Sixteen chemical elements are known to be important to a plant's growth and survival. The sixteen chemical elements are divided into two main groups: non-mineral and mineral.
Non-Mineral NutrientsThe Non-Mineral Nutrients are hydrogen (H), oxygen (O), & carbon (C).These nutrients are found in the air and water. In a process calledphotosynthesis, plants use energy from the sun to change carbon dioxide (CO2 - carbon and oxygen) and water (H2O- hydrogen and oxygen) into starches and sugars. These starches and sugars are the plant's food. Photosynthesismeans "making things with light".Since plants get carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen from the air and water, there is little farmers and gardeners can do to control how much of these nutrients a plant can use.Mineral NutrientsThe 13 mineral nutrients, which come from the soil, are dissolved in water and absorbed through a plant's roots. There are not always enough of these nutrients in the soil for a plant to grow healthy. This is why many farmers and gardeners use fertilizers to add the nutrients to the soil. The mineral nutrients are divided into two groups:
macronutrients and micronutrients.