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The Run Down On Mycorrhizae - What It Does, Why It Works And How You Can Use It!

Date: 19-10-2021

Let’s start with the basics. Mycorrhizae are beneficial fungi that develop symbiotic relationships with plant roots (If you’re into superhero movies, you could compare mycorrhizae to Eddie Brock and the alien that turns him into Venom). There are currently hundreds of species of mycorrhizae and probably hundreds more that we haven’t discovered yet, but they all fall into one of five different categories. 

Let’s run through them quickly: 

The first category of mycorrhiza is Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (we’re just gonna refer to it as AMF from now on). AMF is the most common form of mycorrhiza. It’s so common in fact, that over 90% of the world’s plant life is receptive to it. 

The next kind of mycorrhiza is known as Ectomycorrhizal fungi (EMF) which mostly occurs in hardwood trees like willow, walnut, cherry and cottonwood. EMF occurs in about 5% of plant species on Earth. 

The last 5% of plant species are served by three really specific kinds of mycorrhizae. Orchid mycorrhiza are found on orchids (shocker). Ericoid mycorrhiza thrive in soils around acidic plants (like blueberries) and Monotropoid mycorrhiza are found in coniferous trees (even then can only thrive in areas that receive little to no light). 

At the end of the day, mycorrhizae are mycorrhizae and no matter the type, they all work in the same way (barring a few small differences); by attaching themselves to plant roots and acting as an extension of that plant. 

Once attached, mycorrhizae are able to draw in moisture and nutrients from outside the plant’s root zone. They are also able to help plants by acting as a buffer and releasing these nutrients in smaller, more manageable doses. 

Payment for this very sought after service comes at a price in the form of carbs and unfortunately, no, that doesn’t mean your plants are paying for nutrient regulation with cake. 

In reality, mycorrhizae survive by taking some of the carbohydrates that your plants make through photosynthesis.  

Okay, now that we’ve covered the what and the why, it’s time for a run-through of how. 

Incorporating mycorrhizae into your existing cultivation regimen is actually more simple than you might think. If you’re growing with soil, you will find many commercially available options that already have a healthy dose of mycorrhizae mixed in. 

If you're growing hydroponically (given that you’re subscribed to this email, it’s safe to assume you are) you have the option of either adding mycorrhizae or encouraging development of existing mycorrhizae. We use a product called Great White which we’ll link below (we’re offering an email exclusive 20% off discount for all 750g Great White mycorrhizae purchases, just use code MYCO20 at checkout).

For all mycorrhizae amendments, follow the packet instructions for dosing requirements and keep expiry dates in mind as mycorrhizae are alive, and will perish if left unused. 

Finally, mycorrhizae cannot live unless direct contact is made with plant roots so it is imperative that your mycorrhizae amendment is incorporated fully into your grow medium in order to maximise the chance of contact with expanding root systems. 

Thank you so much for tuning in to today’s newsletter and as always, happy growing!