5 Natural Plant Hormones You Could Be Using for Exponential Growth!
Growth hormones are a set of 5 essential chemicals that all plants naturally produce. These are abscisic acid, auxin, cytokinins, ethylene and gibberellins, and they all play a role in altering different stages of plant development.
In this newsletter, we're going to take you through what each of these hormones are, what they do, and how they'll bring you your best yield ever!
First up to the firing line in abscisic acid:
Abscisic acid controls the way your plants adapt to stresses like drought, temperature fluctuations and salinity (If you've read last month's newsletter, you'll know why this is a big deal). ABA also controls seed dormancy which is important because, without it, seeds are at risk of germinating too early (in frozen climates, that's a sure route to death).
Why should you care?
Plants that are tolerant to stress have more energy to focus on things like water and nutrient retention which means stronger, healthier plants long-term.
Plants naturally increase ABA production with stress, which is why growers often go through a process of hardening off to acclimatise plants to stresses that they will inevitably face.
Next up, auxins:
Auxins are primarily responsible for upward or downward growth. In roots, auxin takes care of downward growth. In shoots, it forces plants to grow upwards. If your plant has a high concentration of auxins in its shoots, root growth will slow down, and vice versa.
In shoots, auxin promotes apical dominance which is not something growers usually encourage because it can significantly decrease fruit and flower production.
So, how do growers keep auxin abundant in roots but not in shoots?
Most growers promote auxin in roots with a rooting hormone during cloning (like clonex) or with a product like Canna Rhizotonic for seeds. When the plant is big enough to have multiple shoots, growers will 'pinch off', which means cutting off the head of the dominant node removing the auxin in this area, allowing for more lateral growth.
Moving on, we're going to talk about cytokinins (a natural next step):
By increasing cytokinins, you can speed up budding and flower production, which means you can harvest your yield in record time.
Most growers are already triggering cytokinin production when they switch their lighting schedule from 18 to 12 hours, but we still think it's handy to know why what you're doing works.
Next up, Ethylene.
Ethylene is produced to help the ageing and ripening process of your plants. Ethylene is produced as a gas by aging or sick fruits and will trigger surrounding fruits to start aging too. It's not all bad though, in small doses, ethylene can strengthen plant stems and plays a role in leaf development. In a commercial environment, growers might add ethylene to crops to allow them to be harvested sooner.
We're going to finish up today's newsletter by talking about gibberellins - your plant's ticket to stem elongation and leaf development (among other things).
To simplify quite a complex process, gibberellins work to break down the DELLA Proteins your plants produce to inhibit growth during dormancy. Effectively, this triggers the beginning of your growing season.
After this, gibberellins stick around to keep your plant's growth rate in check so that the plant is growing to its root system. Without gibberellins, your plants would grow uncontrollably, not knowing when to form leaves, buds, seeds or new blooms.
And that's it!
We know this was a really long newsletter compared to some from previous months, and we've really only touched on the basics. it's defiantly worth doing some research of your own for a more comprehensive understanding. Even so, we hope you'll take this information and use it to grow your best yield yet so as always:
Good luck, and happy growing!