Role Of Soil pH In Nutrient Uptake By Plants

Soil pH is the main property of the soil which influences the availability of nutrients. It is an important aspect that tells us about the alkaline or acidic nature of the soil. The pH scale usually ranges from 0-14. If the soil pH is less than 7 then it is known as acidic, if the pH is less than 5 then those kinds of soils are known as strongly acidic and if the pH is greater than 7, then the soil is known as alkaline soil with 7 being neutral. The most ideal pH for the soil lies between 6 to 7.


Why Is Soil pH Important? 

The availability of essential nutrients depends on the soil pH. All the essential nutrients or micronutrients are not available to plants in every pH range. Few of them are available in acidic conditions while others are present in alkaline conditions which favor plant growth, but excess amount of these nutrients can affect plant growth. 

Maintaining a proper pH also leads to good soil health which gives good production 

Maintaining the soil pH can also decrease the number of weeds and also increases microbial activity  

Not maintaining proper pH can also decrease the useful bacteria like rhizobium that are helpful in nitrogen fixation. 

How Does Soil pH Affect The Nutrient Uptake?  

Few micronutrients like Manganese, aluminum is available in excess amount in acidic soils making the other micronutrients like calcium magnesium and phosphorous less available to plants. Excess or lower amount of these micronutrients may lead to toxicity or deficiency symptoms like aluminum toxicity, manganese toxicity calcium deficiency etc.  

In alkaline soil or soils with high pH, phosphorus and most of the micronutrients are not available except molybdenum. 

Iron deficiency is also a major problem in alkaline soils which leads to chlorosis. 

Soil Amendments / Ways To Maintain Proper pH  

Acidic soils/ soil with low pH can be corrected by adding liming materials like limestone, quick lime. These liming materials neutralize the acidity of soil decreasing the toxicity of aluminum, manganese, and calcium deficiency. Whereas alkaline soils can be corrected by adding gypsum to the soil or we can also add organic amendments like rice husk, compost or we can even grow green manuring crops like Sesbania and diancha.  

Following proper water and soil management techniques increases the decomposition of organic matter and we can even grow acid tolerant crops like potato, tomato, carrot, rice. We can also use chemicals which turns the pH or balances the pH 

So, to make available all the nutrients to the plants and to avoid the toxicity or deficiency symptoms we must always check the pH for good plant soil health and productivity of the plants. 

Also Read : सफेद जंग  (White rust)  के लक्षण और प्रबंधन

Created by 

Chandra Tejni

Subject Matter Expert

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