Secondary Nutrients

Last updated: May 19, 2021

What Does Secondary Nutrients Mean?

Secondary nutrients are nutrients that slightly limit crop growth and are moderately required by plants. These nutrients are calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and sulfur (S). Secondary nutrients are as significant as primary nutrients (N-P-K) in plants, but they are needed in smaller quantities. They are necessary for the augmentation levels of roots and cells.

Many plant scientists also believe silicon (Si) to be a secondary nutrient as well.

Secondary nutrients are sometimes referred to as secondary macronutrients.


Maximum Yield Explains Secondary Nutrients

The secondary nutrients include:

1. Calcium (Ca)

Calcium is an essential nutrient that plays a significant role in plant growth. Calcium helps to neutralize the organic acids that form during metabolism. Calcium also assists plants in the following ways:

  • Absorption and translocation of other nutrients by roots
  • Facilitates disease resistance
  • Assists in conversion of nitrate-nitrogen to other essential forms required for protein formation
  • Required for cell division and cell wall formation
  • Activation of growth-regulating enzyme systems

2. Magnesium (Mg)

Magnesium is an essential nutrient for plants because it is a fundamental element making up enzymes that support plant development, leaf chlorophyll, and for crop quality. The nutrient also assists in the formation of oils, sugars, and fats, and the nutrient serves as a phosphorous hauler. A magnesium deficiency causes a decrease in photosynthesis, which limits crop production.

3. Sulfur (S)

Sulfur is an essential element of chlorophyll. It is involved in nitrogen fixation in leguminous plants and also helps in seed production. Sulfur adds color, a different smell, and flavor to various plants like garlic, brassica crops, and onions. The nutrient also forms a significant part of proteins and amino acids. Sulfur is crucial for ensuring the protein content of leguminous plants.

In addition to secondary nutrients, plants require micronutrients, which are needed in much smaller quantities than other plant nutrients, but are just as necessary for growth and development. Plant micronutrients include boron (B), chlorine (Cl), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo), and zinc (Zn).

No matter if they are primary or secondary, all plant nutrients play a major role in the garden. They can be added to growing mediums via powder or liquid. Some nutrients lose their efficiency when mixed with other nutrients and left to sit for too long, so this is why there are one-part, two-part, three-part, and sometimes four-part nutrient solution regimens recommended for plants. That is, bottle 'A' contains different nutrients than bottle 'B'. Nutrients are often further divided into 'Grow' and 'Bloom' formulas. This is because the nutrient requirements for plants change in accordance with the plants' growth stages.


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