Do plants require additional potassium after trimming? - The Planted Tank Forum
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  • 4 Post By essabee
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-09-2016, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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Do plants require additional potassium after trimming?

Someone told me that plants increase their uptake of potassium following trimming, and that this assists 'healing'. I was also told it's important to dose extra K after trimming so plants have a ready supply.

Finding it hard to get a straight answer. Anyone able to enlighten me?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-09-2016, 01:21 PM
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I don't know 100 percent the science behind it, but it makes sense. I imagine there is a good amount of energy spent to produce the new shoots. I do my trimming on the same day as water changes and dose K right after so I can't comment on noticeable differences from doing a mid-week trim though.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-09-2016, 10:25 PM
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K is used in numerous processes by the plant, with some of those processes related to cell structure and protection against drought and disease. K also has the advantage in that's it's almost non-toxic, although it can play a role in ion antagonism.

So while I can't directly answer your question, I can say that an overdose (more then you usually dose) of K isn't going to hurt anything. If you only give a large dose of K after a plant trimming, within some reasonable small time-frame, provided you do regular water changes, the concentration of K will return to your regular levels anyway.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-10-2016, 06:03 AM
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Plants translocate potassium to growing areas. So the plants lose most of its potassium store when trimming of growing portions takes place. The loss of potassium is higher than the fraction of the portion of the plant's growing area trimmed away. That is to say if the growing portion removed was half the portion of the plant - then plant would suffer much much more than 50% loss of potassium.

On the other hand trimming of dying or dead portions of plants - like old discoloured leaves - would not be a great loss of potassium as the plant would have already translocated the potassium away.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-10-2016, 07:43 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks a lot all, interesting stuff and well answered.

Here's another question.. What if you trim stems but replant the tops only? Would this also benefit from extra K given you're not affecting the growth area?
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