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17 Essential Plant Elements

All plants need 17 essential elements to complete their lifecycle.  The first three essential elements are Carbon, Hydrogen, and Oxygen, all of which are obtained from the air.  The remaining 14 essential elements are taken up from the soil. Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium (N-P-K) are called the macronutrients because they are required in relatively large amounts. 

Regardless of whether the nutrient is required in large quantities like N-P-K, Calcium, Magnesium, and Sulfur or miniscule quantities like the micro nutrients (Iron, Copper, Chloride, Boron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Zinc), if the plant does not have a sufficient supply, the growth of the plant will be limited by that least available nutrient.