What does phosphorus do for plants?

Phosphorus is one of 17 nutrients necessary for plant growth and is found in every living plant cell.

Phosphorus is classified as a main nutrient, its functions cannot be performed by any other nutrient, therefore crops need phosphorus to be able to grow and grow optimally.

It is involved in several key plant functions, including energy transfer, photosynthesis, transformation of sugars and starches, nutrient movement within the plant and transfer of genetic characteristics from one generation to the next.

What is phosphorus?

Phosphorus is a chemical element with the notation P and atomic number 15. Element phosphorus exists in 2 main forms: white phosphorus and red phosphorus.

But since it is highly reactive, phosphorus is never found as a free element on the Earth. It has a concentration in the Earth’s crust of about one gram per kilogram (copper comparison at about 0.06 grams).

In minerals, phosphorus usually occurs in the form of phosphates. Besides, phosphorus is also a special nutrient necessary for plant growth.

Lacking phosphorus no living cell can survive. The plant sucks phosphorus in the form of orthophosphoric salt and pyrophosphoric acids as well as organic compounds containing phosphorus.

What does phosphorus do for plants?

Why is phosphorus important to plants

Phosphorus is needed for all crops but most pronouncedly with legumes. They can participate directly in the life processes of plants. They also can promote the nitrogen fixation capacity of the symbiotic microorganisms.

Phosphorus serves as a component of the raw substance and cell spores. So it has a direct effect on the process of cell division, affecting the growth and growth of crops. Especially for young parts.

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Phosphorus is a component of the primary substance, so it greatly affects the permeability of the cell, affecting the absorption of nutrients as well as the resistance of the plant. P increases cold-resistant plants, promotes the growth of roots and meristems.

Additionally, phosphorus also participated in building ADP, ATP which are compounds rich in biological energy of cells, affecting the biological processes of crops such as respiration, photosynthesis, water absorption and mineral salts, so on.

In summary, phosphorus acts as a “stimulant” that stimulates the growth and well-being of the roots of plants, it also stimulates the process of branching, budding, promoting early and abundant flowering plants.

Phosphorus increases the plant’s resistant properties such as: anti-cold, drought resistance, acidity resistance of the soil, resistance to certain pests and diseases, etc.

Where can plants get phosphorus

Phosphorus in the soil is formed from animal waste, biological corpses (called organic phosphorus), and atmospheric dust, inorganic fertilizers infused into the soil (called soluble inorganic phosphorus).

Plants can get phosphorus from the natural environment and from the amount of phosphate fertilizer provided, but the source of phosphorus in nature is not much, so the crop absorbs phosphorus from fertilizers during the cultivation process of farmers mainly.

What does phosphorus do for plants?

The plant sucks phosphorus in the form of octo phosphoric salt and pyrophosphoric acids as well as organic compounds containing phosphorus.

During the period of growth, phosphorus is distributed relatively evenly in parts of the plant. When moving on to the period of sexual development, phosphorus is re-distributed and concentrated mainly in the bio-parts.

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What does phosphorus deficiency cause to plant

Phosphorus plays a very important role in the growth and development of plants, so without it the plant will not absorb nutrients that will harm the growth of the plant.

Lacking phosphorus, no living cell can survive. Nucleoproteins are the most important genetic material in the cell nuclei that are indispensable for phosphorus (phosphate) composition.

Nucleoproteins are compounds of proteins and nucleic acids, to which nucleic acids contain Phosphorus.

Nucleic acid is a high molecular compound that has properties as a colloidal substance. AND and RNA are 2 forms of nucleic acid.

The structure of these two substances is extremely complex and serves as a “re-replication of biological features” for the next life.

What does phosphorus do for plants?

In the composition of nucleic acid, phosphorus accounts for about 20% (Attribution to P2O5) and nucleic acids exist in every cell and in all tissues and parts of the plant.

Phosphorus is also found in the composition of many other plant matters such as phitin, lexitin, saccaro phosphate, etc. These substances all play an important role in many plants, including coffee trees, fruit trees, cocoa trees, rubber and all other crops.

When the plant lacks phosphorus, the synthesis of phosphate is stagnant and the accumulation of saccharose sugar occurs simultaneously, the plant slows down and the ripening process is also prolonged.

Therefore, the inadequate supply of P can reduce the size of seeds, the number of seeds and their viability.

For example, rice plants lacking P as small, narrow leaves, lay small branches, slow ripening, prolonged ripening, many green seeds, seeds. Corn plants lacking P grow slowly, the leaves are green and then turn blood color.

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Caution with phosphorus

Phosphorus is important for plants, however, when providing phosphorus to plant, it is necessary to provide a sufficient amount, not too much.

Although excess P is not as harmful as excess N. It is capable of transporting from the aging agency to the young. However, when the plant is given too much crop phosphorus will not use it in the most effective way.

Excess of phosphate makes the plant ripen too early, which means that crop yields are also reduced.

Phosphorus is essential for seed formation and important for flowering and root growth. So what does phosphorus actually do for plants?


Phosphorus plays an important role not only for humans, but also for plants. It is directly involved in the life processes of plants, affecting the ability of plants to absorb nutrients.

However, during cultivation it is necessary to provide a sufficient amount of phosphorus so that the crop can absorb in the best way, avoiding the excess or lack of phosphorus that harms the crop.

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Jill Sandy

I am a sustainable focus gardener. I love decorating my home backyard with beautiful landscape design and creative garden care techniques I develop myself.