What nutrients do plants need?

What nutrients do plants need?

Plants require a total of 16 nutrients which are broken down into 3 tiers – primary, secondary, and micronutrients.

Plants require 3 main sources of nutrients to survive which are Carbon (C), Oxygen (O), Hydrogen (H). Carbon can be readily found in the air in Carbon Dioxide (CO2) while hydrogen can be found in water (H2O), and oxygen can be found in both the air and water.

Primary nutrients are Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K). These nutrients are used in significant amounts by growing plants and are the basis of many fertilizers. Hence, the NPK ratio is seen commonly when purchasing fertilizers.

Secondary nutrients are Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg), and Sulfur (S). These are usually found in suitable amounts in soil and do not always require extra fertilization.

Micronutrients are Boron (B), Copper (Cu), Iron (Fe), Chloride (Cl), Manganese (Mn), Molybdenum (Mo) and Zinc (Zn). These are used in very minute quantities by the plants.

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