Plant Nutrients

Definition - What does Plant Nutrients mean?

Plant nutrients are the chemical elements that are essential to the nourishment of plant health. Plant nutrients fall into three categories, all of which are based on the amount a plant needs, not the importance of the individual elements. Each plant nutrient performs a crucial role in plant growth and development.

MaximumYield explains Plant Nutrients

The three categories of plant nutrients are primary nutrients, secondary nutrients, and micronutrients.

The primary plant nutrients are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). These essential elements are required by plants in higher quantities than elements that fall into the other two categories. Additionally, each of these three elements perform crucial functions in plant biology. Nitrogen is necessary for building proteins, produces carbohydrates, and is essential for plant cell division (growth). Phosphorus effects root growth, seed formation, and plant maturity. Lastly, potassium is important in disease resistance, fruit formation, and effects plant enzymes.

Secondary plant nutrients are calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and sulphur (S). These elements, although not needed in such high quantities, are necessary for plant health. Sulphur helps develop vitamins, aids in seed production, and is an integral part of forming amino acids. Magnesium is a key component in chlorophyll production, and helps plants to utilize phosphorus and iron. Calcium, like the other secondary nutrients, plays many roles in regulating plant system functions like respiration and cell division. However, in some plants calcium plays an exceedingly important role. For example, it is essential for nut development in peanuts.

Last, but not least, there are plant micronutrients. These are needed in much smaller quantities than other plant nutrients, but are just as necessary for growth and development. The plant micronutrients are boron (B), chlorine (Cl), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo), and zinc (Zn). All of these micronutrients aid in many different roles in plant biology. Many of them, like copper, play a major role in photosynthesis and reproduction. Others aid in the absorption and utilization of other elements.

Plants can receive nutrients from the soil, fertilizers, or through individual nutrient application. For example, to increase plant flowering and fruiting, gardeners can use PK Boosters to give plants more phosphorus and potassium; both of which are essential to fruit/flower growth and development.

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