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How to Manage Pests

UC Pest Management Guidelines

Dry Beans

Nutrient Deficiency and Toxicity

(Reviewed 8/07, updated 8/07)

In this Guideline:

Beans require proper nutrition for normal growth and yields, and deficiencies and/or excesses of nutrients can cause disease-like conditions.


Symptoms vary depending on the nutrient involved, the cultivar, and the environmental conditions. In general symptoms include the overall yellowing, bronzing, or purpling of plants and/or light green or yellow areas in between dark green veins. Plants tend to be stunted and show poor growth.


The most common nutrient deficiencies occur with magnesium and phosphorous; others include: boron, calcium, copper, iron, manganese, nitrogen, phosphorous, sulfur, and zinc. Toxicities include aluminum, boron, and manganese. Soil pH plays an important role in availability of nutrients. Low soil pH is associated with: aluminum toxicity, calcium deficiency, magnesium toxicity or deficiency, manganese deficiency, and/or nitrogen and phosphorous deficiency. High soil pH is associated with: boron, iron, manganese, and zinc deficiencies. Soil or plant tests may be needed to precisely determine nutrient problems.


Know the pH and nutritional properties of the fields in which beans are to be planted and follow recommended practices for cultivation of beans. Adjust pH and/or nutrient levels when necessary.


[UC Peer Reviewed]

UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Dry Beans
UC ANR Publication 3446
Abiotic Disorders
R. M. Davis, Plant Pathology, UC Davis
C. A. Frate, UC Cooperative Extension, Tulare County
Acknowledgment for contributions to Abiotic Disorders:
A. E. Hall, Botany and Plant Sciences, UC Riverside
Acknowledgment for contributions to Diseases/Abiotic Disorders:
S. R. Temple, Plant Sciences, UC Davis

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