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Study on relationship between potassium nutrition and flower quality

Potassium is one of the sixteen essential nutrients required for plant growth and reproduction. It regulates 60 different enzyme systems in plants. Potassium plays an important role in enhancing crop quality. It increases the tolerance of plants to diseases and insects. Potassium plays role in proper root growth and aids plants in the production of starches. Potassium supports the plant to resist drought and the extreme effects of excessive temperature.

An important function of potassium is also the regulation of water use in plants. This osmoregulation process of potassium affects water transport in the xylem, supports sustaining of daily cell turgor pressure, affects cell elongation for plant growth and most importantly it regulates the opening and closing of stomata which affects transpiration cooling and uptake of carbon dioxide for photosynthesis and food function. It aids roses and other flowering plants by encouraging strong stems and well-developed flowers. For most ornamental plants, potassium is the nutrient required in higher quantities. The leaves often become dark green and necrotic tissues occur in general at the margin of the leaves under the condition of potassium deficiency.

Potassium is a mobile element, translocated through phloem along with sucrose and which has great importance in the creation of the osmotic gradient between the source and the drain water in the plant, especially in the flowering stage. the flowers tend to be strong drain water, which can lead to a deficit of potassium, and consequently cause a decrease in sucrose levels with a possible adverse effect on flowering. Several studies related the effects of potassium fertilization on growth, flowering and flower quality were done in various ornamental plants such as Zinnia elegans, Tagetes erecta, Dianthus spp., Chrysanthemum, Lilium spp., Gladiolus spp., Gerbera spp., Dahlia spp., Lavandula spp., Catharenthus roseus, ornamental sun flower. These studies confirmed the significant positive effects of potassium sources on the growth, flowering, flower quality of ornamental plants.

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