Vitamin B1 for Plants

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Robert Pavlis

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 effect 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.

Compost Science for Gardeners by Robert Pavlis

Don’t be duped.

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Robert Pavlis

I have been gardening my whole life and have a science background. 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!

50 thoughts on “Vitamin B1 for Plants”

  1. I had always used b1 as a root drench when transplanting tomatoes.
    Last year I drenched half of my tomatoes with b1 solution and half with pure water.

    I found that the b1 plants did not droop on the first day but the water only plants did. On the next day or two the drench plants appeared no different than the water only plants.

    Nor did they grow any differently after they were established.

    I wonder why I observed that first difference. It certainly is not enough advantage to trouble myself.


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