We all know that Fungus destroys and kills most our plants, what we commonly call as Rot. I am sure Every gardener must have experienced plant death due to fungus attack or the rot. Now what if I tell you there are some fungi which help boost the growth of plants. Yes that’s todays topic of discussion. What are these plant tablets and plant powder that can actually accelerate plant growth. We will quickly learn some scientific concepts of this and will also demonstrate on how to use these for your plants for a variety of purposes including rooting your plants cuttings successfully, using this stuff.
We will start with the term – MYCORRHIZA (that’s a Greek word mycos, “fungus”, and rhiza, “root”). It is a Symbiotic association (mutually beneficial – symbiosis is a process of mutual benefit) between a fungus and the roots of a plant.
We will look into a simple explanation to this: The plant prepares food and energy coming from the sun that’s by way of photosysnthesis and supplies these carbohydrates and other nutrients to the fungi through the roots, and the fungus in turn supplies water and mineral nutrients taken from the soil to the plants. So, Mycorrhizae are located in the roots of the plant. In general, most of the plant species can form these mycorrhizal associations. We will not go into details or types or classifications of these associations. The most common is the Arbuscular type which is also called Vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhiza (VAM) and this is present in 70% to 80 % of plant species. And Mycorrhizae are especially beneficial for the plants growing in nutrient-poor soils. Because the fungal mycelia or hyphae – that’s fine hair like structure can uptake the nutrients from the soil, These are better than the thinnest fibrous roots of the plants. This in scientific terms is called increasing the vascularity, similar to certain drugs in medical field which increase vascularity and increase blood supply to an organ.
There is a lot of research done on this and it is proved to be very much beneficial to plants. You can check out links to some of the website articles on these topic from the description of this video.
Well, Now at home gardening level, How to utilize this benefits of mycorrhiza to boost the growth of our plants.
There are two options am showing you here. You can checkout links to these items from a card linked to this video or visit our website at gkvk.net.
- Plant Tablets or Root Tablets
- VAM powder containing these mycorrhizae.
This one is in Tablet form. Its called Root booster tablets. This comes with a leaflet and instructions with dosage for various plants. For home plants, use 1 or 2 tablets depending on the size of the container and size of the plant.
Now how to use this: Make a deep hole like about 4 to 6 inches, till u approximately feel you are reaching the roots of the plant. Then insert this tablet into the hole and cover it with soil. Then water slowly to make the soil wet. This should contain spores of the beneficial fungi which should reproduce and start their actions. You should see the effect within 3 months. You can test this on your anaemic plants and see the improvement in about 3 months. If your anaemic plant is showing significant interval change, then this mycorrhizae are into action and providing the plant with the necessary micronutrients like iron, magnesium and others.
Now the second Product is called VAM – Vescicular Arbuscular Mycorrhizae. This comes in powder form and each gram contains 100 to 200 propogules. So, approximately add one teaspoon of this powder near the plant roots by digging a hole or while repotting sprinkle the powder and repot your plant.
Now another interesting Use of this Mycorrhizae. That is Using Mycorrhiza for a Rooting Hormone effect to grow stem cuttings, that is rooting your cuttings. You can dip the lower end of a cutting into this powder and insert them into the soil. You can apply all the other rules of cuttings like the 45 degree cutting angle and others. You can watch one of my old videos on this topic from a card linked at top right corner of this video or search in my channel.
So before going to our important and interesting quiz question.
Will summarise the benefits, Mycorrhizal fungi make plants stronger and healthy, increasing the yields, increasing flowering and fruiting, make them drought tolerant, reduce fertilizer and water usage, protect plant against harmful pathogens in soil, improve soil quality and drainage system, Increase tolerance to soil PH changes and many other benefits.
Now lastly one quiz question. Actually even I do not know a proper answer to this. Can we use broad spectrum antifungals like SAAF powder (carbendazim and mancozeb) to mix with water and water the plants. Will this not kill these mycorrhizae? Please answer in the comment box below the video.