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Rooting Nutrients: Why Are They Necessary?

Rooting nutrients give your plants the best possible chance of developing the strong, healthy root systems needed for abundant yields. In this article, we’ll consider:

  • Why are rooting nutrients necessary?
  • Which rooting nutrients are best for stimulating root growth?
  • How to ensure your plants get enough of the rooting nutrients they need.

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Rooting Nutrients: Why Are They Necessary?

Rooting nutrients are nutrients that help stimulate healthy root growth.

This is vital, as the root system binds the plant to the soil, allowing it to withstand the elements. They are also the medium through which the plant absorbs water, oxygen and nutrients from the soil. As well as this, roots help balance soil pH levels and protect the plant from diseases and pests by secreting compounds into the soil that encourage beneficial microorganism activity.

As such, a strong root system is a foundation that allows plants to thrive and produce strong yields.

Rooting Nutrients: Which Work Best To Stimulate Root Growth?

Phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) are the two main nutrients that stimulate root growth.

Organic fertilisers often display the relative quantities of each, as well as nitrogen (N), in the form of the NPK ratio.

In particular, phosphorus allows new root systems to spread through the soil or another growing medium. Potassium, meanwhile, helps thicken cell walls thus increasing the root's tolerance to stresses such as sudden shifts in temperature or water availability.

These primary rooting nutrients are therefore especially effective at the start of the growing season.

Nitrogen, however, mainly promotes green growth so if your goal is to stimulate root growth it’s best to choose an organic fertiliser with low nitrogen content.

For instance, one with an NPK ratio of 4:20:20 would contain 4 parts of nitrogen to 20 parts of both phosphorus and potassium, which should be effective at stimulating healthy root growth.

It’s worth noting as well that if you are growing plants for flowers and fruits, phosphorus has the added benefit of playing a key role in their formation.

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How To Ensure Your Plants Get Enough Rooting Nutrients

Ensuring your plants have enough access to the rooting nutrients potassium and phosphorus is the first step to stimulating healthy root growth.

Testing your soil for the quantities of each and supplementing it accordingly with an appropriate organic fertiliser several inches deep will help ensure an adequate supply.

However, just because these rooting nutrients are sufficiently present in the soil doesn’t necessarily mean the plant can make use of them.

To encourage greater uptake of rooting nutrients, you can use an organic root stimulator. These often contain vitamins and plant hormones called auxins that work together to help establish a better growing environment for root systems. They do this by encouraging beneficial microorganism activity which increases oxygen and water availability.

Organic root stimulators are especially effective at stimulating lateral root formation and growth in plant-cutting propagation. Indeed, they are best used on established plants as they can be poisonous to seedlings.

For propagating plants, dip the cut end into the organic root stimulator before planting it in the soil or other growing medium. If you are growing a plant from seed in a pos and it is ready to be planted into the soil, you can also use an organic root stimulator to give a boost to the root system while it establishes itself.

Rooting Nutrients: Key Takeaways

  • A plant’s root system is the bedrock of healthy plant growth and abundant yields.
  • Phosphorus and potassium are essential for healthy, strong root growth.
  • Ensuring an adequate supply of each helps ensure your plant will develop strong roots.
  • Boosting a plant's nutrient uptake through the use of an organic root stimulator is another way to promote healthy root growth.


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