Sodium Role in Plants

sodium role in plants

The word sodium is often associated with many different things in our society today.  It is most commonly associated with sodium chloride, common table salt, and the major component of sea water.  Many people think very negatively about sodium chloride and its value to the human body, animals and plants.  Sodium was determined to be an essential mineral element for plants as recently as 1965.  Plants with deficient levels of sodium become necrotic and chlorotic; growth ceases.  While sodium is not essential for C3 plants and is essential for most C4 plants, many of both exhibit enhanced growth when receiving higher concentrations of sodium.

Sodium is actually one of the more abundant elements on the Earth’s crust, ca. 2.8% compared with ca. 2.6% for potassium.  Higher plants require sodium in order to be able to grow to their full potential.  Increased growth rates resulting from sodium is the result of improved water balance within the plant and resulting cell expansion.

A potential source of sodium fertilization is through composts.   Composts and manures contain inorganic and organic salts which help to provide the sodium which plants require.  Studies have shown  an increase in the amount of carbon dioxide that is taken up by plants which are enriched with enough sodium.  In one study, within 24 hours of receiving an enrichment of sodium on the surface of the leaves, a plant experienced an increase of CO2 in many of the leaves and reached full expansion of growth.  Just within 24 hours!  This supports the idea that there is an intimate relationship between sodium enrichment in plants and the amount of oxygen that is taken up, as well as the amount of CO2 that is transported throughout the plant and ultimately, plant growth.

The 3-1-2 N-P-K ratio of Dyna-Gro Foliage-Pro® is an ideal ratio for virtually all plants.  Regular use will eliminate any mineral deficiencies.  It also provides just the right amount of sodium in the right form to ensure that your plants grow to their maximum.!OpenDocument