Potassium Deficiency in Potatoes

Symptoms of Potassium Deficiency in Potatoes

One of the most common Potassium deficiency symptoms is scorching along leaf margins. Since Potassium is mobile in the plant, deficiency symptoms appear on older leaves first. Potassium-deficient plants grow slowly and have poorly developed root systems. Stalks are weak and lodging is common. Plants deficient in Potassium show lower resistance to disease and moisture stress and have poor fruit quality and yield.

Potassium Deficiency: Dark green to bluish, glossy appearance, and bronzing on the leaves

About Potassium

Potassium, unlike other nutrients, does not form compounds in plants but remains free to ‘regulate’ many essential processes. This includes enzyme activation, photosynthesis, water-use efficiency, starch formation, and protein synthesis. Most crops contain about the same amounts of Nitrogen and Potassium, but Potassium content of many high-yielding crops is even higher than that of Nitrogen. Most soils contain large amounts of Potassium, but only a small portion is available to plants over a growing season.

Functions of Potassium

  • Necessary for the formation of sugars and starches
  • Essential for oil production
  • Enzyme activator
  • Improves cold weather tolerance

Potassium Deficiency is Made Worse By:

  • Acidic conditions
  • High Calcium and Magnesium