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What is Sulphur Used for in Plants?

Plants need sulphur to have a normal and healthy development, and this nutrient is just as important as nitrogen or iron. Without sulphur, plants aren’t able to efficiently use all other nutrients to grow as they should.

But what is sulphur used for in plants? And what happens if there’s a sulphur deficiency in plants?

What is Sulphur Used for in Plants?

As an essential building block for protein synthesis and chlorophyll development, the nutrient is needed by rhizobia bacteria in legumes to allow for nitrogen fixation. You’ll find that, when sulphur is low, clovers will disappear. 

Sulphur is vital to provide flavour in plants like onions, mustard, and garlic. The growing medium provides plants the sulphur they need as sulphates (gypsium, SO4=, CaSO4) or sulphides (FeS2, pyrite), which are readily soluble and can be lost by leaching.

Sulphate and sulphur dioxide are reduced by plants’ metabolism so these can help build organic molecules. The nutrient is essential for all plant proteins and some plant hormones, in addition to being vital for the formation of oils and volatile compounds in plants such as the ones in the garlic and onion family.

pH and Sulphur Availability

The nutrient is mostly available in plants when the pH level is of 6.0 and above. But you need to be careful when adjusting pH levels in hydroponics; a strongly alkaline pH won’t affect the sulphur availability, but it will cause a deficiency in nitrogen, calcium, magnesium, iron, manganese, copper, and zinc.

Similarly, a strongly acidic pH level will cause nutrient deficiencies of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, sulphur, calcium, magnesium, manganese, boron, copper and zinc, and molybdenum.

Sulphur Deficiency in Plants

Although extremely rare, sulphur toxicity can induce nitrogen deficiency or compete with the nutrient. Sulphur deficiency is much more common; it shouldn’t be confused with nitrogen deficiency, however, as the latter affects older leaves first before spreading over the entire plant. Due to this nutrient being moderately mobile, plants become uniformly chlorotic.

You’ll notice the young leaves being affected first and turning yellow before the rest of the plant presents symptoms. This is especially apparent in mustard crops, in which you’ll see deficiency signs very early in the development stage.

What You Can Do

Plant Magic Platinum offers hydroponic plants a potassium and phosphorus additive alongside a complex and unique combination of amino acids, biostimulants, sulphur, and nitrogen. It helps to improve both nutrient uptake to boost yields and plant flavour.

The high levels of sulphur in the product will help plants’ uptake of phosphorus, build amino acids and proteins, and speed up photosynthesis for increased sugar production.

For a perfect balance of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, Plant Magic Fruit & Veg Feed is a great choice. It also provides secondary nutrients such as magnesium, calcium, and sulphur, alongside biostimulants and trace elements to improve nutrient uptake. You’ll find a specific feed for every one of the main five home-grown plants: tomato, salad, chilli, veg, and strawberry.

Apply Humboldt Honey Hydro to boost sugar levels in plants’ root zone. This helps beneficial bacteria and fungi to keep thriving during the fruiting stage while improving flavour and aroma. It also helps to provide energy so you have bigger crops. It contains soluble potash, sulphur, combined sulphur, glucose, molasses, and yucca extract.

At Nutriculture, we invest only in the highest quality possible of all products, including sulphur nutrients so that plants have a healthy and strong development. Find a shop, or become a stockist of some of the UK’s leading brands in hydroponics.