By The Old House Web


Nutrient Needs of Plants

Essential elements for plant nutrition include nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, zinc, copper, molybdenum, magnesium, iron, sulfur, manganese and boron. They come from the soil and from applied fertilizer. Plants obtain carbon, hydrogen and oxygen from the air or through the soil.

Certain elements--such as boron, zinc, manganese, iron, copper and molybdenum--are called micronutrients, because plants require very small amounts of them. However, they are just as essential for plant growth as the macronutrients--nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium--which are required in larger amounts.

Objectives Of Fertilizer Application

Fertilizers may help improve the appearance and condition of ornamental trees and shrubs. Increased vigor may make the plants more resistant to attack by disease organisms and insects.

Many factors influence the fertilization program of plants in the landscape. Unlike similar plants growing in the nursery, landscape plants are often growing under stress. Fertilization practices leading to satisfactory plant growth must take into account these stresses.

Fertilizer response varies with the plant and the environment. Soil fertility, aeration, drainage, exposure to sun and wind, temperature of the site, and proximity to buildings, walks and streets are but a few of the many factors that influence plant growth.

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