icons-resources-agrisight icons-resources-article icons-resources-business icons-resources-fertilizer icons-resources-macronutrients icons-resources-micronutrients icons-resources-nutrient icons-resources-soil icons-resources-video

Zinc (Zn) is taken up by plants as the divalent Zn2+ cation. It was one of the first micronutrients recognized as essential for plants and the one most commonly limiting yields. Although Zn is required in small amounts, high yields are impossible without it.

Quick Facts

Protein synthesis and growth regulation require Zn. Reduced hormone production due to a Zn-deficient plant will cause the shortening of internodes and stunted leaf growth.

Quick Facts

Zinc is much less mobile within the plant, so deficiency symptoms first appear on the younger leaves.

Quick Facts

Zinc aids synthesis of plant-growth substances and enzyme systems, and is essential for promoting certain metabolic reactions, which are particularly critical in the early growth stages.

Quick Facts

As soil pH increases, zinc availability decreases.

Dig Deeper: Fertilizer Use Guide

Zinc (Zn) is taken up by plants as the divalent Zn2+ cation. It was one of the first micronutrients recognized as essential for plants and the one most commonly limiting yields. Although Zn is required only in small amounts, high yields are impossible without it.

Learn More

Deficiency Symptoms

Symptoms of deficiency can vary across crop species, but similarities exist for how nutrient insufficiency impacts plant tissue color and appearance. Nutrient deficiencies are commonly associated with the physical location on the plant (i.e., whether the symptoms are primarily observed on older versus newly formed plant tissue), but these symptoms can spread as the severity of the deficiency progresses.

All photos are provided courtesy of the International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) and its IPNI Crop Nutrient Deficiency Image Collection. The photos above are a sample of a greater collection, which provides a comprehensive sampling of hundreds of classic cases of crop deficiency from research plots and farm fields located around the world. For access to the full collection, you can visit IPNI's website.