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Potassium in tea (Camellia sinensis (L) O. Kuntze) cultivation from soil to cup quality - A review

Anil Kumar Singh and Sunil Kumar Pathak
Advisory Department, Tocklai Tea Research Institute, Tea Research Association, Jorhat-785 008, Assam, India.

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Tea (Camellia sinensis (L) O. Kuntze) plants require comparatively higher quantity of potassium for production and quality of produce. After nitrogen, potassium is the second major nutrient for tea plant. Potassium plays vital role in enzyme activation, water relation, photosynthesis protein and starch synthesis. It offers abiotic as well as biotic stress toleration in tea plants and also improves biochemical parameters and organoleptic quality of tea. However, owing to the climatic conditions and soil mineralogical compositions, tea soils are predominantly poor in their potash content. Thus, the need based adequate supply of potash through inorganic or organic sources as soil application or foliar nutrition in tea growing soils of India is essential to realize the optimum economic yield with desired quality. Furthermore, the possibilities of development of potassium solubilizing biofertilizer with identification of native strains of microbes and development of potassium efficient tea genotype need to be explored. Such attempts minimize the cost of cultivation, sustain soil fertility and prevent environmental pollution.     
Made tea quality, Potassium management, Stress resistance, Tea, Tea soil.
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