What You Need to Know About Plant Essential Nutrients

For a plant to be in good health and produce abundant growth, nutrients are non-negotiable. Any plant that lacks nutrients will only fail to grow and develop, leading to slow-growing plants or ones that end up dying after some time. That being said, excessive nutrients can do harm to a plant’s development. Not only can it cause it to produce much less, but it can even kill it in the process. 

If you are here today wanting to learn more about plant nutrients to properly use them to enhance your greenery’s growth, you’re in the right place. We will talk about the various forms of nutrients, how plants take in the nutrients, and the signs that certain nutrients are lacking.

Types of plant nutrients

While there are many different nutrients to be found, scientists have grouped many of these nutrients into three different categories:

1 – Primary nutrients. Also known as macronutrients, these nutrients are ones that are required in the largest proportions by plants compared to any other nutrients. Examples of primary nutrients include phosphorus, oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon. 

2 – Secondary nutrients. These types of nutrients are not as much required as primary nutrients are. However, they are still essential to the plant’s growth and development. Such nutrients include sulfur and calcium. 

3 – Micronutrients. Also known as “trace nutrients,” these nutrients are required in tiny amounts and include but are not limited to boron, chlorine, iron, and zinc.

Different plants will require different amounts of various nutrients, and those different nutrients will affect the plant in different ways. As such, research is needed to understand exactly how much of each type of nutrient you should be giving your plants for effective growth.

How plants absorb nutrients

Generally, a plant cannot absorb a nutrient in its organic forms. For example, plants cannot use manure or leaves to use the nutrients inside. It has to wait for these compounds to break down into their ionic forms. After these compounds are available in ionic form, the plant can absorb the nutrient and use it for development.

That said, these nutrients are generally absorbed through the roots. The only nutrient that is not absorbed this way is carbon. Carbon is absorbed by the leaves through its stomata (leaf pores). Microorganisms and even fungi can help plants further absorb nutrients in various ways, such as mineralizing the nutrients (microbes) or by increasing the root’s surface area (fungi).

Symptoms of the lack of nutrients

It can be tough to tell if a plant is lacking nutrients. That is because the symptoms of such can vary from plant to plant. However, there will be general signs that something is wrong, and it includes a lack of growth, yellowed leaves, and dead tips on leaves. Note that these issues can also be caused by other problems like insects, diseases, compacted soil, and other factors, meaning lack of nutrients is not the only possible cause.

In other words, if you see a problem with your plants, do check it for other causes before concluding that it is lacking nutrients.


Plant essential nutrients are, as the name implies, vital to your plant’s growth. To ensure that your plant gets all the nutrients it needs to grow at its best, be sure to research what specific nutrients your plants need and find the right products that offer the nutrients your plants need. Anything from fertilizers to biostimulants is a great source of nutrients for your plants, but just keep in mind to never overdo it. Too much or too little of anything can be harmful to your plants, so take your time and track the progress of your plants based on how much nutrients you are giving them. With that, you can make the necessary changes to ensure your plant maximizes growth and production.

Moonshine Global offers Moonshine®, a biostimulant designed to boost plant growth and production. If you are looking for the best plant enhancers in the UK to grow healthy plants, check out our products!