Vitamin C and folic acid are necessary for a healthy plant to grow. Most plants are able to produce their own vitamin C, and folic acid can be found in high levels naturally in some plants. Folic acid especially is present in dark green leafy vegetables. However, you can assist a plant that is deficient in any one of these vitamins by giving it a fertilizer that contains these vitamin supplements.
Vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, is an antioxidant, which is a substance that prevents damage that can be attributed to oxygen. Plants actually need vitamin C because this vitamin increases their ability to cope with stress associated with ultraviolet radiation and extremely hot and dry conditions. Vitamin C especially is helpful by protecting a plant from the negative consequences of the presence of light during photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the process in which a plant converts the sun's energy into sugar it can use for food.
Additional Vitamin C Information
Protecting a plant from ozone is another way vitamin C helps a plant to grow and thrive. When sunshine, oxygen and pollutants in the air exist together, they produce ozone. Ozone is a substance that penetrates the leaves of plants and breaks down into molecules that will end up injuring the plant if an antioxidant fails to counteract it. This is the reason the antioxidant vitamin C is essential for plant growth. In addition, vitamin C efficiently preserves the number of nitrates present in plant tissues. Plants require nitrates, which are a combination of two important plant nutrients -- nitrogen and oxygen -- to grow well.
Folic acid, also called vitamin B9, enables plants to regulate their DNA functions. This acid basically helps a plant to produce DNA, which is a nucleic acid that possesses an organism's genetic information. Folic acid additionally enables plants to produce RNA, a nucleic acid that carries information from DNA to plant cell structures known as ribosomes and helps a plant synthesize protein. Plants need protein to build up the structures in their cells.
Other Folic Acid Information
Regulating a plant's metabolic functions is another important contribution of folic acid. Folic acid enables plants to metabolize carbohydrates, proteins and lipids -- or fatty substances. Folic acid essentially helps plants to grow more heavily and healthily. Because folic acid exists in plants but decomposes rapidly when exposed to strong light, giving plants additional folic acid during the planting process is recommended.
- ScienceDaily; Vitamin C Is Essential for Plant Growth; September 27, 2007
- MedicineNet: Definition of Antioxidant
- U.S. Department of Agriculture; Vitamin C Protects Stressed-Out Plants; September 10, 2004
- ManicBotanix: Vitamins in Hydroponics
- News-Medical: What is RNA?
- VitaGuide: Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)
- Ohio Department of Health; Nitrates and Nitrites; November 1, 2006
YaShekia King, of Indianapolis, began writing professionally in 2003. Her work has appeared in several publications including the "South Bend Tribune" and "Clouds Across the Stars," an international book. She also is a licensed Realtor and clinical certified dental assistant. King holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ball State University.