Home Essential Elements Of plant growth

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Essential Elements Of plant growth PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 07 October 2016 16:37


Essential Elements Of plant growth


N P K Ca Mg S


Fe    Iron









Cl, Fe, B, Mn, Zn, Cu, Mo, and Ni

Symbol mg/kg percent
Relative numberof atoms


N 15,000 1.5 1,000,000


P 2,000 0.2 60,000


K 10.000 1.0 250.000


Ca 5,000 0.5 125,000


Mg 2,000 0.2 80,000


S 1,000 0.1 30,000


Cl 100 -- 3,000


Fe 100 -- 2,000


B 20 -- 2,000


Mn 50 -- 1,000


Zn 20 -- 300


Cu 6 -- 100


Mo 0.1 -- 1


Ni 0.1 -- 1


  • In general, most plants grow by absorbing nutrients from the soil. Their ability to do this depends on the nature of the soil. Depending on its location, a soil contains some combination of sand, silt, clay, and organic matter. The makeup of a soil (soil texture) and its acidity (pH) determine the extent to which nutrients are available to plants.     wheelbarrow
  • Soil Texture (the amount of sand, silt, clay, and organic matter in the soil)
  • Soil texture affects how well nutrients and water are retained in the soil. Clays and organic soils hold nutrients and water much better than sandy soils. As water drains from sandy soils, it often carries nutrients along with it. This condition is called leaching. When nutrients leach into the soil, they are not available for plants to use.
  • An ideal soil contains equivalent portions of sand, silt, clay, and organic matter. Soils across North Carolina vary in their texture and nutrient content, which makes some soils more productive than others. Sometimes, the nutrients that plants need occur naturally in the soil. Othertimes, they must be added to the soil as lime or fertilizer.
  • Soil pH (a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of the soil)
  •   pH is one of the most important  that affects the availability of nutrients also in Hydroponic system

    Macronutrients tend to be less available in soils with low pH.

  • Micronutrients tend to be less available in soils with high pH.
  • Please also Read on pH...here

  • Macronutrients

  • Nitrogen (N)
  • Nitrogen is a part of all living cells and is a necessary part of all proteins, enzymes and metabolic processes involved in the synthesis and transfer of energy.
    Nitrogen is a part of chlorophyll, the green pigment of the plant that is responsible for photosynthesis.
    Helps plants with rapid growth, increasing seed and fruit production and improving the quality of leaf and forage crops.
    Nitrogen often comes from fertilizer application and from the air (legumes get their N from the atmosphere, water or rainfall contributes very little nitrogen)
  • Phosphorus (P)
  • Like nitrogen, phosphorus (P) is an essential part of the process of photosynthesis.
    Involved in the formation of all oils, sugars, starches, etc.
    Helps with the transformation of solar energy into chemical energy; proper plant maturation; withstanding stress.
    Effects rapid growth.
    Encourages blooming and root growth.
    Phosphorus often comes from fertilizer, bone meal, and superphosphate.
  • Potassium (K)
  • Potassium is absorbed by plants in larger amounts than any other mineral element except nitrogen and, in some cases, calcium.
    Helps in the building of protein, photosynthesis, fruit quality and reduction of diseases.
    Potassium is supplied to plants by soil minerals, organic materials, and fertilizer.
  • Calcium (Ca)
  • Calcium, an essential part of plant cell wall structure, provides for normal transport and retention of other elements as well as strength in the plant. It is also thought to counteract the effect of alkali salts and organic acids within a plant.
    Sources of calcium are dolomitic lime, gypsum, and superphosphate.
  • Magnesium (Mg)
  • Magnesium is part of the chlorophyll in all green plants and essential for photosynthesis.
  • It also helps activate many plant enzymes needed for growth.
    Soil minerals, organic material, fertilizers, and dolomitic limestone are sources of magnesium for plants.
  • Sulfur (S)
  • Essential plant food for production of protein.
    Promotes activity and development of enzymes and vitamins.
    Helps in chlorophyll formation.
    Improves root growth and seed production.
    Helps with vigorous plant growth and resistance to cold.
    Sulfur may be supplied to the soil from rainwater.
  • It is also added in some fertilizers as an impurity, especially the lower grade fertilizers.
  • The use of gypsum also increases soil sulfur levels.

  • Micronutrients

  • Boron (B)
  • Helps in the use of nutrients and regulates other nutrients.
    Aids production of sugar and carbohydrates.
    Essential for seed and fruit development.
    Sources of boron are organic matter and borax
  • Copper (Cu)
  • Important for reproductive growth.
    Aids in root metabolism and helps in the utilization of proteins.
  • Chloride (Cl)
  • Aids plant metabolism.
    Chloride is found in the soil.
  • Iron (Fe)
  • Essential for formation of chlorophyll.
    Sources of iron are the soil, iron sulfate, iron chelate.
  • Manganese (Mn)
  • tions with enzyme systems involved in breakdown of carbohydrates, and nitrogen metabolism.
    Soil is a source of manganese.
  • Molybdenum (Mo)
  • Helps in the use of nitrogen
    Soil is a source of molybdenum.


  • Zinc (Zn)
  • Essential for the transformation of carbohydrates.
    Regulates consumption of sugars.
    Part of the enzyme systems which regulate plant growth.
    Sources of zinc are soil, zinc oxide, zinc sulfate, zinc chelate.







Last Updated on Thursday, 26 January 2017 13:49

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