Use of Vitamins to Stimulate Plant Growth - Knowledgebase Question

Barrington, IL
Question by survresgrp
January 16, 1998
Could human vitamins be used to stimulate plant growth?


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Answer from NGA
January 16, 1998

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That sounds like an interesting science experiment to me! My guess would be that there are certain aspects of vitamins that might help plant growth. For example, both people and plants need a variety of minerals, including iron, magnesium, calcium, etc. The minerals in the supplements intended for human consumption are formulated so they are in a chemical form that people can absorb. This may or may not be the same form that plants can use. And, of course, in pill form they probably wouldn't help plants much. But if you dissolved the pills, or used liquid vitamins, and watered the plant with this, some might be in a form available to plants.

Remember, however, that the vitamins we take are intended as supplements to the vitamins that are naturally present in our food, especially vegetables and fruits. I would guess, though I don't have the time to research this, that plants manufacture these compounds from other sources--the sugars they create through photosynthesis, and the various elements they absorb through their roots. Now I want to get out my old chemistry book!

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