A couple of the more common nutrients that plants require are: Nitrogen, Phosphorus, & Potassium.

Nitrogen is the main nutrient that plants use to grow new leaves and stems. When used on your lawn nitrogen helps to green it up. Be careful when using nitrogen that you do not over do it, to much nitrogen will cause your plant to produce lots of leaves and grow big, but you will be disappointed with a poor show of flowers/berries/seeds/etc. Nitrogen is found in legume residues such as alfalfa, clover, peas, beans, lentils, mesquite, soy and peanuts. It’s also found in fish emulsion and animal waste. Symptoms of Nitrogen deficiency in plants include:

  • Spindly Stems and stunted growth
  • Older leaves turn yellowish green
  • Extreme amounts of nitrogen can kill the roots of your plant which in turn kills the plant

Phosphorus is needed to promote vigorous roots and helps in forming the flowers. Natural sources of Phosphorus are rock phosphate, bonemeal, and poultry manure. Symptoms of phosphorus deficiency in plants include:

  • Slow growth; stunted plants
  • Purplish coloration on the foliage of some plants
  • Dark green coloration with the tips of leaves dying
  • Delayed maturity
  • Poor fruit, flower, and seed production

Potassium is also important for the transport of sugars and for starch formation as plants convert sunshine to food. Potassium helps with plant growth and also increases plant resistance to disease. The size and quality of your fruits and vegetables are also affected. Potassium can be found in kelp products (large seaweeds belonging to the brown algae group) and also in wood ash. Symptoms of potassium deficiency in plants include:

  • Tip and marginal (leaf edges) burn starting on more mature foliage
  • Weak stalks and stems
  • Small fruit and shriveled seeds
  • Slow growth

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