In the earlier days, farmers used to apply natural fertilisers like urea, which offers nitrogen to the plants and promotes their growth. Since it only contains nitrogen and no other nutrients like phosphorous or potassium, urea is mostly used for bloom growth. In a fast-paced world, farmers are also implementing practices that quickly increase the plant’s health. Following are the micro- and macronutrients that promote the growth of the crops:
As the name suggests, micronutrients are those nutrients that are required by plants in very small quantities. They are important for plant growth, balance the overall crop nutrition, help in chlorophyll production, develop resistance against diseases, and assist in nitrogen fixation. Following are the micronutrients that are important to carry out these functions:
Boron is a micronutrient that affects the plant’s membrane stability, resulting in the structural and functional integrity of the membrane. When a plant is deficient in boron, it appears in the growing points of the roots or shoots. To fix boron deficiency, you can use fertilisers like borax or boric acid.
Zinc is one of the essential micronutrients for plants as it affects the metabolism process. Even though a minimal amount of zinc is given to the plants, high yields are not possible without it. A zinc-deficient plant will have stunted growth, small leaves, etc. Common zinc fertilisers available on the market come in sulphate and chelated forms.
Manganese activates important metabolic reactions and plays a role in the photosynthesis process. It is a vital micronutrient that kick-starts the germination and maturity of plants. When the plant’s leaves turn pale green with comparatively greener areas along the veins, then it is considered to be manganese deficient.
Iron is another vital micronutrient important in several physiological and biochemical pathways in plants. It takes part in the synthesis of chlorophyll and maintains the structure and function of the chloroplast. Iron deficiency in a plant can be recognised by the yellowing of leaves with dark green veins. Iron fertilisers come in the form of sulfated and chelated fertilisers.
Copper plays an important role in activating enzymes and infusing reactions in various plant growth processes. It is also linked to the production of Vitamin A and aids in protein synthesis for a healthier yield. A copper-deficient plant will have cupped or deformed foliage.
Molybdenum is an essential micronutrient that plays a part in the metabolic function of nitrogen in a plant. It is also involved in nitrogen acclimatisation, detoxification of sulphite, degradation of purine, growth of leaves, disease prevention, etc. If a plant becomes stunted and its leaves appear yellowish-green between the veins, it has molybdenum deficiency.
Chlorine takes part in various physiological metabolisms processes such as transporting nutrients, activating enzyme systems, stomatal control, and more. When a plant is deficient in chlorine, its leaves start wilting, curling, or bronzing.
On the other hand, macronutrients are the ones that are needed by plants in a larger amount. They directly affect the plant’s growth and create various parts of the plant. The following are the macronutrients that are essential for the overall health of a plant:
Nitrogen is a macronutrient that influences the germination of plants and their growth. As a component of chlorophyll, it also takes part in the photosynthesis process, giving the plants a green colour. A nitrogen-deficient plant becomes paler and starts to dry out, and an overdose of nitrogen can cause dark green colouration of the leaves. To fix the nitrogen problem in your yield, you can provide food that is rich in nitrogen or use organic fertiliser or nitrate of soda.
Phosphorus is a vital micronutrient that provides energy to plants. When a plant is deficient in phosphorus, its growth becomes stunted, the shoots and roots are weakened, and the colour of the leaves becomes green, purple, or red.
Potassium is another essential micronutrient that makes the plant drought- and cold-tolerant. It also protects the yield against fungal diseases and pests. A potassium-deficient plant will grow slower, with dead spots on older leaves and yellow leaf margins. At the same time, an overdose will take up other plant nutrients, such as magnesium, calcium, and nitrogen.
All these nutrients are essential for plants in some way or another other, and when they become deficient in these nutrients, farmers can feed these nutrients in the form of fertilisers.