Phosphorus deficiency

Constraint - Phosphorus 

Plant use

  • Phosphorus is a macronutrient

  • Phosphorus has a key role in energy storage and transfer

  • As such is essential for all growth processes 


  • Poor growth/stunted plants,

  • Weak roots and shoots and fewer tillers

  • Blueish/purple leaves

  • Older leaves affected first


  • Yield penalty can be severe if deficiency is great and left untreated

  • in severe cases the plant may die



A soil test or a plant tissue test should be used to confirm phosphorus deficiency. It can be controlled by applying phosphorus fertilisers and by ensuring that the soil pH is above 6 to increase soil P available for plants.




Links and Resources

PDF DEPI VIC - A Nutrient Review of Phosphorus in Wheat

20 page PDF. 'Phosphorous as a nutrient for wheat in southern Australia'. Extensive nutrient review. Written 2013.

File size: 759kb
DEPI VIC - What nutrients do plants require?

6.3.2. Plant use, deficiency symptoms, and the Phosphorus cycle. Page last updated 2013.

File size: 759kb
DPI NSW - Phosphorus nutrition for winter crops

Pages 3-5. Plant use, deficiency symptoms, and factors affecting crop response. Published 2003.

File size: 759kb
DPI NSW - Soil Sense Leaflet

Deficiency symptoms, fertilisers, phosphorus behaviour in soil, uptake problems, and methods to increase uptake. Published 2002.

File size: 759kb
SARDI - Nutrition Management in Broadacre Cropping. Phosphorus

5 page PDF. Information on macronutrients, micronutrients, deficiency symptoms, and management.

File size: 759kb