Why Plants Need Potassium?

Why Plants Need Potassium

One of the most popular answers to why plants need potassium is that they contain it in their roots. Potassium is one of the most plentiful minerals on earth. Potassium is a vital element needed for many plants to grow and thrive. Plants use potassium to absorb water from the soil, make the root systems stronger, add color, and increase the photosynthesis process. Without potassium, the plants would not be able to survive.

1. Helps Plants Grow Better

The fact that potassium is so important to plants is what makes scientists believe that plants use potassium so much. For example, in addition to providing people with a healthy diet, potassium rich foods can actually help plants grow better. Certain types of grasses and certain types of weeds are known for being especially potassium rich. It’s not clear why this occurs, but it is thought to have something to do with how the grass grows. Perhaps more study will need to be done to determine why plants grow better with higher levels of potassium.

2. A Nutrient Required By Plant

But why is potassium so important to plants? Potassium is one of the main nutrients required by plants, in large enough doses it may even be toxic to plants. However, even if plants do require high levels of potassium it is not usually a health threat. When there is too much potassium in the soil, though, it can cause the plants to wilt. This happens because their tissues are unable to absorb the extra potassium.

3. How Plant Absorb Potassium

So how can plants actually absorb potassium in the soil? Plants use a process called respiration to obtain most of their potassium. Basically, plants extract water from the soil and then process the water using the leaves, stem and roots to get most of the potassium they need. Plants also make use of compounds called super salts to increase the amount of potassium they get from the soil. Plants not only need the mineral potassium; they also need other trace minerals, such as phosphorus and magnesium, in large enough quantities to meet their nutritional needs. Plants therefore cannot survive without these other essential nutrients.

4. Sufficient Amount Of Potassium Should Be Given

So in order to grow properly, plants must be given sufficient amounts of these other vital trace minerals. Fortunately, it is quite easy to give plants a nutritious diet. Almost all plants can derive nutrition from commercially available fertilizers rich in potassium and other minerals. Also, some common household chemicals, such as calcium thioglycolate, already contain potassium. Potassium is rarely deficient in any area of the world.

5. Potassium Should Be Given To Plants With Other Fertilizers

But although commercial fertilizers can supply sufficient amounts of potassium, they are synthetic products and as a result can actually stimulate the growth of weeds. This is because soil, even rich in potassium, is usually deficient in other trace minerals. A recent study showed that potassium alone does not guarantee good soil fertility but rather a combination of different essential trace minerals. A deficiency in magnesium, for example, can prevent the growth of a plant and so on.

6. Sub-Irrigation

Sub-irrigation is one of the many solutions that can help a plant grow better when it is not experiencing a shortage of potassium or other minerals. This technique uses an elevated water level in the soil in order to avoid evaporation or loss of moisture. It can help prevent plant diseases by increasing the water table and ensuring that the soil’s PH level is maintained at a comfortable level. It also ensures that plant growth experiences high quality development due to the presence of extra nutrients.

7. Why Plants Experience Potassium Deficiency

One of the reasons why plants may experience a potassium deficiency is because they have become used to receiving just enough nutrients from the soil. They may not be getting as much as they need, perhaps because they are not being fertilized enough or they are unable to absorb as much as they need from the soil, leaving them with a shortage. They then become stressed and vulnerable to diseases. Sub-irrigation is used to provide plant growth with extra potassium, thus ensuring that the plant will continue to flourish when it is not experiencing a lack of potassium in the soil.

8. Conclusion

The above reasons make potassium in plants very important. If you do not provide your plants with sufficient potassium in the form of fertilizers, you may face the risk of shortening their lives. In such a scenario, a little effort on your part would be worth it. Try to buy organic fertilizers, as they do not contain any chemicals, which could prove harmful for the plants. And if you prefer to save money and live healthier, take the help of a potassium-enriched food supplement.

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