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Posted By: Plant Magic

Importance of Nitrogen Nutrition in Plants

Nitrogen is a macronutrient needed by plants for healthy growth, with uptake generally increasing as plants grow. A nitrogen deficiency is often the most common and most damaging to crop growers due to being a core component for a wide variety of plants. It ensures proper plant structure and efficient external and internal metabolic processes.


The Function of Nitrogen in Plants

Photosynthesis in plants requires nitrogen to ensure vigorous growth and development. As an essential element for amino acids in plant structures, nitrogen allows for the well-functioning of these building blocks of proteins in plants. This ensures proper growth and development of plant tissues and cells, such as chlorophyll and cell membranes.

Chlorophyll is an organelle in plants that is important for photosynthesis formation of carbohydrates. It’s also the substance that provides a green colour to plants. Nitrogen’s essential role is made obvious through its role in holding genetic code in plants’ nucleus. Additionally, it’s a vital component of nucleic acid forming the DNA; this allows for the transfer of crop traits and other characteristics between plant generations.

Oldtimer Grow is an organic compound fluid fertiliser with 5.0% nitrogen to ensure the soil’s microorganisms and beneficial fungi can thrive. It also helps to stimulate growth, flavour, aroma, and overall plant health.


Nitrogen Deficiency

Should organic matter with a high carbon content be added to the soil, such as sawdust, it can cause a nitrogen deficiency. The organisms in the soil make use of nitrogen to efficiently break down carbon sources. This, however, makes nitrogen unavailable for plants.

Foliar feeding alongside the use of manure or mulch can be a good short-term solution to address nitrogen deficiency. A PK booster with Nitrogen ensures plant health and feeds the microorganisms in the soil, allowing for the roots to take up what they need easier. A fertiliser with an NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) ratio is advised for proper balance.

Platinum PK 9-18

Some symptoms of nitrogen deficiency include:

  • Drooping leaves with discolouration
  • In extreme cases, plants exhibit a burned look
  • Leaves falling off
  • Yellow or light green leaves due to insufficient chlorophyll
  • Lower, and older, leaves show symptoms first
  • Poor plant growth

These symptoms shouldn’t be confused with other nutrient deficiencies, pests, or diseases, or weather conditions, as a poor correction of the issue can intensify the symptoms. A soil test can be a good way of ensuring the level of nitrogen is properly measured. Planting nitrogen-fixing plants, such as beans or peas, alongside other plants can also help to keep nitrogen from being leached.


Nitrogen Leaching

Plants take up nitrogen in nitrate (NO3−) and ammonium (NH4+) forms. A nitrate deficiency in plants occurs when the soil experiences nitrogen leaching. This can be a natural process when drainage water takes nitrate from the soil, as nitrate is both mobile and soluble. Soluble NO3−-N is lost through soil water in excess moving below the root zone, with the potential of entering either surface water or groundwater.


The drainage from saturated soils and the nitrate levels in the soil are factors affecting the amount of nitrate that is leached. Fine soils such as sandy soils often retain approximately half inch of water per foot, however, some clay soils can retain up to two inches of water per foot. Coarse soils will have a much lower capacity of holding water and will have a higher potential of losing nitrate through leaching.

Nitrogen is also increasingly utilised to complement hydroponic nutrients in soilless plant growth. Contact us on 01695 554 080 if you have any questions about our products or your latest order.

Our Blog: Hydroponic Tips & Tricks

Whether you are an expert who already has a thriving crop of healthy plants, or you are trying to grow your very first hydroponic yield, we can help you to grow the strong and healthy crops you have always wanted.

Here at Plant Magic Plus, our team of gardening experts work very hard behind the scenes to provide you with the high quality nutrients, additives and growing media that will help you to get the most out of your growing plants.

But we understand that successful horticulture is about more than just having good quality chemicals, nutrients or fetilisers, that's why we have written this blog to provide you with the insights, tips and techniques you will need to give your garden that extra magic touch.

From helpful advice about watering your plants in soil and a guide to magnesium nutrients, to top tips about growing hydroponic vegetables and a comprehensive overview of microbes, we’ve got everything covered.


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