How Does Salt Affect Seed Germination?

High concentrations of salt in soil generally reduce the rate of seed germination. Increased salt levels prevent essential water from seeping into the seed. The lack of moisture retards its growth and development, which may cause the seed to wilt and eventually die.

Salts are chemical compounds that are usually white and crystalline in structure. Common salts include sulfates, carbonates, chlorides, as well as nitrates of magnesium, calcium, potassium and sodium. Salts are typically used as fertilizer ingredients.

When fertilizers are applied to soil, the salt content can accumulate. Increased salinity levels may result to poor plant growth, leading to a reduction in size of the plant's leaves, fruits, branches, roots and various other parts. Yield capacity also decreases with increasing soil salinity.