Copper (Cu) is one of eight essential plant micronutrients. Copper is required for many enzymatic activities in plants and for chlorophyll and seed production. Deficiency of copper can lead to increased plant susceptibility to disease and bacteria.
Most bacteria are known to be sensitive to copper containing solutions. It is common knowledge that the application of copper solutions reduce, or eliminate, most disease and bacterial populations. In fact, copper compounds provide the widest ranging, and most effective control, of most disease and bacterial organisms.
Research has shown there is a direct correlation between copper levels in the plants, and disease incidence in crops.
The higher the copper level, the lower the disease pressure. As measured and monitored in plant tissue analysis, systemic copper acts as a natural defense mechanism against disease and bacteria. Growers who kept elevated systemic copper levels in their leaves reported healthier plants. Healthier plants mean better quality and better quantity.
Symptoms vary greatly depending on the species. Leaves may be chlorotic or deep blue-green with margins rolled up. The bark of trees is often rough and blistered, and gum may exude from fissures in the bark ("exanthema"). Young shoots often die back, whereupon now shoots emerge from multiple buds further back, making for a bushy appearance. Flowering and fruiting are curtailed; annual play may fail to develop and may die in the seedling stage.