A balanced diet
Just like us Passiflora or passion flower plants need a balanced diet. The essentials for ourselves are carbohydrates, proteins, oils
& fats, vitamins, minerals,
water & air. In contrast plants only need minerals, water & air.
Plant needs are simpler as the leaves can absorb light energy
from the sun using carbon dioxide & water to produce sugars from
which all their other organic molecules can then be synthesized. All
their other needs are met by uptake of minerals & water by the roots
from the soil. Learn more about Passiflora
fertilizers & soil recipes.
Soil is an infinitely variable mix of broken down & weathered
rock & mineral fragments mixed with air & water. It also
contains nematodes, fungi, mites, algae, lichen, bacteria, dead organic
animal & plant material
Water contamination can lead to an accumulation of
toxic metals in the soil.
Roger Highfield, Science Editor
Daily Telegraph reports on
''The world has become a significantly
more crowded place. Scientists report today that soil teems with around
100 times more species than they had previously thought.
The work at the Los Alamos national laboratory in New Mexico means that
a thimbleful of soil typically contains at least one million bacterial
species, rather than just 10,000.
The implications were described as "staggering" by Dr Bill Sloan, of the
University of Glasgow, and Prof Tom Curtis, of the University of
Newcastle, in the journal Science. They argued that new mathematical
methods were needed to understand the vast diversity of life on Earth.
The scientists estimate that in a garden with a ton of soil there are
about 10,000 trillion single-celled organisms called prokaryotes.
That compares with a mere 100 billion stars in our galaxy, the Milky
"This makes exploring the biodiversity of soil more like astronomy, or
Star Trek," Dr Sloan said.
The higher estimate has come from a new method of calculating species
diversity from soil DNA developed at Los Alamos. One finding is that
toxic metals such as lead kill more of the less abundant species than
previously thought. The team compared normal and polluted soils and its
results indicate that toxic metals cause a diversity loss of roughly 99
These humble invertebrates, which are found worldwide, are
the most important of the soils many inhabitants. They eat both decaying
plant & animal organic matter. Some also eat the soil itself &
some eat nematodes. Their casts (which are even sold at $0.90 a pound as
organic compost) concentrate nutrients & they also aerate the soil,
decrease acidity & improve soil structure. Deep digging of your
garden soil is for the most part a waste of time, unless it is prior to
putting your plants in to improve drainage and add compost. Bearing in mind the fairly
shallow & relatively small root systems of Passiflora, anything more
than a light fork can do a lot of damage or even kill your plants as it
will cause shock & allows easy access for fungus infections. Leave
it to the experts! To quote Charles Darwin,
be doubted whether there are many other animals which played so
important a part in the history of the world, as have these lowly
The soil may provide adequate quantities of the required elements or may be deficient in one or more. Fertilizers are used to compensate for deficiencies.