Trace Elements in Soil and Plants | 18 Essential Nutrients

What are Trace Minerals?

Trace Elements in Soil and Plants: Trace Minerals or elements are those chemical elements which are required only in minuscule amounts for standard growth of living organisms.

Trace Elements in Soil and Plants

Trace Elements in soil and Plants:

There are many types of trace elements which are required in a minute amount to plants. �some of the following are given below:

  • Iron (Fe)
  • Copper (Cu)
  • Zinc (Zn)
  • Chromium (Cr)
  • Selenium (Se)
  • Manganese (Mn)
  • Molybdenum (Mo)

Iron deficiency in Plants

  1. Iron is a key catalyst in chlorophyll production which makes the leaves green.
  2. Iron deficiency turns new leaves pale yellow or white while the veins remain green.
  3. High soil prevents plants from absorbing iron.

Remedy: –

To compensate for the Iron deficiency, it is necessary to apply the soluble form of iron chelates.

Copper deficiency in Plants

  1. Copper is the main component of enzymes. It is concentrated in the roots of plants and plays a part in the nitrogen metabolism.
  2. Its deficiency causes the death of shot�s tips.
  3. Due to copper deficiency, brown spots occurs in leaves.
  4. If it is in higher concentration it causes toxicity in plants.


To compensate the deficiency of Copper fertilizers are applied which must be soluble for example Copper Sulphate solution. The particles size of the fertilizer is small, thereby increasing the number of granules or droplets per soil volume.

Zinc deficiency in Plants:

  1. The function of zinc is to help the plant produce chlorophyll.
  2. Leaves discolor when the soil is deficient in zinc and plant growth is stunted.
  3. Zinc deficiency causes a type of leaf discoloration called�chlorosis which�causes�the tissue between the veins to turn yellow while the veins remain green.


When�plants�show symptoms this severe, it’s best to pull them up and�treat�the soil before replanting.

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Selenium deficiency in Plants

  1. Selenium is an essential but trace element for plants.
  2. If it is in higher concentration it causes toxicity selenium is typically low on acidic soils and higher in rainfall areas.
  3. Plants suffering from selenium toxicity may be stunted and may die earlier than usual.
  4. Leaves of affected plants may exhibit chlorosis or may dry.

Manganese deficiency in Plants

  1. Manganese regulates the mineral metabolism, enzyme activity and other metabolic processes in plants.
  2. Manganese deficiency symptoms, which often look like those of�iron deficiency, appear as interveinal chlorosis(yellow leaves with green veins) on the young leaves.
  3. Sometimes sunken spots�that appear in the�chlorotic�areas between the�veins.
  4. Plant growth may also be reduced and stunted.

Molybdenum deficiency in Plants

  1. It is the component of the enzyme that reduces nitrates to Ammonia.
  2. It is required to plants in very little amount.
  3. It blocked the process of protein synthesis.
  4. Plant growth ceases.
  5. Pale green leaves will have rolled margins.

Trace Elements in Soil and Plants

Which soil type is best for Agriculture

The best soil is one which has a balance of nutrients in it, such as potassium, magnesium, and others. Certain crops may need more of one nutrient, so farmers put back those ingredients into the soil for better crops. Loam is the best type of soil which helps grow the best possible crops because it provides the necessary elements. Loamy sand contains mostly sand plus clay and silt. It is good for root vegetables, such as carrots and beets, leafy vegetables, and tomatoes. Amount of Trace Elements in Soil and Plants is very minute.

Plants Nutrients Chart:

There are basically 15 essential elements that plants require to grow properly. Plants get these nutrients from the atmosphere and from the soil. Hydrogen, Carbon, Oxygen are three elements which plant obtained from the atmosphere. While other elements are obtained from soil:

18 Essential Nutrients

The essential plant nutrients include carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen which are absorbed from the air. The other essential nutrients, which are obtained from the soil, (or water in the case of water plants) include:

Macronutrients: These are nutrients which are required by plants in huge amount. For example Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), Potassium (K), Calcium (Ca), Sulfur (S), Magnesium (Mg)

Micronutrients or Trace Minerals: These are nutrients which are required by plants in a minute amount. For example Boron (B), Chlorine (Cl), Manganese (Mn), Iron (Fe), Zinc (Zn), Copper (Cu), Molybdenum (Mo), Nickel (Ni). and Cobalt (Co). That is a total of 18. There is still debate as to whether silicon, nickel, chlorine, and cobalt are essential. Trace Elements in Soil and Plants are given as below :

Elements in Soil are given below. Nutrients which are obtained from the atmosphere through the process of photosynthesis

  1. Hydrogen
  2. Carbon
  3. Oxygen

Nutrients which are obtained from the soil

    1. Nitrogen
    2. Phosphorus
    3. Potassium
    4. Sulfur
    5. �Magnesium
    6. Calcium
    7. Iron
    8. Boron
    9. Manganese
    10. Zinc
    11. Molybdenum
    12. Copper