What do nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium that are contained within fertilizers do for plants?
I know that most fertilizers contain nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. What do each of these do for the plant?
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

In simple terms, nitrogen promotes plant growth. It is associated with leafy, vegetative growth. It's part of every protein in the plant, so it's required for virtually every process, from growing new leaves to defending against pests. Nitrogen is part of the chlorophyll molecule, which gives plants their green color and is involved in creating food for the plant through photosynthesis. Lack of nitrogen shows up as general yellowing (chlorosis) of the plant. Because nitrogen can move around in the plant, older growth often yellows more than the new growth. Phosphorus is involved in metabolic processes responsible for transferring energy from one point to another in the plant. It's also critical in root development and flowering. Because phosphorus moves slowly through the soil, it's important to work it into the soil, where it's needed by the roots.  Potassium helps regulate plant metabolism and affects water pressure regulation inside and outside of plant cells. It is important for good rood development. For these reasons, potassium is critical to plant stress tolerance.

Answered by BHGgardenEditors
Community Answers (2)

Yes, it was indeed helpful for my science experiment for the science fair at school. My science experiment is "Which fertilizer is better for the growth of plants?" At first I had no idea what to do, but I'm in 7th grade! But now I know what to do.. But can you use easier words, it's really hard! Anyway, it's awesome! :) But which one is more important? Nitrogen? Phosphorus? Or potassium? <3
Submitted by anna.martin23