Phosphorus Deficiency in Corn

Symptoms of Phosphorus Deficiency in Corn

The first sign of Phosphorus shortage is an overall stunted plant. Leaf shapes may be distorted, and tissue may be dark green in color. Some plants, such as corn, may display a purple or reddish color on the lower leaves and stems. With severe deficiency, dead areas may develop on leaves, fruit, and stems. Older leaves are affected before younger ones because of the redistribution of Phosphorus in the plant.

Phosphorus Deficiency: Purple color on lower leaves

See Additional Deficiencies:

About Phosphorus

Phosphorus plays a vital role as plants convert the sun's energy into food, feed, and fiber. Phosphorus promotes early root formation, root growth, and early shoot growth. The soil provides very small amounts of plant-available Phosphorus and this supply must be continually replenished from minerals and organic matter.

Functions of Phosphorus

  • Important for energy transfer and storage
  • Formation of nucleic acids
  • Promotes root, flower, and seed development

Phosphorus Deficiency is Made Worse By:

  • Very acidic or calcareous conditions
  • Cold conditions
  • Poorly developed root systems
  • Low Phosphorus, high Iron