GETTING TO KNOW THE MICRONUTRIENTS NEEDED BY PLANTS

Plants need micronutrients in very small amounts but they are important nevertheless in the plants’ proper growth, flowering and fruiting. Let’s get to know them.

CALCIUM (Ca) – It is required by plants for continuous cell division and formation. It increases fruit setting; controls water intake/usage of cell colloids. If calcium-deficient, roots become weak and leaves are not normal in appearance with brownish coloring. In tomato, calcium deficiency often results in blossom end rot of fruits.

GETTING TO KNOW THE MICRONUTRIENTS NEEDED BY PLANTS
Blossom end rot in tomato due to deficiency in calcium.
(Photo credit www.stranges.com)

MAGNESIUM (Mg) – Important nutrient in the production of chlorophyll and in the process of photosynthesis. Supports optimum uptake/usage of phosphorus in the plant. Activates important enzymes in plants that help in the good/healthy coloration of plants. If magnesium-deficient, leaves become yellowish and easily fall from the stems.

SULFUR (S) – Plays a vital part in the protoplasm structure, odor and color of the plant.  It is required in chlorophyll production. Activates special enzymes in plants. It is important part of amino acids, cystine, cysteine and methionine.  If sulfur-deficient, growth is affected and leaves become short and round, hard and brittle. Leaves easily fall from the tree and growing buds easily die.

IRON (Fe) – Important nutrient in the production of chlorophyll and in the process of photosynthesis. Helps in the mechanism of enzymes for respiration and transfer of oxygen in the plant cells. Part of the process and reaction of plants related to cell division and growth. If iron-deficient, the leaves become yellowish.

MANGANESE (Mn) – Acts as channel to make important enzymes in plants. Activates enzymes in plants needed in the oxidation, reduction and hydrolysis process. It is part of the photosynthesis process  If deficient in manganese, leaves become yellowish with white spots.

GETTING TO KNOW THE MICRONUTRIENTS NEEDED BY PLANTS
Lumpy papaya fruits due to boron deficiency. (Photo credit http://www.fftc.agnet.org)
GETTING TO KNOW THE MICRONUTRIENTS NEEDED BY PLANTS
Abnormal fruit formation due to boron deficiency in the soil.

BORON (B) – Helps in the transport of carbohydrates in plants. Increases flowering. Helps in the transport of sugar, aids in plant reproduction, supports the uptake of water in plants. Gives good fruit quality and longer fruit shelf life. If boron-deficient, stems and branches become brittle and there is abnormality in the fruit formation/shape/appearance. Fruits of boron-deficient papaya, for instance, have unsightly lumps (bukol-bukol).

ZINC (Zn) – Supports healthy growth and size of plants in general. A requirement in the protein making process in plants. Supports good seed and grain formation and fruit ripening. If zinc-deficient, there is a decrease in fruit and grain quantity and leaves become yellowish.

COPPER (Cu) – Important part of the photosynthesis process and in the reproductive stages in plants. Aids in the proper respiration of plants and helps increase the level  of sugar and healthy color of plants.  Improves the  taste/flavor of fruits/vegetables. If copper-deficient, leaves become bluish and young leaves do not mature and easily die.

CHLORINE (Cl) – Required in the photosynthesis (food-making) process in plants. If not sufficient, roots become fat and short and plants easily wilt. (WARNING: Chlorine can be harmful to plants if its level in the soil is over 5%).

ACKNOWLEDGMENT: The above information are taken from the booklet “Complete Plant Nutrition With Stress Management Technology” published by Zetryl Chem Philippines headed by Danton B. Pajarillaga, president and general manager. Zetryl Chem distributes Z-Fert Fertilizer which is a complete fertilizer with right amounts of trace elements or micronutrients. The company also distributes many other products for agriculture and industry. You can email Zetryl Chem at: zrcagrofarmtech@zetryl.com.

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