Vitamins are important for the health and well-being of predators and organisms within the animal kingdom, such as humans. Plants create these vitamins as a byproduct of various processes necessary for growth. Applying most vitamins to plants actually can inhibit this production and cause a variety of negative symptoms to emerge.
Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are three macronutrients responsible for the proper growth and development of plants. They are added to soils through fertilization, aiding in the increased vitality of plant-life. There are various other micronutrients that plants require in much smaller amounts, such as carbon, sulfur and calcium.
Vitamins are important to the human body. We use these natural compounds for increased bone-development, growth, reproduction, cell repair and a variety of other biological processes. Vitamins are placed in specialized fertilizers that claim the same benefits for a gardener's plant life.
Vitamin C is added to various crops and plants by farmers who wish increase crop yields and healthier plants. This is because this particular vitamin is important in the protection of plants from various stresses, such as ultraviolet rays brought on by sunlight. Vitamin C replenishes plants and limits the negative side effects of this form of energy.
Researchers caution consumers who purchase fertilizers claiming increased plant vitality due to vitamin enhancement. There is little scientific evidence to prove that plants gain benefits from vitamins the same way humans do. In fact, those very supplements are sometimes responsible for the over-fertilization of plants. Over-fertilization is a dangerous situation that can lead to a paling of foliage and inhibited physiological processes, making the plant more susceptible to potentially lethal pests and diseases.
University of California Cooperative Extension of Mariposa County conducted tests in 2002 that determined there are few benefits to gain from adding supplements such as Vitamin B1 to fertilizer. In a controlled experiment with groups of snapdragons, there was very little difference between the growth rate of plants treated with standard fertilizer and those treated with vitamin-enhanced fertilizers. Manufacturers who charge more for vitamin-treated fertilizer are most often misleading consumers in the benefits of their purchase.