Just as a human body requires optimal nutritional, environmental and various other optimal conditions for the general well-being and growth, plant growth factors are needed to promote their ability to grow. Let’s discuss all these environmental and nutritional factors that are needed for optimal plant growth:
Nutritional Plant Growth Factors
Several aspects of plant nutrition must be taken into account for plants to grow and thrive. The basic plant growth factors for nutrients are divided into two major categories: micro-nutients and macro-nutrients. Let’s look closely at these important nutritional plant growth factors.
Macronutrients: These nutrients are required by plants in larger quantities and are called the macronutrients. Six elements in the soil are defined to be macro-nutrients and these are nitrogen, potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, and sulfur.
Micronutrients: These nutrients are required by plants in smaller quantities and are called the micronutrients. Right elements are defined as micro-nutrients and these eight are iron, zinc, molybdenum, manganese, boron, copper, cobalt, and chlorine.
Water: By far the majority of growing plants contain up to 90 percent water. Water is one of the most important factors required for plants to grow and thrive. Water plays a major role in allowing the plant to perform efficient photosynthesis, respiration, transpiration and transportation of minerals and other nutrients through all parts of the plant. Water is responsible for the functioning of the stomatal opening of leaves and water is also the source of pressure for directed root roots through the soil.
Environmental Plant Growth Factors
In addition to nutritional factors there are various environmental factors that have instrumental roles in allowing the plant to grow and thrive. There are the major environmental plant growth factors:
Light: The right amount of light is probably the most important factor in influencing the growth of plants and the quantity, quality and duration of light exposure all matter greatly in the plants ability to grow and remain healthy. Various sources of light can be used to provide sufficient light to plants and the light sources can be divided into two categories: natural and artificial light sources. Natural light is provided by the sun while artificial light sources include various systems of lighting equipment. Blue light is absolutely necessary for leaf while a mix of red and blue light promotes flowers in blossoming plants. The artificial light sources can be manipulated to adjust the intensity of the light as well. While relying on natural light is a great source of light, during winter months and extreme weather periods where sunlight is lacking, providing artificial light is necessary. There are also certain plants which require less light in order to grow well and in those cases, the light can be filtered by providing protective shelters for those plants to allow only the minimum amount of light to reach them.
Temperature: Temperature is a crucial element that influences the growth of plants. Temperature of the surrounding atmosphere as well as the temperature of the soil matters for the plant growth. Optimum temperature is one of the pre-requisites for many of the plant processes, like photosynthesis, respiration, germination, and flowering. Although the values differ for various plants usually cool season plants have 55-65 degrees Fahrenheit as the optimum temperature for germination whereas warm-season plants germinate at 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature ranges for optimum photosynthesis and respiration vary with the species of plants and their individual requirements.
Relative Humidity: Moisture is an extremely important factor in growth of plants. Moisture is defined as the ratio of water vapor in the air to the amount of water in the air. The relative humidity present in the air is utilized by the plants and this is a crucial factor for the transpiration process of the plants. Transpiration is at its peak on windy, hot and dry days and the plants’ transpiration slows down significantly during cooler and very humid days.
Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide: The manufacturing of sugar by all plants requires the use of carbon dioxide and therefore it is one of the crucial elements for healthy plant growth. It is a known fact that plants can use as much as 1500 parts per million of carbon dioxide. If sufficient natural carbon dioxide is not available in the air, there you can provide one of the carbon dioxide injectors which add this crucial factor to promote lush plant growth. Oxygen is absolutely essential for plant respiration and use of photosynthesis by-products.
Soil: Soil that provides proper humidity and offers the right balance of all the nutrients and minerals are some of the necessary factors instrumental for successful plant growth. The type of soil and the amount and quality of the nutrients required widely varies from one plant species to another plant species. The right pH balance, which means the measurement of the alkalinity or acidity present in the soil and the presence of certain chemicals are also key factors in plant growth.