The 6 Essential Nutrients for Healthy Plants

plant nutrients

Growing happy, healthy plants is not always easy! Plants need thirteen different minerals from the soil in order to fully develop. Six of these nutrients are needed in large quantities.

These six essential nutrients are nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, sulfur and calcium. The cool thing about them is that they help create new cells, which then organize into plant tissue. Without these nutrients, growth and survival would not occur.


What do these nutrients do? Let’s break it down by nutrient.

1. Nitrogen: Nitrate (the form of nitrogen that plants use) helps foliage grow strong by affecting the plant’s leaf development. It is also responsible for giving plants their green coloring by helping with chlorophyll production (gardensalive.com). For additional information on nitrogen, visit this blog: Nitrogen Fertilizers 101.

2. Phosphorus: Phosphorus is responsible for assisting with the growth of roots and flowers. Phosphorus also helps plants withstand environmental stress and harsh winters (gardensalive.com). For additional information on phosphorus, visit this blog article: Why Your Plants Need Phosphorus. 

3. Potassium: Potassium strengthens plants, contributes to early growth and helps retain water. It also affects the plant’s disease and insect suppression (extension.uum.edu).     

4. Magnesium: Magnesium contributes to the green coloring of plants (gardeningknowhow.com).

5. Sulfur: Sulfur helps plant resist disease and grow and form seeds. They also aid in the production of amino acids, proteins, enzymes and vitamins (davesgarden.com).

6. Calcium: Calcium aids in the growth and development of cell walls. This is key because well-developed cell walls help resist disease. It is also necessary for metabolism and the “uptake of nitrate” (davesgarden.com).


How do you add these nutrients to the soil? 

One of the great things about the six essential nutrients is that they are easy to find.

Healthy soil is already pumped with these nutrients although some like nitrogen are often locked in an unusable form for the plant.

Plant Probiotics like Holganix Bio 800+ products, harness the power of soil microbes to increase nutrient efficiency and build healthier soils that store nutrients for the plant. 

For example, nitrogen-fixing bacteria is a type of soil microbe found in Holganix Bio 800+, that helps break down nitrogen from the air or nitrogen locked in the soil and turn it into nitrate -- the form that’s usable by the plant. In addition to nitrogen-fixing bacteria, Holganix Bio 800+ also contains other beneficial soil microbes that help break down any potassium and phosphorus tied in the soil. 

soil food web

Posted by Kaitlyn Ersek on Sep 11, 2012 12:54:00 PM

Kaitlyn Ersek

Topics: lawn care, the science behind holganix

Related posts

Subscribe Here!

Lists by Topic

see all