Vitamin B-1 for Seeds?
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Dawn
Posted on: November 11, 2007

Do you have a recommendation for b-1 starters for seeds and a commercial sandy soil combo?

Sorry. We do not understand what you mean by "b-1 starters".

It is something that you soak the seeds in before you plant them.

An internet search for "b-1" and "starter" revealed a line of of plant enhancement products featuring vitamin B1. The products are formulated with various other ingredients such as chelated iron, manganese, zinc, and hormone-like substances.

We have never used vitamin B1 products on plants so I cannot tell you how they work based on actual experience. However I am not a believer in the use of vitamins on plants. The rationale for vitamin B1 use on plants is an old laboratory study in which the roots of pea plants were cut off and vitamin B1 produced in the leaves and leached into the growing medium stimulated root growth. The trouble is when vitamin B1 is applied to normal plants there is no growth response. This was found to be true for a wide variety of plants. Robert Cox, an extension agent at Colorado State University, says vitamin B1 is added to products for marketing purposes and not for any real effects on plants (see his website Beware of Gardening Myths; http://www.coopext.colostate.edu/4DMG/Garden/beware.htm). But Cox’s objections do not exclude a possible effect on cuttings or seeds. A recent patent awarded to Korean researchers claims that vitamin B1 stimulates defense mechanisms against pathogenic fungi, bacteria and viruses. If this is true then vitamin B1 could protect new roots on cuttings (and possibly seeds) and thereby speeding up root formation.

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