Laterite soil is reddish to yellow in colour with a lower content of potassium, phosphorus, nitrogen, lime, and magnesia with 90 to 100% of aluminium, iron, titanium, & manganese oxides.
Laterite soil is formed under conditions of heavy rainfall with alternate wet and dry periods, and high temperature which leads to leaching of soil, leaving only oxides of aluminium and iron.
- The lacks fertility because of the lower base-exchanging capacity and a lower content of phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium.
- Yet, fitting irrigation and proper use of fertilizers make it suitable for growing crops, like coffee, tea, rubber, coconut, cinchona, etc.
- The soil is one of the important sources for building material, because it can be efficiently cut with a spade but hardens like iron when exposed to air.