Top 9 Plants That Like High Phosphorus 

Last Updated on December 27, 2022

In this article, we have prepared a list of plants that like high phosphorus during their growth journey.

Phosphorus is one of the major components of plant cell walls and it also serves as an energy source for plant metabolism. During its growth journey, the phosphorus in plants is used by the plant to build up their biomass. Phosphorus helps in the formation of carbohydrates and nucleic acids. When the plant grows, phosphorus is absorbed from the soil and transported through root cells to other parts of the plant.

The Work Of Phosphorus In Plants

Phosphorus is one of the important nutrients a plant needs to thrive. It is also an essential component for many processes like energy production, cell growth and maintenance, signal transduction, storage of energy, and as a structural component.

Phosphorus is also an important element in the synthesis of nucleic acids, proteins, enzymes, coenzymes, and phospholipids.  Phosphorus is present in all living organisms. It is required by plants, bacteria, fungi, and animals.

There are two different sources of phosphorus in the soil, including organic phosphorus and inorganic phosphorus.

  • Organic phosphorus is usually found in the form of phosphate.
  • Inorganic phosphorus is mostly in the form of calcium phosphate or calcium-magnesium phosphate.

Plants use both sources of phosphorus to produce energy and maintain their metabolism. They use inorganic phosphorus for the synthesis of nucleic acids and proteins, while they use organic phosphorus to store energy.

Phosphorus is essential to plant growth. It is the second most abundant element on Earth after oxygen. It is also a key component of DNA and RNA, a cofactor of many enzymes, a structural component of many cell membranes, and a major constituent of chlorophyll and chloroplast. Organic phosphorus is available to plants in the form of phosphates, phosphonates, phosphites, and phosphates. Phosphates are organic molecules that contain phosphorus. Phosphonates are similar to phosphates but contain a carbon group instead of a hydrogen group. Phosphites are organic molecules with two phosphorus atoms. They are similar to phosphonates, but they do not have a carbon group.

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Top 9 Plants That Like High Phosphorus

Here is a list of plants that like high phosphorus (phosphate) in the soil. This list includes not only vegetables but also ornamentals such as roses, ferns, and other houseplants. Some of these plants are good choices for the home garden because they can be grown in containers.

As you look through this list, remember that there is no hard and fast rule about how much phosphorus your plant needs. Many different plants will grow well with differing amounts of phosphorus.  Even plants that like high phosphorus do not use the same amount.

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Brugmansia (Spider plant)

This beautiful and popular tropical plant is very easy to grow and it has many uses. It can be used in a container or a garden. The plant blooms from May through October and it does best in a warm, sunny location. Brugmansia likes a lot of phosphorus in the soil so you can add up to 10 lbs of fertilizer per 1000 square feet of soil. You can get this plant at your local garden center or nursery.

Aloe Vera

Aloes are popular houseplants and they are great for containers. They have a strong, flexible root system that is ideal for growing in containers. They do best in areas that get a lot of suns. Most aloes need high levels of phosphorus in the soil to grow well.

Hydrangea

Hydrangeas are great houseplants for containers because they are easy to care for and they are long-lived. They also have a beautiful flower that attracts butterflies.  Hydrangeas like bright light and they prefer full sun. If you don’t have a lot of space in your yard, you can use them as an accent plant in a small garden area. Hydrangeas like to be watered regularly but not too often. You can get these plants at most garden centers or nurseries.

Lemon

Lemon is a very popular houseplant and it has many uses. It is a fast-growing plant and it likes lots of sunlight. It is best to place it in areas that get a lot of sunlight. The lemon tree likes phosphorus in the soil so you can add up to 10 lbs of fertilizer per 1000 square feet of soil.

Plants That Like High Phosphorus - Lemon

Solanum

This is one of the most popular houseplants because it is easy to grow and it has many uses. It is a fast-growing plant that likes lots of sunlight and warm temperatures. You can grow this plant in a container or a garden.

Mint

Mint is a great houseplant for containers because it is easy to care for. It likes high levels of phosphorus in the soil so you can add as much as 10lbs in 1000 square feet of soil.

Amaranthus

Amaranthus are popular houseplants because they are easy to grow and they have many uses. They like bright light and they are easy to grow. They are very adaptable and they do well in many different types of soils. You can grow them in a container or a garden. You can buy amaranth seeds at your local garden center or nursery.

Bromeliads

Bromeliads are popular houseplants because they are easy to care for and they are beautiful. They have a large variety of colors and they can be found in many different shapes and sizes. Bromeliads are native to Central America but they are now found all over the world. You can buy bromeliad plants at your local garden center or nursery.

Plants That Like High Phosphorus - Bromeliads

Begonias

Begonias are popular houseplants because they are easy to grow, they are pretty, and they have a wide variety of different types of flowers. They are native to South America but they are now found all over the world. You can buy begonia seeds at your local garden center or nursery.

How to Determine Total Phosphorus in Soils?

There are various commercial kits and equipment that you can purchase to test for or determine the total phosphorus content in the soil. These different kits have different methods that are used to test for phosphorus.

One of the methods of soil total phosphorus determination works this way; a soil solution (of water and soil is made), allowed to sit for about 20 minutes to allow for proper mixing. After this, an aliquot of the solution is taken and reacted with sodium molybdate in an acid solution and aqueous hydrazine sulfate. The phosphorus concentration is determined by the blue color formed from this reaction. A spectrophotometer is then used to read the solution and give you a reading of the total phosphorus concentration

How Do You Neutralize Phosphorus in Soil?

Neutralizing phosphorus in the soil may be necessary as a means of correction if the phosphorus content gets higher than needed. High levels of phosphorus in the soil are usually a result of overfertilization or the addition of too much manure. This phenomenon is a problem because it will damage your plants and the phosphorus can also stay in the soil for a long period, creating long-term problems.

Unfortunately, once there is a buildup of phosphorus in the soil, it is not much you can do to get rid of it. There are however measures that you can take to prevent further buildup. Here are some of the measures that you can take:

  • Avoid the addition of fertilizer or manure which may be high in phosphorus
  • Plant nitrogen fixing plants in the area that will only put back nitrogen in the soil and not phosphorus
  • If you have to use fertilizer, make sure that you use phosphorus-free fertilizer
  • Spray zinc and iron foliar spray on crops planted in soils with high phosphorus levels, as these plants require those minerals for their health
  • Employing these measures will help keep the phosphorus levels from increasing, and over time the levels will get lower in the soil.

What Are The Pros and Cons of Having High Levels of Phosphorus in Soil From Added Fertilizers?

Pros of high soil phosphorus levels:

Sufficient phosphorus in the soil will help support efficient plant growth, resulting in thicker plant stalks, better crop quality, improved root growth, and earlier crop maturity

Phosphorus helps improve the plants’ resistance to negative unfavorable conditions. It can improve the plants’ resistance to conditions such as frost and other conditions associated with winter.

Cons of high soil phosphorus levels:

High levels of phosphorus in the soil can reduce the plant’s ability to take up certain micronutrients such as iron and zinc even when they are available in sufficient quantities in the soil.

Too much phosphorus can lead to an overgrowth of algae, resulting in eutrophication which will deplete oxygen levels and as a result hamper the growth of the plants.

How Do You Replace Phosphorus in Soil?

Depleted phosphorus in the soil can be replaced by putting manure, bonemeal, compost, and phosphorus-containing fertilizer into the soil. Add it to the soil 1-2 weeks before planting your crops and you will have the best results.

What Plants Put Phosphorus Back Into The Soil?

Plants such as comfrey, lupine, sweet clovers, nettle, or vetches accumulate phosphorus in their tissues. These plants can be harvested and used as manure to put back phosphorus into the soil.

At What pH Range is Phosphorus in The Soil Available For Plant Uptake?

A soil pH range of 6-7 is ideal for maximum phosphorus availability to plants.

Does Animal Waste Remove Phosphorus From Soil?

Animal manure naturally contains phosphorus in organic and inorganic forms. When it mineralizes, organic phosphorus becomes inorganic and becomes available to plants. Therefore, animal waste adds phosphorus to the soil.

In summary

The above list includes plants that like high phosphorus and do well with a lot of it in the soil. They have to be kept moist, but not wet whether growing in pots or the garden. They like to grow in shade and partial shade. A greenhouse is a great place for them. Some of these plants are perennial and some are annuals. There are hundreds of different varieties of plants that like high phosphorus, so choose carefully.

FAQ’s

What grows when phosphorus levels are too high?

All the above plants thrive well when the soil has high levels of phosphorous.

Is high phosphorus good for plants?

Yes, high phosphorous is good for plants. It improves the quality of the plant's roots and leaves. It also helps in the absorption of nutrients by the plant.

Which vegetable plants need more phosphorus?

Potatoes, corn, tomatoes, carrots and beans require a lot of phosphorus to grow well. They all need high amounts of phosphorus. Other vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach and lettuce can get along with lower amounts of phosphorus.

What is the fastest way to add phosphorus to the soil?

You can add phosphorus to the soil by sprinkling it on top of the soil. This will be the fastest way to add phosphorus to your soil. Different vegetables require different amounts of phosphorus. You need to know how much phosphorus you need to grow a particular vegetable. To determine this amount, you have to know the number of leaves on a plant. For example, the number of leaves on a tomato plant is 6-10.

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