Skip to content.

Some features of this website require Javascript to be enabled for best usibility. Please enable Javascript to run.

Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Calcium Deficiency


  • Tip burn in folded emerging leaves.
  • Expanded young leaves are cupped, puckered or distorted, with blunt tip.
  • Globs of syrupy liquid may be found on blade midribs.
  • Fruit develops a dense number of achenes (seeds) in patches or over entire fruit; may have a hard texture, acid taste.

Calcium deficiencies are generally not a soil fertility problem. Most Ontario soils have adequate levels of calcium. Deficiencies are often caused by the plant’s environment, and are associated with periods of rapid growth or fluctuations in soil moisture. Young plantings and crops grown in the greenhouse, or on coarse textured, well drained soils and using trickle irrigation may be subject to possible calcium deficiencies.

Calcium is taken up by the root tips, and once in the plant, is moved within the transpiration stream. It is transported to the most actively transpiring plant parts such as the older leaves. Calcium is not easily moved out of plant tissues. It does not move from older leaves to younger leaves like nitrogen. Fruit and young leaves transpire less water or none at all, and these tissues are where the symptoms of calcium deficiency first appear.

Often Confused with
Herbicide injury (such as phenoxy, dicamba, sulfur dioxide)
Sucking insects (aphids, leafhoppers, cyclamen mites, plant bugs)

Management Notes

  • Avoid large fluctuations in soil moisture.
  • Adjust nitrogen or crop environment to discourage excessively rapid growth.
Calcium deficiency in greenhouse strawberry plants Calcium deficiency typical tip-burn Calcium deficiency tip-burn on leaves
Click to enlarge.