Pottasium deficiency in maize. Image credit thompsonslimited.com

Potassium deficiency in maize. Image credit thompsonslimited.com

ZIMSEC O Level Integrated Science Notes: Mineral Nutrition

  • Besides water and carbon dioxide plants also need many different mineral salts from their environment.
  • These mineral salts are required in small quantities.
  • They are taken up by the plant in solutions form as ions with water and are distributed around the plant.
  • Each mineral element has a specific function in the plant.
  • The three most important mineral elements are: potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus.

Mineral Uses and their deficiencies

Mineral ElementUseDeficiency Effect
NitrogenProtein formation.
Good leaf growth
Stunted growth.
Leaves turn yellow/Chlorosis
PhosphorusProducing energy-carrier molecules.
Good root growth.
Purple leaf colour.
Stunted roots.
PotassiumFlower and Fruit formationYellow/brown leaf margins.
Early death.

To access more topics go to the Integrated Science Notes page.