Six Essential Micronutrients

Used wisely, micronutrients make profits.

Nearly 95% of the green, wet weight of a plant may be made up from carbon, hydrogen and oxygen - while only some 5% of the plant may be constituted of mineral elements. Without these mineral elements being taken into the plant in the proper amounts and balance, yields will be limited. Your fertilizer program, like a chain, is only as strong as its weakest link. As growth in all phases is dependent on micronutrients, we must be aware of their balances in the soil and their availability to the plants.

The six essential micronutrients are: Iron, Copper, Zinc, Manganese, Boron and Molybdenum. They are often needed by growing crops in greater quantity than the soil can supply. You can learn more about the role each of these micronutrients plays below:


  • Known as the element of life
  • Without manganese there would be no life on this planet. It is manganese that makes it possible for every living thing to reproduce itself
  • Assists iron as an activator for enzyme growth
  • Keys the phospholipase enzyme system to provide chloroplasts where photosynthesis takes place. Without photosynthesis, there can be no growth
  • Is closely related with phosphorus
  • Activates the enzyme which controls the distribution of regulators produced from auxins
  • Needed to produce seed
  • Manganese and zinc have a close relationship. Zinc builds up the auxin hormone and manganese regulates the control and supply


  • An activator of several enzymes in the plant
  • Appears to be a component of various plant organic complexes that have a function in chlorophyll formation (chlorophyll is the green material in plants)
  • Has a basic energy changing roll in the enzyme production of amino acids
  • Key to activation of glutomic dehydrogenase, the enzyme that is active in linking ammonia to organic acid for production of glutomic acid. This enzyme also works to link amino acids together into finished proteins
  • Often copper is needed to turn nitrogen into protein


  • Growth activator
  • Micronutrient key that activates the enzyme system for the production of auxin (growth regulator)
  • When adequate zinc is applied as a soil amendment or as a foliar spray the immediate result is an increase in auxin and a correction of stunted plant growth


  • Is needed for the formation of chlorophyll
  • Serves a direct roll in gathering the moving charged electron, and is directly responsible for the production of respiration energy
  • Activates an enzyme transport system that controls the movement of regulators
  • Responsible for developing cytochrome - the iron activated enzyme gathers electrons, mixes them with low energy phosphates and discharges them as energy rich phosphates


  • Regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates
  • Makes starch
  • Activates an enzyme, starch phosphorylase, that has a roll in the translocation of sugars and carbohydrates in the plant
  • Helps maintain balance between sugar and starch
  • Produces starch necessary for root development in some plants
  • Aids in quality of seed and fruit development


  • Enables plants to utilize nitrogen
  • Needed for plants to transform nitrate nitrogen into amino acids
  • Helps produce ammonia in the plant
  • Regulates sugar content
  • Aids in plant metabolism
  • Produces liacin, an energy carrier
  • Is important to nodule bacteria of legumes
  • Important to plant life and growth
  • In unusual cases, increased sugar content may give red and purple color to leaves and can be mistaken for phosphorus deficiency

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