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Effects of Copper Sulfate on Plants

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Copper sulfate can be used as a fertilizer or fungicide. It is commonly used by gardeners and commercial farmers to prevent problems with fungus or mold. The effects of copper sulfate on plants may be negative or positive. The copper status of the soil, together with the frequency of application and quantity of copper sulfate applied, will determine the effects of copper sulfate on plants.

Soil Enrichment

Used in an area of copper-deficient soil, copper sulfate enriches the soil and provides an essential nutrient to growing plants. When soil is copper-deficient, young plants may develop chlorosis, a condition in which leaves yellow due to lack of chlorophyll. Copper deficiencies can also cause stunted or atypical growth; young plants in very nutrient-deficient soil may simply die. Wilting, lack of flowers and reduced fruit harvest are all likely effects of copper-deficient soil. Copper sulfate prevents these problems. Test soil regularly, and apply copper sulfate as needed in a spray or fertilizer preparation.

Fungus Protection

Copper sulfate has anti-fungal properties, and is a key ingredient in some commercial fungicides for farm and garden. These fungicides are typically mixed with water and either lime or soda ash, then sprayed onto the plants. The effect of such a copper sulfate fungicide is prevention or reduction of fungal infections that can disease or destroy the plant. If a plant is already affected by fungus, copper sulfate fungicides may be effective in removing the fungus. This use is effective only if the fungicide is applied soon after fungal infection occurs.

Toxicity

When copper sulfate is applied excessively, soil copper levels become toxic to plants. Plants growing in soil that has too much copper may develop discolored leaves as a result of iron chlorosis. Typically, leaves will become dark green, then turn white as chlorophyll fails to enable proper photosynthesis. Additionally, copper toxicity can cause damage to the roots of plants. When roots are damaged, plants are likely to grow more slowly, wilt or even die.

Effects on Fruit

In fruiting plants, copper affects the sugar content and flavor of the fruits produced. The effects of copper sulfate are most pronounced in blueberry, tomato, watermelon, onion, parsnip, lettuce, beet, carrot, cabbage, eggplant, celery and spinach plants. In general, water accumulation in a plant is lower, and therefore its taste is sweeter, when its conductivity is low. Excess copper sulfate increases conductivity, reducing the sugar concentration and flavor intensity of the fruit. If you want to grow sweet fruits that are not watery, ensure you are not over-applying copper sulfate to your plants.

  • University of Illinois Extension: Chlorosis
  • Spectrum Analytic: Copper
  • Best of Growing Edge: Popular Hydroponics and Gardening for Small Commercial Growers; Tom Alexander
  • Sweet Potato DiagNotes: Copper Toxicity
  • Copper Development Association: Uses of Copper Compounds: Copper Sulphate’s Role in Agriculture

Jae Allen has been a writer since 1999, with articles published in “The Hub,” “Innocent Words” and “Rhythm.” She has worked as a medical writer, paralegal, veterinary assistant, stage manager, session musician, ghostwriter and university professor. Allen specializes in travel, health/fitness, animals and other topics.

Effects of Copper Sulfate on Plants. Copper sulfate can be used as a fertilizer or fungicide. It is commonly used by gardeners and commercial farmers to prevent problems with fungus or mold. The effects of copper sulfate on plants may be negative or positive. The copper status of the soil, together with the frequency …

7 Reasons to Keep Copper Sulfate Handy in Your Home

Written by Naomi Meza

Posted on January 08 2018

Of the many substances found in nature, few are as versatile as Copper Sulfate.

An inorganic compound derived from the combination of Copper and Sulfur, Copper Sulfate takes the form of a bright blue salt.

Due to its vivid color, it also goes by the names Cupric Sulfate, Copper Sulfite, chalcanthite, blue vitriol, and bluestone.

Color isn’t the only outstanding characteristic of Copper Sulfate, however.

Affordable and extremely useful to everyone from farmers to science teachers, the benefits of Copper Sulfate are vast and far-reaching.

Due to its chemical makeup, this compound is highly advantageous in addressing an overly alkaline environment, remedying plant fungi, unwanted root growth, algae growth, and so much more.

1. Fertilizer and Fungicide

Agricultural applications are among the most common uses of Copper Sulfate, boasting numerous functions throughout the care and management of crops. Copper Sulfate is often used as a fertilizer , increasing the copper content of the soil.

This can help to rectify peaty and acidic soils in order to create a hospitable climate for plant growth. Further, Copper Sulfate can be used to address mildew, leaf spots, blight and apple scabs on field fruit trees, nut trees, and vegetables.

2. Pipe Clearing

As a potent compound, Copper Sulfate can be used to clear out problems within your pipes.

Copper Sulfate is particularly effective in clearing root growth from pipes, killing roots safely and quickly .

Due to the minimal absorption required to trigger root death, utilizing Copper Sulfate does not harm the tree itself, preserving plant health while offering a natural alternative to corrosive chemicals.

3. Water Treatments

Algae can be problematic, creating issues with water quality in ponds and lakes.

In order to address algae without compromising the sustainability of fish and other animal communities, Copper Sulfate can be applied to the water .

Copper is most appropriate in situations with alkalinity values over 50 parts per million; alkalinity below this amount may trigger copper sensitivity, increasing the risks of copper poisoning.

4. Pest Control

For a more natural form of pest control, Copper Sulfate can be used to clear trees and gardens of unwanted critters .

A coating of Bordeaux Copper Sulfate mixture can be applied directly to tree trunks to kill snails and slugs, helping to protect commercial or residential property from infestation.

5. Etching

Etching on metal is a popular pastime, both for individuals who are artistically inclined as well as those who want to create a monogrammed or custom look for household items.

Copper Sulfate is an effective way to leave a lasting imprint on soft metals like zinc, mild steel, and aluminum , creating an easy at-home approach to crafting.

A saline sulfate etch mixture can be formed using a combination of Copper Sulfate, sodium chloride, and water, leading to beautiful marks left on metal without a significant investment of time or money.

6. Fun Science

Chemical compounds aren’t just for practical purposes. Copper Sulfate also plays a role in science experiments, including the development of beautiful blue crystals.

Performed using a saturated Copper Sulfate, water, and a jar, the evaporation process can create an exciting science project children will love.

Simply pour Copper Sulfate into your jar, mix with water, and watch and wait. In hours, crystals will start to form, growing upwards. Once a desirable shape and size have been reached, gently remove the crystals from the jar and lay them to dry on paper towels.

Shop Our Copper Sulfate Crystals

From agriculture to etching, Copper Sulfate is a versatile, flexible, and effective compound perfect in countless applications. Whether you’re seeking a fun experiment to share with your child or a way to streng then your garden’s potential, Copper Sulfate can do wonders inside and outside your home.

Of the many substances found in nature, few are as versatile as Copper Sulfate. An inorganic compound derived from the combination of Copper and Sulfur, Copper Sulfate takes the form of a bright blue salt. Due to its vivid color, it also goes by the names Cupric Sulfate, Copper Sulfite, chalcanthite, blue vitriol, and