Plants need nutrients for the same reasons that animals need them. Plants need proper nutrients to germinate, grow, fight off diseases and pests and to reproduce. Nutrients are needed in larger and smaller or trace amounts for the plant to stay healthy.
There are three key types of nutrients to consider for your plant health. The primary nutrients (NPK) are Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium. The secondary nutrients are Calcium, Magnesium and Sulfur. The trace nutrients are Boron, Copper, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum and Zinc.
Several nutrients compete with each other over uptake by the plant, so keeping adequate ratios is important for avoiding deficiency. For example excess of potassium compete with calcium and magnesium absorption. A high iron/manganese ratio can result in manganese deficiency, and high sulfur concentration might decrease the uptake of nitrate.
Click here for our plant nutrient guide: