IPI International Potash Institute
IPI International Potash Institute

Fertilizers are Plant Nutrients

Fertilizers contains the nutrients that are essential to plant growth and development. With these nutrients, plants produce the food that animals and human beings eat.

Plants require 16 nutrient elements which are essential for completion of the life cycle. Carbon (C), hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O) are derived from air (carbon dioxide, CO2) and water. Nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), sulphur (S), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), boron (B), chloride (Cl), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo) and zinc (Zn) are mineral nutrients that are normally derived from the soil in the form of inorganic salts.

The absence or low availability of these nutrients results in death of the plant, or poor growth that is generally accompanied by visual deficiency symptoms. The nutrients must be provided by the soil, manures and/or mineral fertilizer. The nutrients are primarily taken up by the roots as ions that exist in the soil solution.

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