The 10 Nuturients For Healthy Green Plants


Are the plants in your garden or office dying even though they are getting water and sun regularly? Asian Geographic lists 10 of the 17 essential nutrients for healthy green plants.

1. Boron

Boron deficiencies show up first in younger leaves; they turn yellow. Boron deficiencies resemble calcium deficiencies. Symptoms include stunting, discoloration, death of growing tips, and floral abortion.

2. Chlorine

Believe it or not, chlorine is essential for plant growth. It’s needed for photosynthesis. It’s also an enzyme activator that assists production of oxygen from water and in water transport regulation.

3. Zinc

Zinc deficiencies are among the more serious of micronutrient deficiencies and should be corrected as soon as they are diagnosed. Deficiency first shows itself as pronounced interveinal chlorosis in young leaves and mid-shoot leaves.

4. Nitrogen

Nitrogen deficiencies often appear first in older leaves and will manifest as a light green overall appearance. As symptoms progress, the leaves turn a yellow colour and stems become weak and lower leaves drop off.

5. Calcium

Calcium deficiencies show first in new, young growth. Calcium moves slowly within plants and concentrated in roots and older growth. That’s why young growth shows deficiency signs first.

6. Manganese

Manganese deficiencies show up on young leaves first: they develop interveinal chlorosis (yellowing between veins or mottling laterally along the leaf margins). The discolouration goes from light green to white, but veins remain green. The leaves become bronze-coloured and then die.

7. Silicon

Silicon is a very important plant nutrient. It is a vital component of epidermal cell walls. It strengthens plants so they can fight off diseases and resist insects, drought, heat and stress.

8. Iron
Iron deficiency is common in many plants, especially those grown indoors. Deficiencies initially show as interveinal chlorosis in young leaves, with leaf veins green in colour and older leaves unaffected. Leaves are smaller than normal.

9. Copper

Copper deficiencies show up first on the youngest leaves, young tips, buds and shoots. Older leaves develop chlorosis, growing tips die and bud development is small. Copper deficiencies cause irregular growth and pale green leaves that wither at leaf margins.

10. Phosphorous

Phosphorous deficiencies show up in older growth first. You will see leaf tips curling downwards. When phosphorus is deficient, slow and spindly plants with reduced growth will result.


To find out what the remaining seven essential nutrients for healthy green plants, read the rest of this article (Asian Geographic Issue 4/2013 No. 97) and other stories, check out our past issues here or download digital copy here.


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