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  • Writer's pictureStronger Roots

Plant Nutrients Overview

Plants need 16 elements for Normal/Optimal growth

— From air and water :





•Nitrogen (N)

•Phosphorus (P)



(Usually are either present in sufficient quantities or are added coincidentally with soil amendments)












🔷Mobile Nutrients - are able to move from one part of the plant to another as needed. Molar nutrients show deficiency symptoms on older, lower leaves first.

🔷Immobile Nutrients - Either stay at the destinations or move very little once assimilated and transported. Deficiencies show symptoms first and younger leaves.

🔸 Barium (Ba), Cadmium(Cd), Chromium(Cr), Lithium(Li), Palladium(Pd), Vanadium(V) - may be necessary for plant growth and health


🟢Nitrogen(N) - 🚗💨 Mobile

  • promotes growth of leaves and stems

  • Critical to chlorophyll production

  • Nitrogen Fixation - Process we are Bacteria turn atmospheric N into a form that can be used by plants

🟢Phosphorus (P)- 🚗 Less Mobile

  • aids in flower and fruit/seed production

  • Encourages early and rapid root growth

🟢Potassium (K) - 🚗🚗💨 Very Mobile

  • promotes strong stems, disease resistant and winter hardiness

  • Potassium regulates the opening and closing of stomata thus regulating the uptake of CO2 thus enhancing photosynthesis.

  • It triggers activation of important biochemical enzymes for the generation of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). ATP provides energy for other chemical and physiological processes such as excretion of waste materials in plants.

  • It plays a role in osmoregulation of water and other salts in plant tissues and cells.

  • Potassium also facilitates protein and starch synthesis in plants.

  • It activates enzymes responsible for specific functions.

  • potassium is supplied to agricultural land in a mineral form and it dissolves in the soil water and is available to the plant


🟢Calcium(C) - Immobile 🚫

  • important for general plant vigor

  • used primarily to build cell walls

  • Needed in growing young root and shoot tips

  • Plays a role in protein formation and carbohydrate movement in plant

  • ❗️)Most calcium sources will raise pH. Gypsum best option for not raising pH)

  • ❗️ New growth at the leaf tips and margins begins to wither in die back; new leaves appear deformed

🟢Magnesium(Mg)- 🚗 - Less Mobile

  • Stored in the chlorophyll- important in the dark green color and for the ability of a plant to manufacture food from sunlight

  • aids in seed formation

  • Necessary for formation of sugars, proteins, oils, and fats

  • Central element in chlorophyll and aids in uptake of nutrients

  • Is a phosphorus Carrier

  • ❗️deficiencies include mottled yellow between leaves while veins remain green

🟢Sulfur(S)- 🚗💨 Mobile

  • Needed to manufacture chlorophyll

  • component of plant proteins

  • Helps maintain dark green color while encouraging more vigorous plant growth

  • Helps form important enzymes and assists in making proteins


🟢Boron (B) -🚫 Immobile

  • Helps in cell development and helps to maintain plant metabolism

  • Protein synthesis

  • Development of cell walls

  • Carb metabolism

  • Sugar translocation

  • Hormone regulation

  • Pollen grain germination and pollen tube growth

  • fruit set/seed development

🟢Chlorine (Cl)

  • involved in photosynthesis

  • Gas exchange

  • Protection against diseases in plants

  • Increasing chloride balances out the positive charge of the potassium during the opening of the stomata to prevent plant damage

🟢Copper (Cu)- 🚫 Immobile

  • Aids in forming chlorophyll

  • activate enzymes in your plants the help synthesize lignin

  • APART of the photosynthesis process

  • ❗️leaf nodes will grow closer and closer together

🟢Iron (Fe) - 🚫 Immobile

  • assist in the manufacturing of chlorophyll

  • Vital functions like enzyme and chlorophyll production, nitrogen fixing, and development and metabolism are all depending on iron

  • ❗️leaf chlorosis - yellowing of leaves while veins remain green; starts at tip of new leaves and work it’s way to older leaves

🟢Manganese (Mn) - 🚫 “less” mobile

  • Needed for chlorophyll production ❗️But not A part of chlorophyll

  • Involved in photosynthesis

  • ❗️deficiencies involve green “hugging” around yellow veins

🟢Molybdenum (Mo)- 🚫 Immobile

  • helps plants use nitrogen

  • Enables the plant to use the nitrates from the soil - legumes Need more molybdenum to fix nitrogen than to utilize nitrates

  • ❗️ Plants become stunted, with symptoms similar to those of nitrogen deficiency; edges of leaves may become scorch by the accumulation of unused nitrates - NITROGEN TOXICITY

🟢Zinc (Zn)- 🚫 Immobile

  • ❗️whitening of leaves on edges

  • Development of enzymes and hormones

  • Needed by legumes to form seeds

  • HELP the plant produce chlorophyll

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