Functions and deficiency symptoms of Potassium

Functions and deficiency symptoms of Potassium

  • Potassium is indispensable in the plant nutrition and needs to be supplied in relatively large quantities to fruit crops and field crops. Plants absorb K from the soil as K+ ion and it is mobile in nature in plants. Potassium does not enter in to the composition of any of the constituents of the plant cells such as proteins, chlorophyll, fats and carbohydrates. It primarily occurs as soluble inorganic salts and occasionally as salts of organic acids. It is abundant cation in the cytoplasm, meristematic regions, cell sap. It is considered as Quality element for many crops.


      1. Potassium is responsible for osmoregulation and controls cell turger pressure.
      2. It has important role in pH stabilization, enzyme activation, protein synthesis, stomata movement (closing and opening), cell extension and photosynthesis.
      3. Impart drought/heat/frost resistance to plants as it regulates transpiration and water conditions in the plant cell. It improves water use efficiency
      4. Impart pest and disease resistance to plants
      5. Required for ATP synthesis and better N use efficiency by favoring the protein formation.
      6. Plants become strong and stiff; thus it reduces lodging of plants. 7. Essential in the formation and transfer of starch and sugars especially in potato, sweet potato, turnip, banana, tapioca.

    Deficiency symptoms

      1. Weakening of stem and Lodging of crops and easy susceptibility to pest and diseases.
      2. Scorching of leaves and burning appearance of leaf margins and tip
      3. Poor keeping quality of fruits. The quality of fruits and vegetables decreased.
      4. Marginal necrosis and burning of leaf tips.
      5. Stunted growth, shortening of internodes.
      6. It causes great disturbance in the water economy of plants and more water is lost per unit dry matter.
      7. Poor sprouting of vines.
      8. Severe attack of the grapes with Botrytis cinerea due to K deficiency.


Raspberry Leaf — Marginal leaf scorch and interveinal necrosis/browning; leaves generally curl towards under surfaces.


Gooseberry Leaves — Marginal leaf scorch. Leaves bluish-green, generally curled backward; Developing purpling tints followed by grayish brown marginal scorch; purpling disappears as scorching develops.


Apple Leaves — Marginal leaf scorches either brown or grayish brown color. Leaves bluish-green with slight marginal and interveinal chlorosis,







  Bell_Peppers Chilies.

                       Potassium Deficiency in Beets                                       Potassium deficiency (Bell peppers)                       Potassium deficiency( Chilies)

Onions PeanutsPotato

                          Potassium deficiency in Onions                                  Potassium deficiency in Peanuts                                          Potassium deficiency in Potato

Last modified: Monday, 5 December 2011, 11:16 AM