Potassium (K)

Last updated: November 19, 2021

What Does Potassium (K) Mean?

Potassium (K) is a chemical element. The element was first isolated from potash (plant ashes), which is where its name is derived. Potassium is one of 16 plant nutrients, and one of the three primary plant nutrients (macronutrients).

As potassium is exceedingly important in plant growth, 95 per cent of potassium chemical production is used in agricultural fertilizers.


Maximum Yield Explains Potassium (K)

Potassium is one of the three primary nutrients that are essential for proper plant growth and development. It is considered a primary nutrient as plants require larger amounts of potassium (along with nitrogen and phosphorus) than any other nutrient.

In plant biology, potassium is responsible for many different functions. Potassium plays a key role in the processes of photosynthesis, the creation of essential plant proteins, and the activation of plant enzymes. In addition, potassium aids in making plants more resistant to cold weather and diseases.

Potassium deficiency in plants will generally hinder healthy growth. With severe potassium deficiency, plants can exhibit brown spots, brown veins, yellow edges, or yellowing veins. However, potassium deficiency in plants can be remedied by adding a potassium-based, or potassium-only fertilizer to the soil the affected plants are grown in. Many growers use potassium-rich fertilizer during the flowering or blooming stage of crop growth; these are sometimes referred to as 'bloom boosters'.

Potassium (K) puts the K in the gardening acronym 'N-P-K', which is common to see on fertilizer labels. This is a ratio that highlights the amounts of the three macronutrients the fertilizer contains. For example, a fertilizer with the label 5-5-5 contains equal parts nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.


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