Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Cabbage boron deficiency (290)

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  • Worldwid distribution. All members of cabbage family (in Papua New Guinea on cabbage, cauliflower, beetroot, celery, turnip).
  • Small amounts needed for plant growth. Worse in sandy soils, > pH7, low organic matter, droughts, soil high in calcium. Boron does not move from older to younger leaves.
  • Cabbage stems hollow, heads small, leaf stalks brittle; foul-smelling soft rots may occur.
  • Cultural control: add plenty of compost; if symptoms persist, have a soil tested by government authorities to make sure boron is the cause.
  • Chemical control: either (i) borax at 10 kg/ha (1 g/m2), and repeat at 2 weeks; or (ii) e.g., Solubar 6-12 kg/ha soil application (0.6-1.2 kg/m2).
Common Name

Cabbage hollow stem

Scientific Name

Boron deficiency

AUTHOR Grahame Jackson 
1Graham KM (1971) Plant diseases of Fiji. Ministry of Overseas Development. Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London; and Higgins G, Scheufele S (2016) Boron deficiency. The Centre for Agriculture, Food and the Environment, UMassAmherst Vegetable Program. (,hollow%20stems%20with%20discolored%20tissue.&text=Boron%20applications%20are%20not%20recommended%20to%20prevent%20hollow%20stem%20in%20the%20field.); and Kelling KA (undated) Understanding plant nutrients: Soil and applied boron. University of Wisconsin-Extension. (; and from Dear BS, Weir RG (2004) Boron deficiency in pastures and field crops. AGFACTS NSW Agriculture. ( Photo 1 Gerald Holmes, California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo,

Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project PC/2010/090: Strengthening integrated crop management research in the Pacific Islands in support of sustainable intensification of high-value crop production, implemented by the University of Queensland and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community. 

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