Calcium Products - A Guide to 16 Essential Plant Nutrients

A Guide to 16 Essential Plant Nutrients

There are 16 nutrients required to grow plants. Knowing these nutrients required to grow plants is only one aspect of successful plant development. Optimum production also requires knowing the rates of application, method and time of applications and the source of nutrients to use. Each of these nutrients is equally important to the plant, yet each is required in vastly different amounts. These differences have led to the grouping of these essential elements into 3 categories: primary (macro) nutrients, secondary nutrients and micronutrients. 3 of the Nutrients are taken up from either Air or Water; those are carbon (C), hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O). The remaining 13 nutrients are taken up from the soil.

PRIMARY NUTRIENTS

NITROGEN

  • Necessary for formation of amino acids, the building blocks of protein
  • Essential for plant cell division, vital for plant growth
  • Directly involved in photosynthesis
  • Aids in production and use of carbohydrates
  • Affects energy reactions in the plant

PHOSPHOROUS

  • Involved in photosynthesis, respiration, energy storage and transfer, cell division and enlargement
  • Promotes early root formation and growth
  • Improves quality of fruits, vegetables, and grains
  • Vital to seed formation
  • Helps plants survive the harsh winter conditions
  • Increases water-use efficiency
  • Hastens maturity

POTASSIUM

  • Carbohydrate metabolism and break down and translocation of starches
  • Increases photosynthesis
  • Increases water-use efficiency
  • Essential to protein synthesis
  • Important in fruit formation
  • Activates enzymes and controls their reaction rates
  • Improves quality of seeds and fruit
  • Improves winter hardiness
  • Increase disease resistance

SECONDARY NUTRIENTS

CALCIUM

  • Utilized for continuous cell division and formation
  • Involved in nitrogen metabolism
  • Reduces plant respiration
  • Aids translocation of photosynthesis from leaves of fruiting organs
  • Increases fruit set
  • Essential for nut development on peanuts
  • Stimulates microbial activity

MAGNESIUM

  • Key elements of chlorophyll production
  • Improves utilization and mobility of phosphorous
  • Activator and component of many plant enzymes
  • Directly related to grass tetany
  • Increases iron utilization in plants
  • Influences earliness and uniformity of maturity

SULPHUR

  • Integral part of amino acids
  • Helps develop enzymes and vitamins
  • Promotes nodule formation on legumes
  • Aids in seed production
  • Necessary in chlorophyll formation

MICRONUTRIENTS

BORON

  • Essential of germination of pollen grains and growth of pollen tubes
  • Essential for seeds and cell wall formation
  • Promotes maturity
  • Necessary for sugar translocation
  • Affects nitrogen and carbohydrate

CHLORINE

  • Not much information about its function
  • Interferes with P uptake
  • Enhances maturity of small grains on some soils

COPPER

  • Catalyzes several plant processes
  • Major function in photosynthesis
  • Major function in reproductive stages
  • Indirect role of chlorophyll production
  • Increases sugar content
  • Intensifies color
  • Improves flavor of fruits and vegetables

IRON

  • Promote formation of chlorophyll
  • Acts as an oxygen carrier
  • Reactions involving cell divisions and growth

MAGANESE

  • Functions as a part of certain enzyme systems
  • Aids in chlorophyll synthesis
  • Increases the availability of P and Ca

MOLYBDENUM

  • Required to form the enzyme “nitrate reductas” which reduces nitrates to ammonium in plant
  • Aids in the formation of legume nodules
  • Needed to convert inorganic phosphates to organic forms in the plants

ZINC

  • Aids in growth hormones and enzyme system
  • Necessary for chlorophyll production
  • Necessary for carbohydrate formation
  • Necessary for starch formation
  • Aids in seed formation

Additional Info

  • Article Reference:: Calcium Products, Inc.
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