Just like all living organisms, plants also require certain elements to grow properly. These elements include water, sunlight, and nutrients. Plants get water and sunlight from the environment, but a proper nutrient dose is provided to the plants through the use of fertilizers.
Fertilizers are basically chemical substances that are either present in natural form or synthetic form used to enhance the quality and growth of plants.
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Here you can read all about the types and uses of fertilizers to improve the life of different plants.
Plants and nutrition
Even if the soil that plants are growing in is great, there is still a need for proper nutrition that can’t be provided by the soil it is growing in. Soil alone is not capable of fulfilling all the nutrient needs of a plant.
Just as nutrition is important for human beings, it is important for plants as well. For better growth and quality of plant life, we provide the plants with the nutrients it needs from sources that include fertilizers.
The amount of nutrients being given to the plant is also important because too few nutrients and too many nutrients; both can have an adverse or even fatal effect on the plant’s health.
There are some specific nutrients required by the plants. They are classified by the importance of nutrients for the plant. Based on the importance, there are two main categories of nutrients
for plants, i.e., primary and secondary.
Primary nutrients are required by the body in larger quantities; hence they are known as macronutrients. These are the main nutrients required by the crops, which ensures the optimal growth of plants by nourishing them with all essential nutrients. There are mainly six primary nutrients required by the plants, including:
Carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen
These nutrients are provided to the plant through the environment. The plant gets the required carbon and oxygen from the air and the required hydrogen from moisture and water.
Nitrogen is required in larger quantities by the plants because it is essential for the formation of amino acids and proteins in the plant, and other than this, nitrogen is an essential component of the chlorophyll present in the plant. The chlorophyll is important for the plant so that it can absorb the light energy from the sun, and the green color of plants is also attributed to chlorophyll.
Nitrogen is not available in the environment for the plant to take in; hence it is provided to the plant through the soil in the form of natural or artificial fertilizer.
Potassium is an essential nutrient for a plant to facilitate the movement of certain other nutrients, including water and carbohydrates. To some extent, potassium is present in the soil, but the rest is added to the soil to ensure that the plant is receiving enough potassium.
Phosphorus is an essential nutrient for the plant to help it absorb and utilize other nutrients for growth. Phosphorus helps the plant to transfer nutrients and energy from one area of the plant to the other.
Phosphorus is also added to the soil through the use of fertilizer so that the plant can utilize it for growth.
There are some other nutrients as well that are required in lesser quantities than the primary or macronutrients. The secondary nutrients include magnesium, calcium, and sulfur. Let’s discuss their role in plant growth.
Magnesium is mainly required for the process of photosynthesis in plants. Without magnesium, the plant’s chlorophyll will not be able to absorb the light energy from sunlight that it needs for the process of photosynthesis, and the plant would turn pale yellow, and eventually, it will die. Magnesium is added to the soil for the plants to utilize.
Other than facilitating the pathway of nutrients in the plants, calcium is responsible for strengthening the cell wall of the plant for optimal growth and structure support. Calcium is not required in a very large quantity by the plants, but the required amount is added to the soil in the form of fertilizers.
Sulfur is mainly required by the plants for the formation of amino acids that are required for the process of photosynthesis. In this way, sulfur is essential for plant growth, although not in as large quantities as the macronutrients.