In two simultaneous experiments we examined the effects of phosphorus (P) supply on leaf area development in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) grown in sand with nutrient solutions. In Experiment 1 we studied leaf emergence, leaf elongation, tiller emergence, shoot growth, and P uptake under four levels of P supply (mM) 0.025 (P1), 0.05 (P2), 0.1 (P3), and 0.5 (P4), and. In Experiment 2 there were two levels of P supply, P1 and P4, and we examined the effects of P on leaf primordia differentiation and leaf emergence. The phyllochron was calculated as the inverse of the rate of leaf emergence calculated from the regression of number of leaf tips (PHY-Ltip), Haun index (PHY-Haun), and as the cumulated thermal time between the emergence of two consecutive leaves (PHYtt). The plastochron was calculated from the inverse of the rate of leaf primordia initiation in the apex. P deficiency delayed the emergence of leaves on the main stem and on the tiller 1. Phosphorus deficiency increased the time from emergence to double ridge and anthesis. The final number of leaves was not affected by P. The effects of P on the value of the phyllochron were attributed to both a reduced rate of leaf primordia initiation, and to a reduced leaf elongation rate. P deficiency delayed or even suppressed the emergence of certain tillers. In this work a phosphorus deficiency that reduced shoot growth by 25% at 44 days after emergence significantly modified the structure of the plants by increasing the value of the phyllochron and delaying tillering. These results suggest that any attempt to simulate leaf area development and growth of wheat plants for P-limited conditions should include the effects of the deficiency on leaf emergence.