Citrus Tree Nutrient Deficiencies

At least sixteen elements are considered necessary for the growth of plants and trees: carbon (C), hydrogen (H), oxygen (O), nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), sulfur (S), iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), manganese (Mn), boron (B), copper (Cu), molybdenum (Mo), and chlorine (Cl). Plants obtain O, H, and C from water, carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and the other nutrients from the soil. Visual deficiency symptoms of N, Mg, Fe, Zn, and Mn are quite definite and can usually be recognized by distinctive symptoms most often occurring on leaves.

SymptomsPossible DiagnosisIdentifying ImageSuggested Products
  • Light yellowish-green leaves
  • Veins are only slightly lighter in color
  • New leaves are reduced in size
  • Thin leaves
  • Light-green color
  • Thin canopy
  • Stunted growth
  • Reduced amount of fruit
  • Nitrogen (N) DeficiencyImage Foliar Micronutrients
    NPK Fertilizer
  • Disconnected yellow areas
  • Irregular yellow blotches
  • Easy leaf drop
  • Magnesium (Mg) DeficiencyImage Foliar Micronutrients
    NPK Fertilizer
  • Iron chlorosis
  • New growth light in color
  • Almost white leaf color with green veins
  • Reduced leaf size
  • Iron (Fe) DeficiencyImage Foliar Micronutrients
    NPK Fertilizer
  • Irregular green bands along veigns
  • small yellow splotches
  • Zinc (Zn) DeficiencyImageFoliar Micronutrients
    NPK Fertilizer
  • Light green leaf with greenveigns
  • Band of green along midrib
  • Leaves are full size
  • Manganese (Mn) DeficiencyImageFoliar Micronutrients
    NPK Fertilizer

    The information above is referenced from HS876, one of a series of the Horticultural Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date June 2002. Revised August 2013. Visit the EDIS website at