14 plant nutrients that will help your plants grow big and strong

There are many nutrients that are essential for healthy plant growth. But what are these plant nutrients and what roles do they play within your plants?

Let’s take a quick look at the following essential plant nutrients and discuss how they positively impact your green friends.


Magnesium’s primary responsibility is to aid with photosynthesis. In fact, you can thank magnesium for the “green” of your plants (plants with low magnesium may appear more yellow).


Potassium is incredibly important for plants and is considered one of the most crucial elements. It’s no surprise, then, that it has a handful of responsibilities, including water and CO2 regulation, enzyme activation, ATP production, and protein synthesis.


As an essential plant nutrient, calcium stimulates specific enzymes and keeps the plant’s cell walls together and strong.


Manganese is different than magnesium; however, this essential plant nutrient also aids with photosynthesis. A lack of manganese might indicate a high pH level and can lead to problems with many different plant processes (like enzyme synthesis and nitrogen absorption).


Molybdenum is used to help convert nitrate to ammonia and is only needed in small amounts.


Iron is an incredibly important plant nutrient. It helps a plant produce chlorophyll, remain green, and receive oxygen.


Nickel does quite a bit for your plant. But similar to many other plant nutrients, too much nickel can become problematic. Without nickel, however, your plants might be more tolerant to disease, succumb to urea toxicity, or fail to grow correctly.


If your plants have brown tips or look as if they’re wilting, they might be copper deficient. Copper is a plant nutrient that helps a plant grow correctly and can even have an impact on the flavor of vegetables. Copper aids in photosynthesis, protein formation, and a handful of other plant processes.


A lack of Zinc can cause brown spotting on your plants and even stunt growth (this is because it’s involved in the production of growth hormones). Similar to other plant nutrients, it’s also involved in a variety of plant processes, like protein synthesis and chlorphyll formation.


Boron deficiency is common; however, it’s a plant nutrient that’s only needed in very small amounts (which means it can be difficult to achieve the right balance). It’s vital for cell walls, plant growth, and pollination.


Nitrogen is one of the most important plant nutrients because it’s part of both chlorophyll and amino acids. It’s crucial for energy, growth, and reproduction.


Phosphorus has a hand in plant processes such as cell division, protein synthesis, tissue development, and the transfer of energy.


Within a plant, sulfur is used for many different purposes, like to produce amino acids, protein, and chlorophyll. This particular plant nutrient also helps a plant avoid disease, grow healthy, and use nitrogen efficiently.


Chlorine helps with photosynthesis, nutrient transport, and disease resistance. It’s an important nutrient that provides plants with better control and balance.

These are 14 of the essential nutrients for healthy plant growth. If you’d like to keep learning, check out this article on NPK and the differences between micro and macronutrients.

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