Plants need light, carbon dioxide, water and mineral nutrients in order to grow. Water is supplied through the substrate, and it contains dissolved mineral elements. The mobility of these nutrients is determined by substrate pH. Especially affected are those nutrients that plants require in small quantities, called micronutrients or trace elements.
When the pH is too low, the micronutrients become more mobile and are absorbed in excess of what the plant needs, resulting in this potential for toxicities.
When the pH is too high, the micronutrients are less mobile and the plant cannot absorb enough.
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