What is PLANT NUTRITION? Plant nutrition is the study of chemical elements and compound required by plants for their growth, metabolism and external supply. All plants have different nutrient requirements to complete their cycle of life. However, the supply of nutrients by growing media to the plant roots is directly affected by the growing media pH. It is the plant caretakers’ responsibilities to monitor and regulate the pH of the growing media according to plant requirement, to observe, diagnose and differentiate the symptoms of plant nutrients overdose and deficiency so that corrective measures can be applied to maximize production. The corrective measures include application of fertilizer and/or soil pH regulating chemicals such as lime (to increase soil pH-alkaline) or sulphur (to decrease soil pH-acidic). Plants are more suscep tible to pest and diseases when nutrients are not supplied to the plants according the plant requirements.
The nutrients required by a plant are categorized into macronutrients and micronutrients. Macronutrients are nutrients required by a plant in a high dosage. Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), Potassium (K), Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg) and Sulphur (S) are the macronutrients that contribute a significant biomass of a plant. Micronutrients are nutrients that are required by a plant in trace amount to maintain plant health and metabolism. Micronutrients include Chlorine (Cl), Iron (Fe), Boron (B), Manganese (Mn), Zinc (Zn), Copper (Cu), Molybdenum (Mo) and Nickel (Ni).