Is volcanic ash bad for plants? Can plants grow and thrive on land where volcanic ash landed on?

Just asking because I saw the news about Taal volcano erupting. The surrounding area had plants and such.

Will the area recover back to how it looked?

If yes how long can that take? Few years to a decade?

If no why not?

4 Answers

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  • 1 month ago
    Favorite Answer

    Volcanic ash tends to be a very good source of mineral nutrients.  It does take a bit of time to weather to the point of being a good medium for plant growth, but soils derived from ash are typically very fertile soils.  I do think that dumping a layer of dirt on top of any plants will have a short-term (immediate) negative impact on growth, but depending on how thick that coverage is, and the type of plant and stage of growth of the plant, it could be essentially harmless.

    Whether we are talking a season or a few years, perhaps even decades will depend on the depth of coverage.  It is the thickness of the deposit which is the most important consideration.  Thin coverage will allow plant shoots to still reach surface.  Otherwise, plant seeds will have to mostly get transferred to the soils, and that will take time.

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  • roger
    Lv 7
    1 month ago
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  • Retief
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    When Mt St Helens blew, the land around was buried in ash.

    Plants started sprouting within a year. The rain will wash most of the ash away, but what's left has minerals and nutrients that plants can use.

    Volcanic soil is very rich.

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  • 1 month ago

    "Volcanic ash is fertile, but when it comes out the volcano its too fertile. you need to wait a year(maybe even two) and then watch the plants grow like crazy."

    http://volcanology.geol.ucsb.edu/soil.htm

    Pyroclastic flow will alter terrain and hydrology, but ash itself

    can revitalize soil. 

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