Diagram of plant nutrients

Your plant requires nutrients to complete its life cycle. These nutrients are obtained, from the air, water and the soil. These nutrients can be broken down into three main categories - Basic, Macro & Micro Nutrients. Here is a break down of the nutrients and their basic funtions.


  • Oxygen (O)
  • Hydrogen (H)
  • Carbon (C)


  • Nitrogen (N) - Proteins, Protoplasts & Enzymes
  • Phosphorus (P) - Metabolism
  • Potassium (K) - Water, Energy

Macro (Secondary)

  • Magnesium (Mg) - Chlorophyll & Enzymes
  • Sulphur (S) - Protein, Enzymes & Protoplasts
  • Calcium (Ca) - Cells

Micro (Trace minerals)

  • Copper (Cu) - Enzymes
  • Iron (Fe) - Chlorophyll, Metabolism & Enzimes
  • Manganese (Mn) - Photosynthesis & Enzymes
  • Zinc (Zn) - Protein & Enzymes
  • Boron (B) - Sugars, Cells & Growth Regulators
  • Nickel (Ni) - Metabolism
  • Chlorine (Cl) - Photosynthesis
  • Molybdenum (Mo) - Nitrogen
  • Sodium (Na)
  • Cobalt (Co
  • Vanadium (V)
  • Aluminium (Al)
  • Silicon (Si)
  • Selenium (Se)

Plants require 17 essential nutrients for growth. 95% of a plants total biomass is made up by Nitrogen, Oxygen, Hydrogen and Carbon. Macro-nutrients are taken up by the plant in larger quantities. Micro-nutrients (trace elements) represent the smallest amounts of nutrients in a plants biomass. All of these nutrients will be aquired by the plant from the air, water and the soil. Above is a basic diagram to illustrate this.

A happy plant is a healthy plant that has everything it needs at its leaf and root tips. For your plant to be a happy plant it needs the right environmental and climatic conditions. Often, we as growers grow our plants in un-natural environments or climatic conditions. It is up to us the grower to create the right conditions for our plant. This means growing your plant in a location where it gets the right climatic conditions - temperature, sunlight and moisture. We also need to make sure that the soil provided for our plant is suitable for the plants needs. Soil condition is key to a plants health and bad quality soils stripped or lacking in certain nutrients can result in less than happy plants.

Sometimes, for a number of reasons, your plant will be lacking in nutrients and you will need to supplement your plants with specific nutrients to correct the deficiency. Nutrient deficiencies in plants show themselves in a number of physical manifestations. Effectively our plant will tell us what is wrong with it. It is up to us the grower to decipher these symptoms and supplement accordingly. More than that, we need to understand the underlying reasons why the plant is experiencing these issues and be in a position to take decisive action.

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