March 21
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(of plants) The mineral elements that the plant absorbs from the soil or growing medium through its roots, in the form of salts dissolved in the water taken up. They are divided into the major or essential elements nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, calcium and magnesium; and the minor or trace elements iron, manganese, copper, zinc, boron and molybdenum. Plant nutrients do not themselves form the bulk of the plant, which is built essentially from air and water, but they are key components of molecules essential to plant metabolism.

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