Boron In Soil: The Effects Of Boron On Plants
The effects of boron on plants are very interesting and interesting to know about.
You may have heard about the importance of boron in soil but it is not known what exactly does it do? What does it actually do? Does it cause some sort of reaction or effect on plant growth?
Well, this article will tell you all that!
What Is Boron?
Boron is a naturally occurring element found in many different soils. It is used as a fertilizer and in industry. However, it is also present in nature where it occurs as trace elements such as borate, boric acid, and even bromide. These trace elements are usually only present at low concentrations (less than 1 part per million) and they are called “trace” because they are so minute that they cannot be detected with the naked eye. They are also called “mineral” since they occur in minerals like sand, clay, and silt.
These trace elements act as building blocks for other compounds which make up living things. For example, borates bind to water molecules to form insoluble salts such as sodium chloride (table salt). The borates are then transported in the water and are used by plants.
Boron is important for plant growth because it helps plants make the compounds needed to grow properly. It is especially important for young plants, which are still growing and developing new roots, stems, leaves, and flowers. Boron also helps the plant support its own weight during growth. These effects help plants grow strong and healthy without disease or unnatural mutations.
Boron has many other functions in plants. It helps them make amino acids, convert sugars, and metabolize various elements.
If boron is lacking in the soil, it can cause a plant to become weak and unhealthy. Some of the effects of boron deficiency include delayed seed germination and stunted growth. The leaves will also become yellow and the tips may die back.
If the boron deficiency is not addressed, this condition will worsen. The tips of the leaves will eventually turn brown and die. This continues until the whole plant dies.
Over-application of boron can also be bad for plants. While a lack of boron can cause death, an excess can lead to other problems. If there is too much boron in the soil, it can lead to severely reduced growth and deformed stems and roots. The excess can also prevent the uptake and utilization of other nutrients like molybdenum, copper, and nitrogen.
Excess boron can also lead to an increase in the amount of hydrogen ions in the soil. This can interfere with the uptake of other nutrients.
It is possible for plants to become too boron. This condition is called boron toxicity. It occurs when there is too much boron in the soil too fast. This can be caused by over-fertilization, water run-off from chemical spills or natural events such as volcanic eruptions and earthquakes that shake boron-enriched soil loose from the ground and into the water table.
Too much boron can lead to a decrease in plant growth and leaf drop. In extreme cases, it can cause plant death.
Boron toxicity can also cause other problems in animals who consume the plants. This is due to the fact that excess boron can cause digestive upsets in animals who eat the plants and can even lead to death.
Boron and Humans
Humans also have a need for boron. While we don’t need as much as plants do, we still need it. Boron is necessary for the proper function of our cells and for strengthening our bones. It is especially important for pregnant women, newborn babies, and young children up to about ten years old.
In humans, boron works with calcium to strengthen the bones and in the metabolism of essential fatty acids. This strengthens our cell walls and keeps them from leaking vital nutrients into the body. Without boron, bones become weak and more prone to fracture or breakage. Boron is also involved in the metabolism of hormones such as estrogen, testosterone, and others.
As we grow older, our body’s need for boron increases since we aren’t creating new cells as rapidly. This means that older people may benefit from boron supplementation even more than children would. Elderly people are also more prone to having boron deficiencies since their ability to absorb nutrients from food decreases as they age.
Other animals such as birds, horses, and cattle also need boron in their diet.
Most soil in the world has some level of boron in it. Borax is one of the ingredients of most chemical fertilizers, so most plants grown with artificial means have a certain amount of boron in them when harvested.
Most fruits and vegetables grown with natural means also have some boron in them. Meat, eggs, and fish are not a good source of boron since they don’t absorb it from the soil. Some nuts such as almonds, pecans, and hazel nuts are high in boron.
Borax is an ingredient in many home recipes for cleaning products. When used in a well-ventilated area, it can be useful for cleaning the house, clothes, and laundry. It is important to note that you should not use a solution stronger than a 10% concentration since higher concentrations can irritate the skin and eyes.
Borax is also useful as a pest control agent since many pests such as ants, termites, fleas, and silverfish will not cross a line of borax. This is most likely due to the fact that it slightly poisons them when they cross it.
Borax is also useful as a fire retardant. It will not put an out of control fire out, but it can be used to prevent a fire from starting or spreading if you do something as simple as putting some on the carpet before you light the match.
Sources & references used in this article:
Interactive effects of boron and salinity stress on the growth, membrane permeability and mineral composition of tomato and cucumber plants by M Alpaslan, A Gunes – Plant and Soil, 2001 – Springer
Boron toxicity by RO Nable, GS Bañuelos, JG Paull – Plant and soil, 1997 – Springer
Physiological response of plants to low boron by B Dell, L Huang – Plant and soil, 1997 – Springer
Effects of boron on nodule development and symbiotic nitrogen fixation in soybean plants by M Yamagishi, Y Yamamoto – Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, 1994 – Taylor & Francis