Biostimulants – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Plant Care Glossary

I. What are biostimulants?

Biostimulants are substances that are applied to plants or soil to enhance plant growth, improve plant health, and increase plant tolerance to environmental stresses. These substances are not fertilizers, as they do not provide essential nutrients to plants. Instead, biostimulants work by stimulating natural processes within the plant to improve nutrient uptake, increase root growth, and enhance overall plant performance.

II. How do biostimulants work?

Biostimulants work through various mechanisms to improve plant growth and health. Some biostimulants contain plant hormones that regulate plant growth and development, while others contain beneficial microorganisms that enhance nutrient availability in the soil. Additionally, biostimulants can improve soil structure, increase water retention, and stimulate the plant’s natural defense mechanisms against pests and diseases.

III. What are the benefits of using biostimulants in plant care?

There are numerous benefits to using biostimulants in plant care. Some of the key advantages include increased plant growth and yield, improved plant health and vigor, enhanced nutrient uptake, and increased tolerance to environmental stresses such as drought, heat, and disease. Biostimulants can also help reduce the need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides, making them a more sustainable option for plant care.

IV. How are biostimulants different from fertilizers?

While fertilizers provide essential nutrients to plants, biostimulants work by enhancing the plant’s natural processes to improve growth and health. Fertilizers are typically applied to correct nutrient deficiencies in the soil, while biostimulants are used to promote overall plant performance and resilience. Additionally, biostimulants do not contain high levels of nutrients like fertilizers do, making them a safer and more environmentally friendly option for plant care.

V. How should biostimulants be applied to plants?

Biostimulants can be applied to plants through various methods, including foliar sprays, soil drenches, and root dips. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application rates and timing to ensure optimal results. Biostimulants are typically applied throughout the growing season to support plant growth and development, with additional applications during periods of stress or nutrient deficiency.

VI. What are some common types of biostimulants used in plant care?

There are several common types of biostimulants used in plant care, including seaweed extracts, humic acids, amino acids, and beneficial microorganisms such as mycorrhizae and rhizobia. Seaweed extracts are rich in plant hormones and trace minerals that promote plant growth and stress tolerance, while humic acids improve soil structure and nutrient availability. Amino acids are essential building blocks for plant growth, and beneficial microorganisms enhance nutrient uptake and protect plants from pests and diseases. Overall, biostimulants offer a natural and sustainable way to improve plant health and performance in the garden or on the farm.