Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

Commercial Use of Plant Growth Regulators

By Charles Pearson ; Updated September 21, 2017
Growth regulators can change how fruit develops.
apple image by Pali A from Fotolia.com

Farmers want to maximize their yields so that they will have the maximum food to sell. Growth regulators allow these farmers to speed up plant growth so they can produce an extra set of crops, thus increasing their profitability. Growth regulators can also increase the firmness of the crop, reduce the size of the crop’s seeds and improve its shape and color. Since plants use chemicals to stimulate different cells to divide, researchers simply have to recreate those chemicals.

Fruit Development

Seeds can get in the way of the pleasure of fruit consumption. Growth regulators can prevent seeds from developing to maturity. Some growth regulators keep seeds at small sizes where consumers mostly do not notice them. Other growth regulators can completely prevent seeds from forming. When fruit has reached a size where consumers would want to eat them, the farmer just has to wait it to ripen. Farmers can speed along that process by giving the fruits growth regulators that speed up ripening.

Root Growth

Roots keep plants alive. Growth regulators can help promote rooting by speeding the rate at which the plant grows them. After a plant has seemingly stopped growing, growth regulators can encourage mature plants to grow further. This characteristic can be helpful when a plant suffers damage or loses a part of its root system and must re-grow new root hairs.

Growth Suppressant

Growth regulators are not just designed to help plants. Some kill plants, such as weeds. These growth regulators prevent the weeds from growing to a size where they can compete with other nearby plants, which causes them to die. They then become a part of the soil, where they decompose and can serve as fertilizer. Some farmers want height control in the case of crops that can grow at speeds that can get out of control, as with cotton and bamboo.

Plant Health

Some growth regulators can be used to keep plants healthier. For example, EthylBloc prevents a plant from producing ethylene, which causes flowers to shatter, leaves to yellow and flowers to brown and also causes flower and fruit drop.

Specific Benefits

Many growth regulators have specific effects on certain types of plants. For example, ProGibb breaks flower bud dormancy, increases the numbers and sizes of flowers and encourages the flowers to bloom earlier. Gardeners can add growth regulators to the water of flowering plants, keeping the flowers fresh longer. Some growth regulators thin the skin of apples, making them easier to eat.


About the Author


Charles Pearson has written as a freelancer since 2009. He has a B.S. in literature from Purdue University Calumet and is currently working on his M.A. He has written the ebooks "Karate You Can Teach Your Kids," "Macadamia Growing Handout" and "The Raw Food Diet."