Plants need non-mineral nutrients to grow: Hydrogen, Oxygen and Carbon. Through photosynthesis, the plant uses energy from the sun to turn Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O) into sugars and starches it needs to live.
Plants also need a variety of mineral nutrients. Macronutrients are broken into primary nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium) and secondary nutrients (calcium, magnesium and sulfur). Plants also need micronutrients, but only in small amounts. These are manganese, boron, copper, iron, chloride, molybdenum and zinc. Plants get these nutrients from the soil; gardeners and farmers use fertilizer if the soil they are growing in doesn’t have sufficient nutrients to support plant life.
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