Foliar Feeding of Plants

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Foliar Feeding of Plants


the feeding of plants through the leaves. The possibility of foliar feeding was dis-covered by the English chemist H. Davy early in the 19th century and experimentally confirmed in 1878 by the French chemist and plant physiologist J. B. Boussingault. Foliar feeding is used to correct chlorosis, particularly in woody plants, by spraying them with weak solutions of iron salts. The absorption of salts by leaves, as by roots, is based on exchange absorption. The nutrients absorbed through the leaves quickly move up and down the stem to other organs and into the roots. Minerals are incorporated into proteins, enzymes, pigments of plastids, and other organic substances, thereby forming several organomineral compounds. Foliar feeding with macroelements and microelements increases the intensity of a number of physiological processes, notably photosynthesis and, to a lesser degree, respiration and several enzymatic processes. Spraying plants in the flowering period with solutions of boron and other microelements may improve the setting of the fruit and help prevent it from dropping.


Matskov, F. F. Vnekornevoe pitanie rastenii, Kiev, 1957.
Matskov, F. F. Fiziologiia rastenii. Kiev, 1963.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.