Garden Myths - Learn the truth about gardening

Vitamin B1 for Plants

Vitamin B1 is that miracle drug that makes all plants grow bigger especially after transplanting. It is added to several different kinds of fertilizer and plant additives. Guess what – it doesn’t work.

vitamin b1 for plants

Vitamin b1 for plants

Photo Source: Farmer Fred Rant

The history of this myth is quite interesting and told in detail here. In 1930 a scientist noticed that vitamin B1 stimulated root growth in a petri dish in the lab. A few more tests and people started becoming convinced that it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. In 1939 Better Homes and Gardens published a report that showed vitamin B1 resulted in huge rose flowers and giant daffodils among others. The myth was launched and fed on itself; after all if Better Homes and Gardens says it is true – by golly it is true!

By 1942 even the original author of the study admitted that vitamin B1 had no positive affect on plant growth and said “It is now certain, however, that additions of vitamin B1 to intact growing plants have no significant or useful place in horticultural or agricultural practice” But it was too late. The public knew it worked, and manufacturers were selling it like hot cakes.

Products still contain it today even though the science community has known it does not work for over 70 years.

Don’t be duped.

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Robert Pavlis
Editor of
I live in southern Ontario, Canada, zone 5 and have been gardening a long time. Besides writing and speaking about gardening, I own and operate a 6 acre private garden called Aspen Grove Gardens which now has over 3,000 perennials, grasses, shrubs and trees. Yes--I am a plantaholic!

I hope you find Garden Myths an educational site that helps you understand your garden better.

10 Responses to 'Vitamin B1 for Plants'

  1. Robert McCracken says:

    The primary link to debunking information, “” is not working. I tried it in two different browsers (Chrome and Mozilla Foxfire). I also searched “vitamin B1” on the site and found nothing relevant.
    Please let us/me know if it is available at a different URL, or if you know of another equally useful online article, study or report with comparable information.

    Many thanks,


  2. Daniel Rangel says:

    what can be used to enhance health for avocado trees and roses..and how often should be used?

    • For potted plants use any kind of soluble fertilizer with a ratio close to 10-3-3. In the garden fertilize based on a soil test, or just mulch with a bit of compost.

  3. Tracie says:

    I have started my own Vegetable garden and my corn leaves are turning yellow. The gentleman at the nursery said it was either too much nitro in the soil, not enough, or too much alkaline. He told me to use the Western State Vatamin B-1 because it would take care of whatever is going on with my corn. Any suggestions? I really don’t want my corn to die.

    • Never speak to that person again – he knows nothing about gardens or plants.

      Before you do anything, have your soil tested. You can’t guess at a problem without knowing the facts. Yellowing leaves can be an indication of low nitrogen levels and corn is a nitrogen hog. A soil test usually does not give you nitrogen levels, so you could try adding some high nitrogen fertilizer.

  4. Myo Win says:

    I am a gardener and I want to know how to use vitamin b1 for plants?

  5. David Nevotti says:

    I’m glad I found this before I went out and wasted money on nothing. My wife and I are planting our first rose garden this year and wanted to make sure they are successful and healthy plants. Thanks for the information. Dave N

    • Emmanuel A. mendoza says:

      Thank you so much for this very enlightening info that save a lot of peso