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Phosphorous Toxicity and Its Effects

Phosphorous is a type of mineral that is very important in the proper growth and development of various plants. It is normally found in garden soils, however, it is also common for a certain garden soil to be deficient with phosphorous or has low levels of phosphorous that can’t supply the right amount to plants. With the deficiency of phosphorous to the garden, using fertilizers that contain phosphorous is commonly done. However, when using phosphorous fertilizers for long periods of time, it will most likely cause phosphorous build up that can result to toxicity to the entire garden.

Too High Phosphorous Levels

Phosphorous Toxicity and Its Effects

There are many negative effects from too high phosphorous levels. The one of the most common effects of too high levels of phosphorous  to plants is that it will prevent plants from absorbing and utilizing other vital micronutrients, even those micronutrients that are found, sufficient, and readily available for absorption and utilization in the soil. Zinc and Iron are two of the most common micronutrients that can be affected with too high levels of phosphorous.

Symptoms of Phosphorous Toxicity

Since too high levels of phosphorous can cause prevention of plants to absorb and utilize other vital micronutrients, such as iron and zinc, one of the most common signs of phosphorous toxicity is iron and zinc deficiencies. Ways on how to tell that there is deficient zinc and iron is that there will be yellowing of the leaves while there are still green veins for iron deficiency. And for zinc deficiency, there will be obvious sign of bleached appearance to younger foliage of the plants. Both zinc deficiency and iron deficiency when not addressed or managed right away can lead to fatality of your plants. Early detection of those deficiencies can help in effectively getting rid of the problem easily.

How to Determine Phosphorous Levels in Soil

The only way to know and be sure the exact level of phosphorous and other levels of micronutrients in the soil is through soil analysis. If the result of the soil analysis reveals that there is indeed high levels of phosphorous in your soil, stop immediately the application of any fertilizer that contains phosphorous. Eventually, phosphorous levels will most likely drop if you will no longer apply phosphorous fertilizers. In time, the phosphorous levels of your soil would drop and return to its normal and safe level in time. After quite some time, you can again perform soil analysis to be sure.