Plants need micronutrients in very small amounts but they are important nevertheless in the plants’ proper growth, flowering and fruiting. Let’s get to know them.
CALCIUM (Ca) – It is required by plants for continuous cell division and formation. It increases fruit setting; controls water intake/usage of cell colloids. If calcium-deficient, roots become weak and leaves are not normal in appearance with brownish coloring. In tomato, calcium deficiency often results in blossom end rot of fruit.
MAGNESIUM (Mg) – Important nutrient in the production of chlorophyll and in the process of photosynthesis. Supports optimum uptake/usage of phosphorus in the plant. Activates important enzymes in plants that help in the good/healthy coloration of plants. If magnesium-deficient, leaves become yellowish and easily fall from the stems.
SULFUR (S) – Plays a vital part in the protoplasm structure, odor and color of the plant. It is required in chlorophyll production. Activates special enzymes in plants. It is important part of amino acids, cystine, cysteine and methionine. If sulfur-deficient, growth is affected and leaves become short and round, hard and brittle. Leaves easily fall from the tree and growing buds easily die.
IRON (Fe) – Important nutrient in the production of chlorophyll and in the process of photosynthesis. Helps in the mechanism of enzymes for respiration and transfer of oxygen in the plant cells. Part of the process and reaction of plants related to cell division and growth. If iron-deficient, the leaves become yellowish.
MANGANESE (Mn) – Acts as channel to make important enzymes in plants. Activates enzymes in plants needed in the oxidation, reduction and hydrolysis process. It is part of the photosynthesis process If deficient in manganese, leaves become yellowish with white spots
When papaya does not receive enough boron, the fruits are lumpy and very ugly. (photo credit:http://www.fftc.gnet.org)