Why plants need potassium
Most fertilizers consist out of three major macronutrients, N-P-K. On the fertilizer packaging it is usually displayed as three numbers indicating the percentage of each macronutrient, for example 13:3:8, potassium (also known as potash) is the last number (K).
Potassium Sulfate (SOP) contains sulfur, which plays a variety of key roles in optimal growth and development, and when delivered in the sulfate form, as it is with Makhro’s Potassium Sulfate, it is readily available for plant uptake.
Potassium is responsible for improving a plant’s water use from roots to shoots, through the regulation of photosynthesis and transporation. Potassium also fosters nutrient uptake, enhances nitrogen use and increases protein production, boosting overall plant health and the plant’s ability to withstand disease, pests and drought stress.
Potassium regulates the plant’s waterflow or turbo pressure. Turbo pressure is the amount of water (or pressure) inside of each cell. The more pressure you have the more rigid or upright your plant is, and you need potassium to help manage that function of the plant.
As the plant moves into the flowering phase, it will need proportionally more potassium. A shortage of potassium results in a plant that is soft and weak.
How to identify potassium deficiency
Potassium deficiency will affect sandy or light soil more, as water flushes the soil, and therefor might need more potassium.
If you notice curled leaf tips, not a curled leaf where the whole leaf is curled up, just the tips of leaves are curled over, that might be a sign of potassium deficiency. Usually on that same leaf, you will notice yellow edges. The yellowing will later consume the whole leaf and eventually start to turn brown. Another sign of potassium deficiency is Chlorosis, yellowing between the veins of the leaf or purple spotting on the underside of the leaf.
Because potassium helps regulate movement up and down the plant. The plant will take the available potassium and send it to the good leaves, so the upper leaves of your plant will look fine and the lower bottom leaves will start getting the above-mentioned signs. So, look for these problems starting in the bottom of the plant and then slowly working its way up.
Without a doubt, proper potassium management is critical in ensuring healthy plants and optimizing yield.