Rapid Plant Growth & Higher Yields With Amino Acids

J. James 345

J. James

In Bloom
You’ve heard of them before. Most of us are familiar with them in the health and fitness world: Amino Acid Supplements, Amino Acid Rich Foods, “Packed” with Amino Acids. What are they though? Simply put, Amino Acids are the building blocks of ALL life. They are what proteins are made of and in case you didn’t know, proteins are the driving force and regulators behind all living cells. That being said, Amino Acids play a major role in plant growth as well, mainly because they contain Nitrogen and other important elements.

This is how the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at the University of Arizona sum’s up Amino Acids:

“The chemical properties of the amino acids of proteins determine the biological activity of the protein. Proteins not only catalyze all (or most) of the reactions in living cells, they control virtually all cellular processes.”

Don’t let this hurt your brain, I want to make sure you’re clear on what Amino Acids are before we dive into how they will give you tasty, productive, beautiful plants. Let’s touch on the three different forms Amino Acids come in and yes, this is important to understand.

Amino Acids come in 3 forms:
  • Free Amino Acids: Free amino acids are individualized in monomer form (meaning “one”) and are not bound to another by “peptic unions”. In layman's terms, a Free Amino Acid is just a lone molecular ranger traveling solo through the micro-universe. Due to their lower molecular weight, plants absorb and utilize this form of amino acids the quickest compared to the other two forms. Moreover, their effects on the metabolic processes of the plant are the most profound. As such, free amino acids are of primary importance in plant nutrition and provide the quickest results.

  • Peptides: When two or more amino acids are bound to one another (by a peptic union), they form a “peptide”. So when our lone ranger meets another amino acid out in the micro wild west and they decide to stick together to form a gang, they are now a peptide. The greater the length of the peptide (more amino acids bound together), the more difficult and longer it takes to break them down.

  • Proteins: You guessed right - the joining of different chains of peptides forms a protein. Now you should understand why I called Amino Acids “building blocks” at the beginning of the thread.
As said before, since they regulate ALL living cells, Amino Acids play a major role in plants as well. Did you know that in nature the Nitrogen in organic soil is primarily in the form of proteins? Plants cannot absorb proteins like that, they have to wait for microbes, fungi (mycorrhizae) and other chemical reactions in the soil to break down the proteins into peptides, then into amino acids and only then can they begin to take in Amino Acids (Nitrogen) for growth. As you can imagine, this process is not an overnight phenomenon. It takes time and this is typically why you don’t see rapid results with organic fertilizers. The vast majority of organic fertilizers’ nitrogen is in the form of protein and the nitrogen percentage is usually low. However, if you can directly provide plants with “free form” amino acids through either their root zone or stomata, they will, in essence, skip the breakdown of proteins into amino acids. This allows the plants to exert far less energy towards nutrient assimilation and far more energy on GROWTH!

I'm not making this up and every week there are new studies on Amino Acids and plant nutrition. An article published by ScienceDirect indicates the following:

“Our results indicate that the primary phase of protein mineralization was approximately 20 ± 3 fold slower than the rate of amino acid mineralization.”

So what does all of this mean? In a nutshell, plants that are provided a steady source of amino acids will have a much easier time with nutrient assimilation which will allow them to focus more of their energy on flower and fruit production which will give you denser flowers, tastier fruits, and higher yields.
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