Plants need all sorts of nutrients. When we talk about nutrients, many people focus on the primary macronutrients including, nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. However, too often, the secondary macronutrients and the micronutrients are forgotten.
Micronutrient are important to plants. Even though they may not be needed in as high quantities as macronutrients, they still contribute to the development of a healthy plants. They are called micronutrients because they are needed in smaller quantities, not because they are any less important.
Some of these micronutrients include zinc, manganese, boron, copper, molybdenum, chlorine, and iron. If your plants are micronutrient deficient, expect lower yields or smaller plants.
If you want to make sure your plant is receiving all the correct macro and micronutrients, I recommend that you check out my individual fertilizer guides for different plants.
Let’s quickly review the function of some of the micronutrients in plants
Different Micronutrients Used by Plants
Boron is important in sugar transportation, cell division, and amino acid production. When a plant is deficient, you might notice some yellowing and deformed leaves.
Chloride is used in turgor regulation, resisting diseases, and photosynthesis reactions. If your plant is not receiving enough chloride you will notice yellowing leaves and wilting of younger leaves.
Copper is a component of enzymes and is involved with photosynthesis. Copper deficiency results in light yellowing of leaves with leaf tips having a twisted appearance. Younger leaves will also lose their turgor.
Iron is a component of enzymes and is essential for chlorophyll synthesis and photosynthesis. When a plant is deficient, you will notice yellowing between the veins of new leaves.
Molybdenum is involved in nitrogen metabolism and essential in nitrogen fixation by legumes. Deficiencies result in general yellowing of leaves.
Manganese plays a crucial role in chloroplast production, is a cofactor in many plant reactions, and activates enzymes. Just like iron deficiencies, when a plant is deficient, you will notice yellowing between the veins of new leaves.
Zinc is necessary because it is a component of many enzymes and is essential for plant hormone balance and auxin activity. Zinc deficiency will result in stunted growth and young leaves will appear smaller than normal.
Hopefully this brief overview gives you some valuable information on the micronutrients that are necessary for optimal plant growth.