Nitrogen is one of the essential nutrients for all plants. Despite its wealth on the planet, since it forms slightly more than three-quarters of the gases in the atmosphere, plants need the presence of it in the soil AND in a form that they can assimilate.
If you want to learn more about what nitrogen is used for in plants, continue in this AgroCorrn article where we talk in depth about the role of nitrogen in plants .
- Role of nitrogen in plants – summary
- Nitrogen in plants: importance – summary
- Nitrogen deficiency in plants – symptoms and what to do
- Excess nitrogen in plants – symptoms and what to do
Role of nitrogen in plants – summary
Most plants cannot absorb nitrogen from the atmosphere. In fact, the only ones capable of fixing it are legumes and thanks to the collaboration of Rhizobium bacteria . Because of this, plants need to turn to the nitrogen present in the soil naturally , although its presence is much less than in the atmosphere.
Nitrogen is fixed to the soil through different processes, passing from the atmosphere to the soil and to different organisms in what is known as the nitrogen cycle . Throughout this, it goes through different states, from organic to mineral and vice versa. Plants can only absorb nitrogen in its mineral form. They do it through the absorbent hairs of their roots, thus incorporating it into their body. Regarding the role of nitrogen in plants, broadly speaking, it is an essential nutrient in the production of plant mass .
Nitrogen function in plants – what is it for?
To be more specific, it intervenes in cell division and in many other processes, such as the production of chlorophyll , without which photosynthesis is not possible. It is also a basic component of proteins and amino acids, as well as a large number of enzymes. In addition, it plays an important role in the production of sugars, starch and lipids, among other substances, for nutrition and other basic processes in plants.
As you can see, it is not surprising that so many farmers and gardening enthusiasts are very concerned about the abundance of nitrogen in their plants.
You can learn more about the Plant Nutrition Process with this other AgroCorrn article.
Nitrogen in plants: importance – summary
As we have just seen, nitrogen is basic in a large number of vital processes in plants . As, in addition, the vast majority of soils have a nitrogen concentration lower than what the plants grown by us need, it is necessary to increase the supply of nitrogen to the plants . This can be done in a number of ways. On the one hand, there are the natural pathways, which are divided into biotic and abiotic:
- Biotic is one in which the contribution or fixation of nitrogen to the soil is made by means of microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi, which allow atmospheric nitrogen to degrade to its mineral form, absorbable by plants.
- The abiotic is the one that occurs through atmospheric phenomena such as snow or rain precipitations, which also favor this fixation. As this pathway is much less controllable, organic farming usually focuses on the biotic pathway.
On the other hand, there are manufactured products such as nitrogen fertilizer. Nitrogen fertilizer can be of many types, from chemical or industrial to organic and produced at home, depending on the scale at which it is worked. Normally the regular contribution of this type of fertilizer, in some of its many variants, is basic in almost any crop.
Learn more about the importance of nitrogen and other nutrients and elements that plants get from the air and soil, with this other post about What plants need to live .
Nitrogen deficiency in plants – symptoms and what to do
When a plant is deficient in nitrogen , this will usually present in the form of chlorosis . It is very easy to detect since, since the plant cannot produce chlorophyll in sufficient quantities due to the lack of nitrogen, its leaves will turn yellow , they will begin to lose their green pigment and little by little they will appear yellow. In addition, a plant without enough nitrogen will be smaller than it should be and its stems will lignify sooner.than it should, that is, to dry out and become woody sooner than normal. Usually, the old leaves will be the first to show this chlorosis and yellowing, since the plant will mobilize the nitrogen it has available to the new areas of greater growth.
What to do when plants are deficient in nitrogen
Given these symptoms, it is necessary to take measures and assess the application of nitrogen-rich fertilizers . As always, we recommend the use of ecological and organic fertilizers whenever possible, such as worm castings or bokashi , both easy to produce and very beneficial for the plant.
To learn more about nitrogen deficiency in plants, we advise you to take a look at these other articles on Chlorosis in plants: what it is and how to eliminate it and Yellow leaves in plants: why they come out and solutions .
Excess nitrogen in plants – symptoms and what to do
On the other hand, and as is commonly said, “everything is poison and nothing is poison, only the dose makes the poison.” Even if we talk about nitrogen, an excessive amount will not be good for our crop. The excess of nitrogen in the plants will cause an uncontrolled development in them, in which their stems will lignify less and will have more soft parts . This is an ideal environment for the appearance of pests and diseases , which will prey on plants that have grown too fast and poorly.
In addition, plants will become more susceptible to environmental variations, such as humidity and temperature, so they can get sick or even die more easily. Likewise, the roots will develop less because they do not have to grow to obtain much more nutrients and the production of fruits will be delayed and its yield will decrease.
What to do when there is excess nitrogen in plants
If you detect these symptoms and you think that your plant has excess nitrogen, keep in mind that the crop itself will soon deplete the excess nitrogen in the soil, so it will simply be necessary to cut or strongly limit the supply of fertilizer rich in this element until that the situation normalizes.
If you want to read more articles similar to Function of nitrogen in plants and its importance , we recommend that you enter our Biology category .
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