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Plant Nutrient Primary secondary and micro nutrients

Plants have nutritional requirements just like humans in order to grow, develop and complete their life cycle. The supply of nutrients to the plants should be balanced, ensuring not to over or under-fertilize. Nutrients are classified according to their importance to plants and are categorized by Primary, Secondary and Micro nutrients.

Carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen, form the structural matter in plants and are freely available from air and water. Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium may not be available in quantities or forms sufficient to support plant growth and additional nutrients must be added.

Primary nutrients:
The primary, or macro, nutrients required by plants are Carbon ©, Hydrogen (H), Oxygen (O), Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), Potassium (K).

Nitrogen (N)
Nitrogen is important for normal plant development. Nitrogen is a component of amino acids, a protein which include nucleic acids, enzymes, light-harvesting pigment and chlorophyll. Nitrogen promotes plant growth and dense, bright foliage.

Phosphorus (P)
Phosphorus commonly misspelled "Phosphorous" is an essential part of the enzyme responsible for aiding crops to fix light energy. Nucleic acids carries genetic information and is important in stimulating root development. Phosphorus is an integral part of nucleic acids.

Potassium (K)
Potassium assist in the processes which ensure carbon assimilation and the transport of photosynthates through the plant for storage of sugars and proteins, and growth. Potassium is important for water regulation and intake. Sufficient potassium help plants resist frost, drought and certain diseases.

Secondary nutrients:
In addition to the primary nutrients listed above, plants also need secondary nutrients like Sulphur (S), Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Ma), Chlorine (Cl - not always essential), Sodium (Na).

Sulphur (S)
Sulphur forms part of two important amino acids which are part of the many building blocks of protein. Sulphur is found in B1 vitamin and several other enzymes.

Calcium (Ca)
Calcium is essential for plant growth, cell division and enlargement. Calcium is a component of cell membranes and is important for developing the root system, shoot tips and storage organs. Calcium aids in pollen development and help plants to retain their foliage.

Magnesium (Ma)
Magnesium occurs in chlorophyll and is also an activator of enzymes.

Micro nutrients:
Aside for the primary and secondary nutrient requirements, plants also need several micro nutrients. Iron (Fe), Zinc (Zn), Maganese (Mn), Copper (Cu), Molybdenum (Mo), Boron (B) and Cobalt (Co) are all essential for proper plant development.

Iron (Fe)
Iron gives green color to plant foliage. Iron is part of the make up of enzymes and aids in protein synthesis, photosynthesis and the metabolic functions of plants. Iron is also required for chlorophyll synthesis.

Zinc (Zn)
Zinc increases the metabolic rate of plants. Zinc deficiencies will cause impaired cell functions. Zinc is also part of the make up of enzymes.

Maganese (Mn)
Maganese is part of the make up of enzymes and help in photosynthesis and the metabolic functions of plants.

Copper (Cu)
Copper contains amine oxidase (CuAO) has been suggested to play a role in H2O2 (Hydrogen Peroxide) production in plant cell walls during cell development and in response to pathogen attack. Copper functions as a catalyst in photosynthesis and respiration. It is a constituent of several enzyme systems involved in building and converting amino acids to proteins. Copper is important in carbohydrate and protein metabolism and is important in the formation of lining in plant cell walls which leads to the structural strength of the cells, and the plant. Copper also affects the flavor, the storage ability, and the sugar content of fruits.

Molybdenum (Mo)
Molybdenum is part of the make up of enzymes and aids in the metabolic functions of plant. Molybdenum is also required for nitrogen fixing bacteria

Boron (B)
Assist in the metabolic function of plant and aids in cell division.

Cobalt (Co)
Ethylene synthesis is a process that inhibits shoot development. Cobalt is an ion that inhibits ethylene synthesis, thus, allowing shoots to develop.

This article courtesy of www.hydroponicsearch.com

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