Trace Elements: 8 plant micronutrients that are necessary for survival

Plants need trace elements (otherwise known as micronutrients) to thrive. Although these micronutrients are only needed in very small amounts, they provide invaluable nourishment to plants and are involved in a handful of important plant processes. But what trace elements do plants need and how do those trace elements impact a plant’s ability to grow?

 

Let’s take a quick look at 8 important plant micronutrients and quickly discuss how they positively impact our green friends.

Copper

What does copper do for a plant?

  • It’s involved in the creation of proteins, like plastocyanin
  • It’s involved in the regulation of biochemical reactions
  • It’s involved in the creation of seeds and chlorophyll
  • It can make a plant more colorful

 
What happens if a plant is copper-deficient?

  • It can cause leaves to wilt
  • It can make flowers not so colorful
  • It can affect a plant’s ability to reproduce

Boron

What does boron do for a plant?

  • It’s involved in the formation of cell walls
  • It’s involved in the transportation of sugar throughout a plant
  • It’s involved in hormone regulation

 
What happens if a plant is boron-deficient?

  • It can stunt the growth of a plant
  • It can limit a plant’s ability to pollinate

Zinc

What does zinc do for a plant?

  • It’s involved in protein synthesis
  • It’s involved in the production of chlorophyll
  • It’s involved in the production of growth hormones

 
What happens if a plant is zinc-deficient?

  • It can stunt the growth of a plant
  • It can cause issues with the leaves (like brown spots and distortion)

 

Manganese

What does manganese do for a plant?

  • It’s involved in the process of photosynthesis
  • It’s involved in the formation of chloroplast

 
What happens if a plant is manganese-deficient?

  • It can cause leaves to yellow
  • It can stunt plant growth

Chlorine

What does chlorine do for a plant?

  • It’s involved in photosynthesis
  • It’s involved in the transportation of nutrients
  • It can help a plant fight off disease
  • It’s involved in the opening/closing of stomata

 
What happens if a plant is chlorine-deficient?

  • It can turn leaves bronze or cause them to wilt

 

Nickel

What does nickel do for a plant?

  • It’s involved in the transition of urea into ammonia
  • It can help a plant fight off disease

 
What happens if a plant is nickel-deficient?

  • It can negatively impact a plant’s metabolism
  • It can lead to leaf tip necrosis

Iron

What does iron do for a plant?

  • It’s involved in the production of chlorophyll
  • It helps a plant stay green through the formation of chlorophyll  

 
What happens if a plant is iron-deficient?

  • It can cause a plant to turn yellow
  • It can cause leaves to fall off and branches to die

Molybdenum

What does molybdenum do for a plant?

  • It helps a plant absorb potassium  
  • It’s involved in the conversion of nitrate to nitrite
  • It’s involved in the conversion of inorganic phosphorus

 
What happens if a plant is molybdenum-deficient?

  • It can cause a leaf to pale
  • It can stunt plant growth
  • It can prevent flowers from forming

Final thoughts

Again, these plant micronutrients are only needed in very small amounts; however, it’s important to remember that they’re absolutely critical to healthy plant growth. This is obvious when you consider the negative impacts a deficiency in these trace elements can have on plants — primarily stunted growth and distorted or wilting leaves.

 

If you’re looking for a way to supply your plants with the trace elements necessary for growth, take a look at Green As It Gets products. Green As It Gets offers soil treatments for gardens and lawns designed specifically to supply your soil with missing or inadequate plant micronutrients.

Want to keep learning about the nutrients essential for plant growth? Check out this article on the 14 plant nutrients that will help your plants grow big and strong.

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