P a Simple Little P

Nov 9, 2015

It is such a simple little letter, P. It stands for the element phosphorus. It is often misspelled as phosphorous which is an adjective, but even in technical literature it is misspelled. But that's not the end. Phosphorus is an element that takes many forms called oxidation states. When it is in the form of phosphate or phosphoric acid, it is a fertilizer – H3PO4. But when it is in the form of H3PO3 or phosphonate or phosphonite or phosphite or phosphorous acid, it does not perform like a fertilizer. It acts more like a stimulant for a plant to fight off Phytophthora or Pythium. And it works well for avocado and citrus root rots, as well as citrus brown rot.

But a grower recently told me that there is no end of confusion about these two very different forms of P.

A recent article helps to clear up some of this confusion


and more if you are still interested



Sick avocado on the left and healthy on the right