The morphology of nanoporous nickel phosphate (NP) has a close relationship with its properties, so in this work NP with needle-like and mushroom-like shape was synthesized. Then NP with needle-like and mushroom-like shape was applied in intumescent flame retardant polypropylene (PP) composites. With the addition of suitable content of NP, both mushroom-like and needle-like NP can improve the combustion and thermal properties of intumescent flame retardant PP composites. Needle-like NP shows a better thermal ant flame retardant synergist effect with intumescent flame retardants compared to mushroom-like NP. However, mushroom-like NP shows a better effect on smoke suppression. With the addition of suitable content of needle-like NP, the peak heat release rate of flame retardant PP composite decreases by 68.2 % comparing with that of the pure PP, and decreases by 23.8 % comparing with that of flame retardant PP composite without NP. The maximum weight loss temperature of PP composites can be increased from 408 °C to 485 °C with the addition of needle-like NP. Furthermore, the pyrolysis products of flame retardant PP composite with needle-like NP were investigated. From the research, it provides a further understanding of the influence on synergic effects in intumescent flame retardant systems.