Collin Morgan

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13thOctober 2016

Whatis the effect of fertilizer on plant growth?

Fertilizersare substances or materials containing nutrients, added to the soilor sprayed on the plant, to help them grow[CITATION Jig15 p 9 l 1033 ].Plants require varietyand huge amounts of nutrients to help them grow and develop withoutany challenges. There are two types of fertilizers which include theinorganic and the organic fertilizers. The organic fertilizercomprises of farmyard manure, blood, and bone meal. On the otherhand, inorganic fertilizers are potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorousamong other elements. The type of fertilizer to be used depends onthe plant requirement. The paper elucidates on the significance offertilizers and their effect on plant growth.


Plantsrequire nutrients so as to grow and flourish. Fertilizers act as agood source of these nutrients that may lack in the soil. Theessential elements that plants need to thrive include carbon,hydrogen, and oxygen which are available from the air and water[CITATION Her12 p 120 l 1033 ].On the other hand, nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorousare the three essential macronutrients found in most fertilizers andplay a paramount role in the growth of a plant. Other elements neededby the plant are calcium, sulfur, copper, iron, and magnesium amongothers[CITATION Sid15 p 95 l 1033 ].Out of the elements mentioned above, the most paramount and requiredin plenty are potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus.

Aminoacids are helpful in the growth of a plant as they are the source ofenergy[CITATION Liu14 p 4430 l 1033 ].They comprise of nitrogen, and every molecule contains some elementsof phosphorous. On the other hand, potassium consists ofapproximately 2 percent of the average plant weight, and it isessential for the metabolism process[CITATION Sch16 p 36 l 1033 ].Without the three elements, a plant cannot grow as they are thecrucial pieces needed for growth and development. If any of the threenutrients is missing from the soil, then a plant will have adeficiency and its growth will be limited.

Thegoal of fertilizer is to supplement the soil with the missingelements so as to hasten plant’s growth. Growth and development ofa plant are supported by the crucial mineral elements found in thesoil. For successful growth of plants, there has to be an exchange ofgasses, manufacture of food through photosynthesis, and cellenlargement[CITATION Mah15 p 104 l 1033 ].Under harsh conditions, the lack of essential elements such asnitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous may hinder and disturb theplant’s metabolic processes. As a result, the plant is unable tomanufacture food, cell enlargement process drags, and finally, thecells die, hence the plant withers[CITATION Sid15 p 83 l 1033 ].Stress on minerals and water adversely affect the growth of a plantas it implies that fundamental metabolic processes such asphotosynthesis, grain yield, and reproductive development decline.


Potassiumimproves water relation and productivity of the plant. The element isresponsible for the opening and closing of the stomata guard cells ina leaf. Potassium is a strengthening element that is in charge ofthe growth and development of stems and leaves. It aids in improvingdisease resistance and hardiness, hence enhances wearability. Theelement ensures that plant cells are turgid and strengthened.


Nitrogenis essential for plants and is absorbed from the soil or foliage. Theabsence of nitrogen in results in yellow leaves[CITATION Jig15 p 67 l 1033 ].Nitrogen ensures a rapid vegetative growth of the plant ion leavesand stems, thus promoting and hastening recovery from turf. Plants’chlorophyll, which is a chief ingredient in the dark green color,contains nitrogen element. Nitrogen is also used in the manufactureof amino acidsthat turn in protein form and necessary for plant’s growth.


Phosphorousis essential in the root development process and helps a plant in theinitial growth stages. Like potassium, phosphorous is alsoresponsible for improved plant stamina and strength. It allows fastconversion of starch into sugar, thus hastening the maturity periodof fruits[CITATION Liu14 p 4432 l 1033 ].Cell division is a plant metabolic process through which cellsmultiply and enlarge in size, resulting in growth. Seed developmentand blooming are facilitated by the presence of phosphorous in thesoil.


Fertilizersare essential for the growth of a plant. However, excessiveadministration of fertilizers can adversely affect the growth of aplant. For instance, excess nitrogen and phosphorus can lead toexcessive growth of plants and algae growth that has an adverseimplication for drinking water, and fisheries[CITATION Her12 p 82 l 1033 ].High levels of potassium can lead to imbalance saturation levels,while elevated levels of magnesium and calcium result in high pHvalues, harmful to the plant. Therefore, it is important to apply theappropriate amount of fertilizers needed by the plant to ensuresmooth growth and development.


Typically,nutrients occur naturally in well-maintained soils, however, due toearth activities such as drainage, soil erosion, and volcanoeruptions soil nutrients can diminish or even disappear. Therefore,adding soil nutrients on the ground in the form of fertilizers helpsin supplementing the absent nutrients. Plants need myriad nutrientsfor it to grow and develop in a healthy manner. Nevertheless,supplementing the plant with the primary nutrients helps improveproduction.


Herren, Ray V . The Science of Agriculture: A Biological Approach. New York: Cengage Learning, 2012.

Jigme et al. &quotThe effect of organic fertilizers on growth and yield of broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var. italica Plenck cv. Top Green).&quot Journal of Organic Systems, 10(1) (2015): 9-14.

Liu et al, Cheng-Wei . &quotEffects of Nitrogen Fertilizers on the Growth and Nitrate Content of Lettuce.&quot International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 11(4) (2014): 4427-4440.

Maheshwari, Dinesh K. Bacterial Metabolites in Sustainable Agroecosystem. New York: Springer, 2015.

Schnug, Ewald and Luit J De Kok. Phosphorus in Agriculture: 100 % Zero. New York: Springer, 2016.

Siddiqui et al, Manzer H. Nanotechnology and Plant Sciences: Nanoparticles and Their Impact on Plants. New York: Springer, 2015.

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