Nineteen elements are considered essential for plant growth
Carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen are primarily supplied by air and water. The plants roots absorb the remaining 16 elements from the surrounding soil.
These elements are divided into three groups based on their relative abundance in plants: Primary Nutrients (or Major Nutrients), Secondary Nutrients (or Minor Nutrients), and Trace Nutrients (or Micronutrients).
Although the Major Nutrients are needed in the greatest quantities, a deficiency of any one nutrient can hinder plant growth, or reduce it to unsatisfactory levels. ¹
|Primary Nutrients||Function||Deficiency Symptoms||*Solutions|
|Nitrogen||Vigorous growth & dark green color||Light green leaves; stunted growth||Dried Blood, Garden Manure, Cottonseed Meal, Urea|
|Phosphorus||Root development & flowering||Smaller yields of seeds & fruit; purplish leaves, stems & branches;||Rock Phosphate, Bone Meal, Single Super Phosphate, Triple Super Phosphate|
|Potassium||Overall hardiness & disease resistance||Reduced yields; Spotted or curled leaves; Weak root system||Muriate of Potash, Greensand|
|Secondary Nutrients||Function||Deficiency Symptoms||*Solutions|
|Calcium||Plant vigor; Aids in uptake of nutrients||Deformed terminal leaves; Poor root growth||Garden Lime, Garden Gypsum|
|Magnesium||Essential part of chlorophyll||Yellowing of older leaves||Garden Lime|
|Sulfur||Dark green color; Seed production||Yellow leaves; Stunted, spindly plants||Garden Sulfur, Gypsum|
|Trace Nutrients||Function||Deficiency Symptoms|
|Boron||Increases flowering & fruit development||Terminal buds die; Less flowers & fruit develop||Garden Manure, Bone Meal|
|Chlorine||Helps control water loss & moisture stress||Plants wilt; yellow leaves||Garden Manure, Greensand|
|Cobalt||Improves growth & transpiration||Reduced growth and yellowing of foliage||Greensand, Kelp, Cottonseed Meal|
|Copper||Helps produce chlorophyll||Yellow, wilted leaves; Lack of flowering||Garden Manure, Greensand|
|Iron||Promotes dark green leaves||Yellow leaves||Greensand, Garden Manure, Cottonseed Meal|
|Manganese||Helps produce chlorophyll||Intervenous chlorosis in younger leaves||Garden Manure, Greensand|
|Molybdenum||Essential in some enzyme systems||Pale green, rolled or cupped leaves||Greensand, Lime (makes it more available)|
|Nickel||Enzyme Producton||Yellow Leaves||Greensand|
|Sodium||Aids water regulation & photosynthesis||Plants wilt||Kelp, Garden Manure, Bone Meal, Greensand|
|Zinc||Enzyme & growth hormone production||Yellow leaves, Rosetted (clustered) leaves||Garden Manure, Greensand, Cottonseed Meal|
“Rain yes, fertilizer no” From June 1 through Sept. 30, the Sarasota County Fertilizer and Landscape management code 2007-062 bans the use of yard fertilizers. containing nitrogen or phosphorus.