Plants Obtain Essential Elements from the Soil

Over 300 years ago, Jan-Baptista van Helmont, a Dutch physician, studied how a plant gains weight. Up to the time of his experiments, people believed that plants obtained their weight from the soil itself. Van Helmont measured the growth of a willow tree for several years. That tree gained more than 70 kilograms, yet reduced the weight of the soil by less than 60 grams. Van Helmont thus disproved the idea that plants get their weight from soil, but he attributed the growth of the willow tree to the water he added to the soil. This conclusion was partially correct because most of a plant is water. However, only later did botanists discover that plant growth also depends on carbon dioxide from the air and several other minerals that, like water, are absorbed from the soil and are essential for growth.

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Growing Soilless

Growing Soilless

This is an easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide to growing organic, healthy vegetable, herbs and house plants without soil. Clearly illustrated with black and white line drawings, the book covers every aspect of home hydroponic gardening.

Get My Free Ebook


  • Niklas Karjalainen
    How do plants obtain essential mineral elements for growth?
    5 years ago
    How do plants acquire essential elements?
    5 years ago
    How plant obtain mineral from the soil?
    5 years ago
  • Tesfalem
    How many essential elements are obtained by plants from soil?
    3 years ago
  • Aiden
    How many element a plant obtained from soil?
    2 years ago
  • isengrin
    How plants obtain minerals from soil?
    2 years ago
  • uwe
    What is a mineral element that plants obtained from the soil?
    1 year ago

Post a comment