Where do plants get nutrients from?
Plants absorb nutrients from the soil via the root hairs and from the air via above-ground parts of plants, especially the leaves. Depending on the location, the soil contains different nutrients. They are released by the weathering of rocks and are dissolved in the soil water. They can be absorbed by the plant roots in the form of ions.
There are a total of 16 nutrients that are necessary for the development and optimal growth of the plants. Plants need large amounts of some nutrients. These nutrients are therefore also called the main nutrients. The main nutrients are nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, calcium, sulfur, carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. Plants only need small amounts of other nutrients. These nutrients are therefore also called trace nutrients. Trace nutrients are iron, manganese, zinc, copper, boron, molybdenum and chlorine.
Since plants mainly need the elements nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in large quantities, these nutrients are also known as core nutrients. Many fertilizers contain these 3 nutrients. Above all, nitrogen promotes vegetative growth and phosphorus promotes generative growth. Potassium increases the stability of the plant and strengthens the resistance to diseases and pests. The plants need different nutrients for different growth and metabolic processes. Each nutrient plays a very specific role in the health of the plant. When nutrients are lacking, symptoms of deficiency such as chlorosis occur. Through various forms of fertilization, the plants can be supplied with additional nutrients.
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