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Plant Supplement Guide for Overall Plant Health


Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Feed Your Plants for Lush Growth Plant Supplement Guide for Overall Plant Health
he importance of proper plant supplementation cannot be underestimated. Aquatic plants generally obtain nutrients from the aquarium environment. However, certain conditions make it necessary for supplementation. Factors including plant species, planting density, and lighting conditions influence the availability of plant nutrients necessary for healthy plant growth.

WHY SUPPLEMENT AQUATIC PLANTS?
Without supplementation, deficiencies in certain plant nutrients occur. Symptoms of nutrient deficiency include lack of growth, poor coloration, yellow leaves, and leaf loss. Plant supplements provide vital nutrients to simplify aquarium plant care and help keep plants lush and healthy. There are several nutrients essential to plant health and growth. Major plant nutrients, also called macronutrients, include:

NITROGEN (N) Helps increase growth potential and improves leaf health

PHOSPHORUS (P) Aids in photosynthesis and helps accelerate plant growth

POTASSIUM (K) Helps develop healthy stems and roots

Essential minor plant nutrients and trace elements include:

CALCIUM (Ca) Helps build plant strength and helps with nutrient absorption

MAGNESIUM (Mg) Encourages healthy growth and increases plant coloration

SULFUR (S) Helps improve root and plant growth

BORON (B) Aids in plant's ability to use nutrients

COPPER (Cu) Aids in reproduction and root metabolism

CHLORIDE (Cl) Aids plant metabolism


TIPS FOR PLANT HEALTH
Observe your aquarium plants for signs of nutrient deficiencies. Look for transparent or yellowed leaves, holes in the leaves, malformed leaves, or general lack of growth.

If you use reverse osmosis water, replenish essential minerals removed during the RO process with a re-mineralizing RO water conditioner.

Tap water tends to contain certain plant nutrients. Before supplementation, test source water for nitrogen compounds and phosphate to prevent over-supplementation.

Closely monitor water quality and perform regular water changes.

Use liquid supplements and tablets to ensure a proper balance of plant nutrients.

Avoid over-supplementation. More is not always better.

IRON (Fe) Helps in the formation of chlorophyll

MANGANESE (Mn) Helps plant metabolism break down carbohydrates and nitrogen

MOLYBDENUM (Mo) Aids plants in the use of nitrogen

ZINC (Zn) Helps with the use of carbohydrates and regulates sugar production

What is the difference between a liquid and tablet plant supplement? A. Liquid plant supplements are ideal for aquatic plants that draw nutrients primarily through their leaves. Tablet supplements provide nutrients directly to the plant roots.

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