Why do plants need calcium?
When it comes to plants, nutrients are kind of a big deal. In fact, there are 16 essential plant nutrients that want nothing more than to keep your plant healthy, growing, and vibrant. So let’s continue our journey into essential plant nutrients by answering the question, “Why do plants need calcium?”
What is calcium?
Calcium is an element on the periodic table that is found rather abundantly on our beautiful planet. It combines with other elements to create compounds that are used for a variety of purposes — like making cement. Calcium is also used by living things — like by humans to promote stronger, healthier bones.
But why do plants need calcium and why is it important for their survival?
Why is calcium important for plants?
Like the other essential plant nutrients, calcium is used by plants in a handful of different ways. But here are some of the most important reasons plants require calcium:
- Calcium strengthens cell walls
- Calcium helps maintain pH levels
- Calcium activates enzymes
- Calcium improves water penetration
- Calcium increases resistance to disease
At the end of the day, calcium plays a role in making sure the plant develops and grows properly and avoids dying or withering too quickly. It’s very similar to the role of calcium in the human skeleton.
How do I know if my plants need more calcium?
If you’re wondering, “How do I know if my plants need more calcium?” the answer can be found one of two ways.
The first way is to take a look at the plant itself. The physical appearance of a plant can often help you determine what nutrient(s) it’s missing. In the case of calcium, there are a few signs to look for. Most of these signs come in the form of growth deformities — like stunted growth or growth abnormalities. The leaves may also start to show signs of chlorosis. But be careful … yellowing leaves can also be a sign of other nutrient deficiencies.
The second way to check for calcium deficiency is to perform a soil test. However, soil tests can be tricky, and they aren’t always accurate.
While a soil test is designed to help you determine what your soil might be lacking, it doesn’t test all of your soil — only one part of it. In other words, the results for one small section of your soil may not be accurate for the rest of your soil. If you add amendments to your soil based on one test result from one section, you could end up damaging the other sections of your soil.
Secondly, soil tests are designed to tell you what nutrients are in the soil, but it won’t tell you what (or how much) nutrients are in a plant-available form. It would be something like the difference between cows and hamburgers. We eat hamburgers — not cows. This same concept holds true with the nutrients in your soil. Many can be in a form that plants simply can’t absorb. Needless to say, soil tests don’t always give us the information we are looking for.
What if my plant is not calcium-deficient but it still looks bad?
Calcium is only one of the 16 essential plant nutrients, and your plant needs all 16 nutrients to remain healthy. If your plant is not lacking calcium but still looks to be in bad shape, then your plant might be deficient in a different nutrient.
If you want to learn more about these nutrients, take a look at the following articles:
But if you don’t want to get a PhD in chemistry, we recommend using a soil treatment like GardenMAX or TurfMAX. Not only do these treatments contain all 16 essential plant nutrients, but they also have a ton of other great benefits. For example, they can correct pH imbalances, add beneficial microbes to the soil, and slow-release fertilizer. Even better, they’re super easy to use — apply on top and water in.
Calcium is essential for plants, so if you think your plant is missing this nutrient, you need to act fast. Unfortunately, testing for nutrient deficiencies in plants isn’t the clearest thing to do. But luckily, there’s another way to overcome this hurdle.
With a soil treatment from Green As It Gets, you can easily transform your soil into a place where plants love to grow. These soil treatments work fast to correct pH imbalances and supply your soil with any missing nutrients. It’s intelligent, advanced, and ready to go to work for your soil.