Essential Elements for Healthy Plants

Essential elements for healthy plants

Keep the plants and crops in your garden, farm or smallholding healthy with these essential elements:

Nitrogen is key to creating chlorophyll, and chlorophyll in turn is needed for photosynthesis – to help plants receive energy from light so they can grow healthy, strong, and vibrant. Nitrogen also plays a valuable role in forming protein, so that all the biochemical reactions can occur within plants, and key to the growth and reproduction of plant cells. Yellowing plant leaves can be a sign of chlorosis – your plants may need more nitrogen, but worth noting yellowing leaves can also be due to other nutrient deficiencies.

Phosphorus helps the process of plant cell division and cell growth, and converting sunlight into energy (photosynthesis), and storing and transferring energy within the plant. Phosphorus stimulates plant roots, improves resistance to disease and encourages healthy and plentiful fruit and seeds.

Potassium is crucial to several processes including, protein and starch synthesis, photosynthesis, the transportation of water and nutrients around the plant, and the biochemical reactions in plants. It is essential to all plants and particularly to food crops, helping to build the strength of plant roots and improve the plants resistance to disease.

Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium are the key elements used in basic fertilisers. There are also ‘trace’ elements such as Copper, Zinc, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum and Boron.

Other elements that improve plant health:

Calcium is a bountiful element on our planet earth, and essential to the growth and development of plants – much like its role in the growth and development of the human skeleton. Calcium boosts plant cell walls, activates enzymes, and enhances water penetration and resistance to disease.

Magnesium works with chlorophyll and sunlight in the process of photosynthesis to turn leaves green. Like Calcium, it activates growth enzymes, and like Nitrogen it aids in protein synthesis. Yellowing leaves that also develop red or purple spots, can be a sign that magnesium is missing.

Carbon is the main component of soil organic matter, it gives structure and helps the soil to retain water and nutrients to grow healthy plants and crops, whist feeding vital soil organisms.

Copper is vital to plant respiration; it is a catalyst for photosynthesis and helps the metabolism of carbohydrates and proteins.

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