The importance of potassium (K) for plants

Potassium has an important role in various physiological-biochemical processes including: metabolism, synthesis of carbohydrates and their transport to respiration, protein synthesis, photosynthesis, regulation of water regime and increases the resistance of plants to low temperatures. Plants that produce much more sugar spent potassium because synthesis of sugars is associated to the presence of potassium.
By applying of “luxury” doses of nitrogen, potassium reduces the harmful effects of nitrogen, converting nitrogen into the poorly soluble nitrogen compounds. A good diet with potassium enhances water capacity with better use of water, thereby reducing the effects of drought.
The concentration of potassium in the plant reaches 5% dry matter, and in plants like sugar beet, tobacco, potato, spinach and many more.
Potassium is considered as “element of youth” because the concentration in young plants is generally higher, but often old leaves contain a total of more potassium than young.
The lack of potassium due to its complicated function in the metabolism, affect the whole plant and the development of the plant. The growth of the plant is slower, young leaves are smaller than usual, chlorosis occurs rarely, so the color of the leaf remains normal or darker (due to stagnation of the plant). In old leaves later appears typical edge necrosis and leaf often bends down. Plants have a lower turgor and look withered – sleep.
The lack of potassium can come from high presence of nitrogen in the soil. This lack comes often to light soils with K-fixation and soil that have an high amount of calcium or magnesium. Plants take it in large quantities, so fertilizing with potassium is regular agricultural measure because potassium deficiency is very common.
Excess of potassium is less common occurrence and appears on saline soils or excessive fertilization with potassium (viticulture, plastic and glass). Then appears a problem with the adoption of calcium and magnesium and some trace elements (B, Zn, Mn). Excess in apple-shaped fruits can cause various physiological diseases storing fruit.
The level of presence of the soil with potassium and nitrogen may determine first the agro-chemical analysis of soil or leaf.
For more information you can go to a professional advisory team HORTICENTRAR.