing phosphorus.“

300ppm sounds a bit high to me, but I’m not an expert. In your own experience, how many ppm do you estimate in your cannabis grows?
 
Jack og

Jack og

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Good write up thanks for sharing.

Could you explain this section of the linked article?

“The upper tolerance of calcium for plants is not known, and most fertigation programs call for a concentration between 150 and 300 ppm extractable from the growth media or in solution. Be mindful: Calcium will interact with phosphate in solution and, therefore, should not be applied in feeds containing phosphorus.“

300ppm sounds a bit high to me, but I’m not an expert. In your own experience, how many ppm do you estimate in your cannabis grows?
Yep I’ve had the misfortune of finding this out the hard way! Had a worker mix a batch of flower feed and add cal mag to that ! Have You ever seen a 5000 gal batch separate! I have! Lol there went $1200 in feed!
Great read and I only do 150ppm calcite feeds, because of the nitrogen available and cut it off at 3rd week of flower and go with a ni free calcium/ mag sol to 250ppm all the way to flush. Makes for very robust weighty flowers... oooops did I just give away a secret? Na common knowledge for growers! Ca/Mg is good for the plant, hey silica is also better to a certain extent
 
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jumpincactus

jumpincactus

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Good write up thanks for sharing.

Could you explain this section of the linked article?

“The upper tolerance of calcium for plants is not known, and most fertigation programs call for a concentration between 150 and 300 ppm extractable from the growth media or in solution. Be mindful: Calcium will interact with phosphate in solution and, therefore, should not be applied in feeds containing phosphorus.“

300ppm sounds a bit high to me, but I’m not an expert. In your own experience, how many ppm do you estimate in your cannabis grows?
150-200
 
chillywilly

chillywilly

Greetings,
I've used Sonne's#2 a bentonite/Montmorillinite mix...I've seen stems get larger, purple up(mainly in fems)...this elemental combo , not soluabe ,the plant can metabolize and translate nutrients...have been in experiments...most folks do too much to their plants(u know we luv em)...elemental- surface (roots)...know kno now that elemental,ionic, nano...are the means that we all deal with...too much calcium can lock, but a balanced spectrum mineral augment the plants needs keeping balance...in the experiments, elemental was most liked to the plant, ionic- faster absorbed (time factor here)...and last but not least nano...needs no vehicle to transport nutrients... nutrients permiate all cells(root, leaf, stem)...whearas contact to the plant (I like b close to my girl...he he)...
uhh, mini minerals, mother Earth minerals I can mention...
Peace
cw
..
 
cemchris

cemchris

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Yep I’ve had the misfortune of finding this out the hard way! Had a worker mix a batch of flower feed and add cal mag to that to a vapid having to water that in! Have You ever seen a 5000 gal batch separate! I have! Lol there went $1200 in feed!
Great read and I only do 150ppm calcite feeds, because of the nitrogen available and cut it off at 3rd week of flower and go with a ni free calcium/ mag sol to 250ppm all the way to flush. Makes for very robust weighty flowers... oooops did I just give away a secret? Na common knowledge for growers! Ca/Mg is good for the plant, hey silica is also better to a certain extent
Fucking ouch!
 
P

Pass2TheLeft

Good write up thanks for sharing.

Could you explain this section of the linked article?

“The upper tolerance of calcium for plants is not known, and most fertigation programs call for a concentration between 150 and 300 ppm extractable from the growth media or in solution. Be mindful: Calcium will interact with phosphate in solution and, therefore, should not be applied in feeds containing phosphorus.“

300ppm sounds a bit high to me, but I’m not an expert. In your own experience, how many ppm do you estimate in your cannabis grows?
Can you explain the effects of calcium and phosphorus interacting in a solution please should i use calcium in flowering when I'm feeding phosphorus? And if so should i feed them separately currently I feed them both together
 
OldManRiver

OldManRiver

Can you explain the effects of calcium and phosphorus interacting in a solution please should i use calcium in flowering when I'm feeding phosphorus? And if so should i feed them separately currently I feed them both together
I don't which reaction it is, but the essential idea is that calcium and phosphorus are delivered through various ionic forms. Some of those will combine into an insoluable result, and precipitate both out of solution, making them unavailable for the plant. Best thing to do is buy something that has both already, like Botanicare, or cal-mag from the same brand as your main nute, and let their chemist worry about it. Check the labels. Personally, I just use Botanicare in soil, GH trio in hydro and have no problems. Separate cal-mag is way over used, IMCLTHO. (In my Considerably Less Than Humble Opinion, LOL)

Delivering them separately will slightly reduce the problem. But only slightly. Again, let the seller worry about it for ya.
 
P

Pass2TheLeft

I don't which reaction it is, but the essential idea is that calcium and phosphorus are delivered through various ionic forms. Some of those will combine into an insoluable result, and precipitate both out of solution, making them unavailable for the plant. Best thing to do is buy something that has both already, like Botanicare, or cal-mag from the same brand as your main nute, and let their chemist worry about it. Check the labels. Personally, I just use Botanicare in soil, GH trio in hydro and have no problems. Separate cal-mag is way over used, IMCLTHO. (In my Considerably Less Than Humble Opinion, LOL)

Delivering them separately will slightly reduce the problem. But only slightly. Again, let the seller worry about it for ya.
Interesting thanks at the moment the only time i dont use cal/mag is during the stretch at flip for 2 weeks the only cal/mag i can get has high n and i have found it makes my plants stretch lots if i use it during that time
 
cemchris

cemchris

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Interesting thanks at the moment the only time i dont use cal/mag is during the stretch at flip for 2 weeks the only cal/mag i can get has high n and i have found it makes my plants stretch lots if i use it during that time
That is because most bottled cal/mg is calcium nitrate and mag nitrate. You have to use something like calcium carbonate if you don't want the N.

The interaction is if you saturate with too much P the solution can form calcium phosphate and precipitate out of the solution from what i understand (im no chemist). More likely then not tho it will never cause a problem since you prob will never have P that high in nutes. No idea what the PPM threshold is considered super saturated for P is tho that this would happen at.
 
Jimster

Jimster

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I have to admit that I'm on the fence about the Cal-Mag. Most of the tap water, at least around here (Midwest), has between 200-300 dissolved solids in it already. Wouldn't adding a double dose of Cal-Mag possibly cause some nutrient interactions? If they are calling for 2-300 on the outflow and that's already what I'm seeing going in, I would think it could cause problems.
I use a single dose of Epsom Salts about 1 month into vegging, but also have composted manure added which provides a lot of the macro and micronutrients...I add some wood ashes as well when making up the soil. I know it is more important in water based grows, but is it really needed as much as everyone seems to think it is? It's almost to the point that people ask if you added cal-mag before they ask if it is over/under watered.
 
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