Nutrition for Plants
Much like people and animals, plants need to have the proper nutrition to be able to grow, develop, flourish, and produce at their maximum best, but plants must have very specific types of elements, enzymes, and compounds that vary from the ones that people and animals need to thrive. Those types of elements, enzymes (both soil-based and hydroponic), and compounds are referred to as plants’ essential nutrients.
The Effects of a Lack of Proper Nutrition on Plants
If a plant is lacking in one of its essential nutrients, it cannot complete its lifecycle. This means the seed may not germinate properly and will not be able to develop its roots, stems, leaves, buds, or flowers effectively. It will also not be able to produce seeds to create new plants, which means that type of plant could die off if it is not reproducing. There is also the factor that if a plant is getting too much of a certain nutrient, it can die. Two examples of this issue would be if a plant has too much nitrogen and it is supposed to produce fruit but only grows more leaves, or if the plant has too much manganese, it can cause the leaves to turn yellow and the plant will eventually die, or if a plant is receiving excess boron it can die.
It helps if you know what nutrients and how much of each to give your plant to save you a lot of time, money, and energy. Your plans will be healthier and more productive if you give them exactly what they need when it comes to plant nutrition but also not too much of it.
Plant Essential Nutrients
Over the years, scientists have discovered and identified 16 essential nutrients that plants need to grow and thrive properly. They have been put into certain groups that are dependent upon the relative amount of each nutrient that plants need to survive and flourish.
When it comes to plants, primary nutrients, which are sometimes referred to as macronutrients, are normally those that are required for the plants to grow and thrive and the largest amounts. These include hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus.
Secondary nutrients are needed by plants in more moderate amounts compared to the macro-nutrients and those include magnesium, sulfur, and calcium.
Micro-nutrients for plants, which are also referred to as trace nutrients, are required in very tiny amounts when you compare them to the amount of primary or secondary nutrients. Micro-nutrients for plants include chlorine, boron, copper, iron, manganese, zinc, and molybdenum.
Each one of these essential nutrients will affect specific functions of the plant when it comes to its growth and development. The plant’s growth can be limited by the nutrient or nutrients it is lacking.
Enzymes and Microbes to Keep Plants Healthy
When it comes to proper nutrition for plants, the healthier the soil, the better. It is important for the soil to contain probiotics, which are beneficial microorganisms that can allow plant nutrients into the soil. There are a variety of different microbes and enzymes that can be used to ensure that the soil the plants are growing in is providing everything it needs to while allowing the plants to grow and flourish.
The proper microbes and biostimulants will even act as a biofertilizer by allowing critical nutrients into the soil so that the plants have a constant supply of the correct nutrients that are essential to their growth. This helps with nutrient cycling, while the microbes also produce hormones and other chemicals in the soil that can help foster the growth of plants.
Some of the most beneficial microbes that can allow plants to grow and flourish by helping with the root growth of each plant are rhizobia, mycorrhizal fungi, actinomycetes, diazotrophic bacteria, and different bacillus strains. You can purchase microbes and enzymes for plants in a variety of places, but you must seek out a producer that you can trust that has a lot of experience in this area of horticulture.
American Biosystems has been producing high-quality microbials and enzymes for plant growth in Roanoke, VA for several decades and can assist you with all your essential plant nutrients to keep them growing properly.