The basic factors that a plant needs to survive include, soil, mineral nutrients from the soil, water, air and sunlight. An excess or dearth of any of these can hamper the growth of the plant.
Water is very essential for the growth of plants. Some plants require more watering than others. It is important to know how much water plant needs before buying one. Too little or too much water can damage plants.
Soil is an important for all plants. The roots of the plant grow downwards into the soil and help the plants to grow. Roots branch out in the soil and stabilize the plant and also help the plant absorb water and other essential nutrients from the soil.
When a plant is uprooted from the soil, it cannot survive for long. Thus when you transfer a plant from a pot to another area, it is essential to leave some of the soil trapped around the roots, and give the plant time to grow into the new area again.
Soil also provides essential nutrients and minerals to the plant. The composition of the soil varies according to the plant species. There are primary nutrients required for plant growth. Primary nutrients include nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous whereas secondary nutrients include sulfur, calcium and magnesium. There are some micronutrients like zinc, iron, manganese, copper, cobalt, boron, chloride, silicon and molybdenum that are also absorbed by the plants.
Sunlight is important for the process of photosynthesis during which process plants convert carbon dioxide and light into food source and energy. Light can be provided using artificial or natural sources. Excessive sunlight can also be harmful and some plants need to be kept in the shade for most of the day.
An optimum temperature is required for growth of plants. The stages of plant growth include germination of seeds, respiration, during which oxygen is used and carbon dioxide released, photosynthesis during which carbon dioxide is utilized and oxygen is released, and flowering. The favorable range of temperature lies between 65-85 degrees.
It is advisable to ask about specific requirements for survival of plants before buying them. Plants also survive well when they are given regular care. Besides watering, plants need to be tended to avoid growth of weeds or to remove dead leaves. People who love gardening, often talk to their plants and treat them gently. In some tribes it is believed that talking harshly to plants and trees is a sure shot way of killing them.