Skip to main content

Plant nutrient requirements

Use this tag for questions about the nutrients required by plants. A lack of certain nutrients can cause problems which often appear like disease. An over-abundance of certain nutrients can also cause problems and may even act like poisons (e.g. copper).

The most significant nutrients in terms of volume, are atmospheric (carbon & oxygen, absorbed from the air) and water (typically absorbed by roots from the soil). The remaining nutrients are all mineral nutrients and are typically absorbed from the growing medium:

  • Primary Macro-nutrients (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium)
  • Secondary Macro-nutrients (Calcium, Sulphur, Magnesium)
  • Silicon
  • Micro-nutrients (trace-minerals): Boron, Chlorine, Manganese, Iron, Zinc, Copper, Molybdenum, Nickel, Selenium, Sodium.

Note that most of these are listed by their elemental names. Most are poisonous in this form and can only be absorbed in their ionic form. E.g. Chloride ions rather than chlorine gas.