The basic requirements of all the plants are macro molecules, such as carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals and water. These elements help in the growth and development of plants. This article discusses the various methods involved in the growth and development of the plants and the conditions that aid in monitoring the necessity of these methods.
Methods to analyze the mineral requirements of plants
A well-known botanist in 1860 called Julius Von Sachs could demonstrate that plants can be grown in a well-defined nutritious environment in the absence of the soil. This technique of growing plants in a nutrient solution is called “Hydroponics”. From then onwards various methods were developed and improved to find out the essential mineral nutrients for the plant growth. All these methods focused basically on growing the plants in a defined mineral solution in the complete absence of soil. Mineral nutrient salts and purified water were essential for running these methods.
Series of experiments were conducted in which plant roots were immersed in nutrient solution. Each of the elements were added and removed alternately to check the necessity of that particular element in the growth of the plant. Gradually, a mineral solution that is appropriate for the optimal plant growth was designed and developed. The essential elements for the plant were recognized by this method. Hydroponics is a technique that is used commercially in the production of vegetables, like lettuce, tomato and seedless cucumber. It has also been found that nutrient solutions have to be aerated to support optimal growth of plant.