Animals need to consume a certain amount of nutrients to be healthy. Plants also need nutrients, but these nutrients are usually minerals, not vitamins. Vitamins are extremely important for the growth of plants, but these vitamins are usually produced by the plants themselves or can be gathered and converted from sunlight.
Vitamins are substances that all life needs to survive. But excessive amounts of vitamins can lead to toxicity, while deficient amounts can prevent certain life processes. They are considered organic because they contain carbon and come from living organisms.
Vitamin C allows plants to survive in drought situations and allows plants to survive UV radiation. In Japan, universities have discovered Vitamin C is essential for plant growth, according to Science Daily. This fact was discovered by genetically engineering plants that do not produce Vitamin C. These plants were not able to grow past the seedling stage. Vitamin C is likely essential because this vitamin protects against the harmful effects of light. Since light is essential for plant growth, a lack of Vitamin C can be destructive to these plants.
A study conducted at California State found plants that had Vitamin D supplements incorporated in to the soil outperformed the control group that had just water. The plants that had Vitamin C incorporated into the soil actually grew less. While Vitamin C is necessary for plant growth, plants manufacture their own Vitamin C and probably do not need any Vitamin C in the soil. This experiment was conducted on parsley plants, and gardeners might get different results with other plants.
Fortunately, plants usually do not need vitamins to be added to the soil because plants only need trace amounts of these nutrients and produce many of these nutrients themselves. Fertilizers usually do not have vitamins in them. Instead, they usually only have nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Some fertilizers also contain calcium, magnesium and sulfur.
Discoveries made in the effects of vitamins and plant growth will make it possible for farmers to increase crop yields by being able to regulate the amount of vitamins that are absorbed or produced by plants, according to Science Daily.