Many things available in nature can help regulate plant growth and development. They necessarily include the proper amount of sunlight, air, temperature, moisture, space and nutrients. These environmental factors have significant roles in ensuring plants' overall growth and survival. For example, photosynthesis occurs in the presence of light, helping plants make their food.
Different plants have different ability to withstand differing temperatures, and it has a vital role in their growth. Like, plants that can thrive in cold temperatures are featured for their hardiness. Water, being the main component in plant cells, is an essential element, playing a vital role in different stages of plant development.
Plants use carbon dioxide from the air for use in photosynthesis. While some nutrients may be available in the air, most of them should be present in their growing medium, which means soil in which they will grow over time and could include minerals like nitrogen, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, calcium etc.
Hormones and plant growth regulators also play an important role in plants' overall growth and development, impacting their formation, development, controlling germination, metabolism, etc. When talking about plant growth factors, it is essential to understand the differences between plant hormones and plant growth regulators.
Plant hormones vs growth regulators
Plant hormones are produced naturally by plants. In other words, these hormones are synthesized by plants using a natural process, and they are available in plants at very low concentrations. On the other hand, plant growth regulators are applied to plants by humans. These synthetic compounds mimic the hormones that occur naturally in plants. The hormones and growth regulators can play essential roles in different stages of plant growth and impact the leaf, fruits, flower, stem, root, organs etc., to name a few.
They could be applied to the plant leaves as a spray, used as a liquid drench on the soil around the base of a plant or broadcasted as granules in the soil.
The different types of plant growth regulators
Using plant growth regulators can be beneficial for plants and crop yield. They can help improve uniformity in shapes and size, help in the production of robust and compact plants, have long-lasting effects, and support crop planning. Simply put, when applied adequately following all the needed steps and processes, plant growth regulators can result in a better and profitable crop yield.
The plant growth regulators are of five types: Auxin, Gibberellins, Cytokinins, Ethylene, and Abscisic acid.
The plant growth regulating compound can bend plants towards a light source, promote downward growth of roots, form flowers and support fruit growth. It is involved in cell growth and expansion, primarily in parts of an actively growing plant. It travels downwards - starting from the top to bottom, and therefore, its concentration is more at the top of a plant.
Gibberellin plays an essential role in different stages of a plant's development and has effects, some of which are similar to Auxin, although it is unique on its own. It can break seed dormancy, stimulate the division of cells, make stems longer, and improve crop yield.
Cytokinins can stimulate cell divisions, delay senescence, and are involved in repairing stages too. If a tree gets wounded, it can repair itself using cytokinins and Auxin. For normal cell division, the concentration of Auxin and cytokinin must be equal.
Ethylene and Abscisic acid
Ethylene can affect the ripening and rotting in plants, break the dormancy of seeds, impact the horizontal growth in seedlings, regulate abscission, etc. Plant growth inhibitor Abscisic acid can cause the development of seeds, regulate leaf fall and dormancy, to name a few.
The best plant growth regulators
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