Plant hormones help plants complete many, if not all, the necessary biological functions that promote and maintain life. This includes growth, death, flowering and fruit ripening. These plant growth regulators are mostly produced within the plant, but can be produced synthetically and are often sold on the market for consumer benefit.
The role of hormones within plants is to help regulate the biological functions that take place in order to promote life. These hormones effect every part of a plant's life cycle, from germination to reproduction and death. Gardeners often apply added hormones to plants to help stimulate vitality within their plants for long periods of time.
Three hormones that are commonly synthesized for consumer use in their gardens are gibberellins, ethylene, and auxins. These compounds are growth regulators that help in the germination of seedlings, development of roots, and fruit production. Gibberellins and auxins are mixed as a powder with water and applied to the soil where it taken up by the roots of the plant. Ethylene is a gas that is fumigated onto the plant and taken in through the plant leaf stomata.
Cytokinins are naturally found within plants and animals. They are produced by the majority of plants on their own and do not need to be synthetically produced. These compounds are used to help stimulate the division of cells within the plant. Abscisic acid is a growth inhibitor which helps prevent seed growth in winter until more favorable weather conditions take place. This compound has never been synthesized and is extremely expensive to obtain from plants.
The application of growth hormones can help stimulate plant growth and fruit production, especially when plants are receiving adequate nutrition, water and sunlight. Larger fruits, faster growth, and stronger plants are all possible under hormone therapies. This is especially important for crop farmers who are searching for new ways to grow and harvest their crops.
Misusing growth hormones can have serious side effects for plants and humans. Too many hormones applied to plants can affect humans who later ingest these plants, interfering with the human growth cycle. Also, plants may become more at risk for environmental threats and unable to fully develop properly. It is important that gardeners follow all manufacturer instructions when applying growth hormones to their gardens.