NC State Extension Publications

Problem

Nutritional disorder – sodium (Na) toxicity

Symptoms

Lower leaves with necrotic spotting, followed by the development of a marginal necrotic band. Under severe conditions, symptoms can spread over the entire leaf and also develop further up the plant. Plant growth can be stunted.

Nutrient toxicity symptoms initially appear on the lower leaves.

Nutrient toxicity symptoms initially appear on the lower leaves.

Brian E. Whipker

As toxicity symptoms advance, the leaf margins become necrotic.

As toxicity symptoms advance, the leaf margins become necrotic.

Brian E. Whipker

Similar Problems

Leaf necrosis symptoms also occur with boron (B) toxicities.

Additional Information

Typically excess sodium levels come from the irrigation water. Test your water supply for nutrient levels.

Diagnostic Tips

Submit a leaf sample for nutrient analysis. Values above 0.1% (1000 ppm) would be considered excessive.

Corrective Measures

In the short term, it is difficult to correct excess levels. Damage to the plants cannot be reversed. Overhead irrigations my help leach some of the sodium out of the root zone (but irrigations need to be managed to avoid gray mold).

Management

Sodium can be leached, especially in sandy soils. Determine the source of sodium in your system and try to eliminate it. Change irrigation water source if possible.

Funding Sources

Funding was provided in part by the National Sustainable Agriculture Program: Sustainable Strawberry Initiative and the following sources.

A thank you is also expressed to Kube Pak of Allentown, New Jersey for donating strawberry plants.

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Author

Professor
Department of Horticulural Science

Publication date: April 23, 2014

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