You’ll be surprised to know your plant nutrition is not just about NPK…

All of us are very familiar with the fact that plants need nutrients to grow and thrive. Just like us humans our little green friends also need a balanced diet to bloom at their best. Almost each one of us know about the application of NPK and how these 3 elements are life line of the plants. But that’s not the full story. Plants require other nutrients too and the deficiency or even excess can lead to certain dysfunctions in plants. Today I want to talk about other essential elements plants require.

According to researchers there are 17 essential nutrients which are required by a plant to complete their life cycle out of which three are NPK. For your house plants I want to familiarise you with a few of the other elements.


Plants are green due to presence of chlorophyll which is a must for photosynthesis and magnesium is a must for synthesis of chlorophyll. It also helps in absorption of phosphorous. Not only this, it is required for synthesis of protein and also in cell division. I hope this element needs no further explanation for its importance.

To provide magnesium for house plants you can use –

  • Epsom salt – Its chemical name is magnesium sulfate. It contains 10% Mg.
  • K-mag – Its chemical name is sulphate of potash magnesia which contains 11.2% Mg
  • Magnesia – It is a magnesium oxide which contains the highest amount of Mg i.e. 55%


Calcium is the building block of plants. It is a very critical element as it is required in building up of cell walls and membranes. It helps a plant to stand erect and maintain its shape. It is required in large quantities and in regular intervals for the whole life cycle of the plant. One of the major issues with calcium is that it is an immobile element which means once it is deposited in a particular part of plant it won’t be able to move to another part in case of a deficiency. This makes it our responsibility to provide our plants with the adequate amount of calcium.

You can supply calcium by the following –

  • Limestone – It’s chemical name is Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3) and contains 40% calcium. It is also known as chalk, ground chalk or screened chalk.
  • Hydrated or slaked lime – It is made up of Calcium Hydroxide (Ca(OH)2) and contains a whooping 54% of calcium. It can be applied very easily in its powder form.
  • Burnt or Quick Lime – It is oxide of calcium (CaO) and consists of 40-42% of calcium. It is available in solid form at room temperature.
  • CAN (Calcium Ammonium Nitrate) – It is another form of limestone which provides the plants with 8% calcium on its application.

Published by Reema

Entrepreneur | Author of 2 Ebooks | Gardener

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