Mineral nutrition of rose plants is of fundamental importance, which is closely related with soil science, plant physiology and biochemistry. Impressive progress has b~en made in our understanding of the mechanism of nutrient uptake and advances in increasing crop yield by supply of mineral nutrition through manure and fertilizer application in roses.
The importance of nutrients needed for the optimum yield of rose can be ascertained only through trials in the open field and as well under the green houses. However, the effect is very much location and situation specific and is dependent on climatic conditions.
Roses, like most other plants, derive their food from air and the soil. By far the greatest amount of food taken up is water, which consists of hydrogen and oxygen. Next, in both quantity and importance, comes carbon dioxide, a gaseous component of carbon and oxygen. Including oxygen, hydrogen and carbon, 16 elements are considered essential for growth and development of roses.
Nitrogen is an integral component of many compounds essential for plant growth processes including chlorophyll and many enzymes. It is an essential component of the proteins and related amino acids, which are critical not only as building blocks for plant tissue but in the cell nuclei and protoplasm in which hereditary control is vested. It is essential for carbohydrate utilization within plants and stimulates root growth and development as well as uptake of other nutrients. Nitrate and ammonium form of nitrogen are the major sources of inorganic nitrogen taken up by the roots of plants.
Phosphorus is a structural component of cell membranes, chloroplast, mitochondria and a constituent of sugar phosphates, phospholipids and phosphotides. It plays an important role in energy transformation and metabolic processes in plants. Unlike nitrate, phosphate is not reduced in plants but remains in its highest oxidized form. Phosphorus combines with organic compounds forming relatively stable high energy complexes such as ADP and ATP which provide the mechanism for trapping, transporting and donating energy so that enzymatically catalyzed reaction can proceed.
Many researchers have emphasized the need for phosphorus application to get vigorous, sturdy and healthy rose plants. This element is important for bud break and formation of buds. Soil application of phosphorus has no effect on either vase life or flower diameter.
Application of P as super phosphate resulted in vigorous and sturdy plant and healthy foliage in rose plants. Adequate P is necessary to break the dormant rose buds in the spring and during the formation of flower buds in the summer. Hence, to harden rose plant sufficient application of P is necessary particularly during autumn.
Potassium controls enzyme systems that determines photosynthesis and respiration rates, carbohydrate metabolism and translocation of organic acids and non-protein N in plants. It is a primary activator for at least 46 individual enzymes. This element is the most abundant cellular cation and high concentrations are needed to neutralize soluble and molecular anions of the cytoplasm, which has few organic cations, as well as to effect the conformation of many enzymes. It is an univalent cation and its uptake is highly selective and closely coupled with metabolic activity.
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