We have always heard and believed that Nitrogen is the most important nutrient!! The fact is Nitrogen is just one of the important nutrients required by plants. However the producers of chemical fertilizers have somehow succeeded in convincing us that Nitrogen is the most important nutrient. To judge how important any element is; let us first understand the macro and micro nutrients required by plants. The following is a simplified version of the study of nutrients!
GROUP I : (60%) Carbon, Oxygen and Hydrogen : These are the most important nutrients without which the plants cannot survive for a long time.
GROUP II : (30%) Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium : These are again very important nutrients required for flowering and fruiting of plants.
GROUP III : (10%) Calcium, Magnesium and Sulphur : These are required in little quantities however are important.
MICRO NUTRIENTS : All other elements fall into the micro nutrient category like iron, zinc, sodium, chlorine, copper, etc. They are required by plants in a very minuscule quantity.
I have been asked by many of my readers as to what is wrong with their plant because the
- The plant does not have flowers or the flowers wither before blooming
- The plant got infected or there are white spots visible on the plant
- The plant looks unhealthy and is drying up very quickly
To solve the above problems we will have to first identify their causes:
Whenever you buy plants from any plant nursery/ seller, please understand that those plants have been supplemented with lots of chemical fertilizers. It is because of these chemical fertilizers that you see those wonderful flowers blooming and many a buds on the plant. The effect of these chemical fertilizers stays for about 1-3 months. Now what happens once you have bought these plants:
- The chemical fertilizers have killed all the microbes present in the soil. The soil is now devoid of any nutrients.
- To this plant you have not added any fertilizer/compost.
- With no nutrients available, the plant first stops flowering. Then slowly it develops a weak immunity to resist pests and other diseases.
- The plant either gets infected or it just dries up.
Once you have bought the plant, immediately while potting it, add Organic Compost to it. For initial 6 months keep adding compost, every month, to the soil. Once you have added organic compost for 6 months the soil has abundant supply of nutrients. You will see the plant flowering as well as being healthy. It will now have a very strong immune system and it will fight any pest on its own. You will not need any pesticide or insecticide. After 6 months you can add compost once in 2 months and then gradually after a year, once in 3 months. I sincerely request you, please do not use any chemical fertilizers for your plant!
I hope this answers your questions. If not, please do contact me here.
Like any being on this planet, plants too have three major requirements:
All of the above should be available to the plant in the soil. I repeat, the SOIL should contain adequate amount of air, water and nutrients for the roots to absorb and grow.
Inadequacy of any of these leads to STRESS thereby resulting in a not-so-healthy plant. Hence it is a gardener’s prime duty to ensure that the plants receive all of these. This can be ensured only when one understands and studies the types of soil thoroughly.
Don’t worry!! I had assured you that I’ll not be using any technical terms nor will I get too deep into the technicalities! The following is a simplified version of soil study!
Soil is majorly classified into three categories:
- Clay soil
- Sandy soil
- Loam soil
This is a simplified classification. The rest of the soil types are nothing but different proportions of clay, sand and silt!!