Why do plants contain minerals?

84 viewsChemistryOther

Do plants simply pull mineral content from soil? Example, kale is a source of potassium. If I was able to remove all of the potassium out of the soil and ground in my garden, would a kale plant grow if I planted the seeds and watered it? (Assuming correct climate conditions)

In: Chemistry

4 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

The seed would likely germinate but die pretty soon after. Potassium is one of the macronutrients for plants along with nitrogen (nitrates) and phosphates. This is why many fertilizers give an NPK number (N-nitrogen, P-phosphate, K-potassium) which indicates the proportion of each substance in the fertilizer.

And yes, these nutrients are extracted from the soil through the roots of the plants.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Sort of.

That is, in essence, how plants contain minerals – they absorb them from the soil.

Carbon compounds – all the wonder full sugars – are made largely from carbon from the air and water from the root system.

If you take all the K out of the soil, your kale *might* grow, but it will be noticeably unhealthy, and ZERO potassium would probably kill it during early development.

Fun fact, different nutrient (mineral) deficiencies cause different visible problems with your plants! The weed people especially have a lot of neat illustrated charts for this.

Anonymous 0 Comments

This is why we use fertilisers. To replenish the minerals and other stuff that our crops extract from the soil.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Among the many things that are a problem with tobacco the plant concentrate radioactive forms of the metals lead and polonium.