The Great Plant Escape
Soiled Again!

Facts of the Case

Nutrients from the Soil

Most living things need three basic things to survive: food, water, and air. If you said that plants get their nutrients and water from the soil, you are right! Although all green plants make their food by photosynthesis, they also need to get nutrients from the soil. These dissolve in water and are taken up by the roots of the plant.

The most important plant nutrients are nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P), and potassium (K).

Nitrogen helps above-ground leafy growth and gives dark green color to leaves.

Phosphorous encourages plant cell division. Without phosphorous, flowers and seeds could not form. Phosphorous also helps root growth and protects the plant from disease.

Like phosphorous, potassium increases the plant's resistance to disease and encourages root growth. Potassium is needed for the making of chlorophyll.

Now use your new knowledge to solve Mystery #2.

Back Next
Home Case 1 - In Search of Green Life Case 2 - Soiled Again! Case 3 - Is It Dust, Dirt, Dandruff or a Seed? Case 4 - Plantenstein Is the Suspect! Case 5 - Mysterious Parts That Surprise! Case 6 - You've Learned the Mysteries of Green Life Glossary Links Case Brief Facts Activities Teacher's Guide Credits The Great Plant Escape