What is Phosphorus?
Phosphorus is a chemical element that is a component of the nucleic acid structure of plants.
Along with nitrogen and potassium, phosphorus makes up one of the three key fertilizer ‘macro-nutrients’ required for healthy soil and plant growth.
Why is it important?
Phosphorus is vital to the healthy growth of plant cells. It plays an important role in the metabolic processes that aid the complex energy transfer within a plant. In addition, phosphorus is important for cell division and new tissue growth. Phosphorus works through the soil, therefore it is essential for root development and flowering.
Adding phosphorus fertiliser into soil that is low in phosphorus promotes vigorous root growth, stimulates tillering and produces a plant more able to withstand winter conditions. This is why it is critical for young plants and seedlings.
If soil lacks phosphorus, the plant growth is stunted and results in a weak or dead plant. Plants that are deficient in phosphorus display dull grey-green leaves, red leaf bases or dead leaves. Seedlings that do not get sufficient phosphorus cannot recover, even if phosphorus is added to the soil at a later time. This is why it is important to add phosphorus fertisiler when seedlings are first planted.
The demand for phosphorus is ongoing due to a lack of substitutes as well as its importance for plant growth and development. As the world population increases and the global demand for food reaches unprecedented levels, there is an enormous demand for such fertilisers.