Best Nutrients for Root Growth
The best nutrients for root growth are potassium (K) and phosphorus (P). A plant with access to plenty of both will be able to create and maintain dense root networks that support its growth and development.
Roots and Root Systems
Roots play an essential role in the life of plants. Firstly, they are the plant’s anchor to the soil, keeping it in place and in contact with the soil, its main source of nutrients. Secondly, they absorb the nutrients in the soil, feeding the plant and allowing it to grow. The third main function of roots is to soak up water, keeping the plant hydrated.
There are two main types of root systems. The fibrous system and the taproot system. The fibrous root system deploys many evenly sized roots into the soil in a great mass. The taproot system, by comparison, involves a single, thick root, with many much smaller secondary roots extending from the main root.
Best Nutrients for Root Growth: The Role of P and K Nutrients
There are three main plant nutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. As stated, the best nutrients for root growth are potassium and phosphorus.
Potassium plays a role in the transportation of nutrients and water in a plant. As such it also aids the development of plant root systems. Studies have shown that a lack of potassium, while not affecting the functioning of roots, will stunt the development of roots, leading to roots with a lower than normal size, covering a smaller than usual area.
Phosphorus, meanwhile, is needed for transforming energy into various forms and creating new tissue. A product of its activities is the stimulation of root growth. The plant uses phosphorus to grow roots deep into the soil in the search for nutrients, water, and air; the longer the roots of a plant the easier it is for it to find the resources it needs to thrive.
Best Nutrients for Root Growth: Where to Find Them
The best nutrients for root growth, potassium and phosphorus, can be found in many fertilisers. Fertilisers will always display the NPK ratio to indicate the amount of the three main plant nutrients—nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium—it contains. The higher the numbers in the ratio, the greater the percentage of the fertiliser is comprised of those three nutrients. For example, a fertiliser with an NPK ratio of 10-10-10 contains equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Therefore, to give your roots a boost, look for an NPK ratio where the second two numbers are higher than the first.
Potassium and phosphorous can also be found in organic materials that can be added to soil in advance of planting or afterwards. Chicken manure is a rich source of potassium, as are kelp, greensand, and the ashes of burnt hardwoods. To add phosphorus, look for rock phosphate, manure, and some types of compost.
Best Nutrients for Root Growth from BAC
Fertilisers from BAC contain the best nutrients for root growth and will give your plant’s roots the boost they need.
Our strongest potassium and phosphorous fertiliser is the F1 Extreme Booster. It has an NPK ratio of 0-13-14, which makes it ideal for resolving nutrient deficiencies affecting the roots.
A less concentrated option is our Organic Bloom fertiliser. It is designed for the blooming period, but it contains a balanced mix of the three main plant nutrients which means it is well suited to the needs of roots as well.
On top of our fertiliser range, we also offer a Root Stimulator that increases the number of beneficial microorganisms in the soil that improve the nutrient absorbing abilities of roots.