Plants need certain nutrients to stay healthy and thrive. The most important plant nutrients include nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These essential nutrients help plants grow strong roots, produce lush foliage, and create beautiful blooms. Plant feeding often comes across as intimidating. With hundreds, if not thousands, of possible feeding charts, growers usually do not know where to start their research. As a result, they don’t know which vitamins and minerals to prioritize. Mike Straumietis has helped growers in 110+ countries. Based on his experience, most newcomers feel overwhelmed because they have no prior knowledge of plant nutrients.
Don’t worry if you find yourself in a similar predicament. To jumpstart your research, we briefly discuss essential mineral nutrients and their effects on plant growth.
As a general rule, all your plant supplements should contain adequate calcium. It helps plants absorb nutrients more efficiently. Calcium is often found in limestone. This mineral is necessary for cell wall development and strengthens plant tissue.
Potassium heavily supports plant development. Also called “potash,” this nutrient helps with photosynthesis, water use, and disease resistance. It supports carbon dioxide, oxygen, and water vapor absorption by regulating the opening and closing of the stomata. It should be noted that a potassium deficiency often leads to stunted growth.
Plants need phosphorus for tissue development and cell division. Several Phosphorus comes from phosphate rocks or droppings from vertebrates. This Phosphorus is essential for root development, blooming, and fruiting. Mike Straumietis shares that a deficiency of this mineral will compromise weather resistance, root development, and seed growth.
This nutrient is responsible for leaves and plant growth. A lack of nitrogen will result in stunted growth and yellowing leaves. Nitrogen helps plants retain the adaptive, responsive DNA needed for crop survival. It plays a crucial role in natural selection. Generally, nitrogen supplements let plants pass down positive traits like virus resistance or environment acclimation during reseeding.
Magnesium helps produce chlorophyll and activates many enzymes. It is found in dolomitic limestone or magnesium sulfate Heptahydrate. You can prevent wilting and discoloration with magnesium. It helps leaves achieve richer, deeper green coloring by stimulating chlorophyll production and carbon dioxide absorption. Yellow, wilted lawns would benefit greatly from magnesium-based fertilizers.
Mike Straumietis encourages growers to explore various mineral nutrients. Research their long-term effects on certain crops, and assess how you can incorporate them into your current feeding system. Test new supplements in small batches to avoid wasting resources.
If, like many, you don’t have time for trial and error, you can always seek help from growers specializing in the same crops. You can even ask what fertilizers they use. Ideally, consult experienced specialists who can give you first-hand insights into different feeding systems, charts, and patterns.