Plant growth regulators in organic agriculture?

Does the use of plant growth hormones, bio fertilizers etc qualify to being ‘within’ organic farming? as I thought “Organic Farming is simply ‘the process of naturally producing the food’. This process evades the use of synthetic chemicals and genetically modified organisms that influence the crop growth”

not looking for the organic v/s natural v/s inorganic v/s interorganic debate, just curious on this aspect is all


Plant growth regulators may be defined as any organic compounds, which are active at low concentrations (1-10 ng / nl) in promoting, inhibiting or modifying growth and development. The naturally occurring (endogenous) growth substances are commonly known as plant hormones, while the synthetic ones are called growth regulator.

Plant hormone is an organic compound synthesised in one part of the plant and translocated to another part, where in very low concentrations it causes a physiological response. The plant hormones are identified as promoters (auxins, gibberellin and cytokinin), inhibitors (abscissic acid and ethylene) and other hypothetical growth substance (florigen, flowering hormone, etc.,)


  1. Auxins
  2. Gibberellins
  3. Cytokinenins
  4. Etylene
  5. Dormins  {Abscissic Acid (ABA), Phaseic Acid}
  6. Flowering Hormones {Florigin, Anthesin, Vernalin}
  7. Phenolic Substances {Coumarin}
  8. Miscellaneous Natural Substances {Vitamins, Phytochrome Tranmatic Substances}
  9. Synthetic Growth Retardants {Ccc, Amo, 1618, Phosphin - D, Morphacting, Malformis}
  10. Miscellaneous Synthetic Substances {Synthetic Auxins, Synthetic Cytokinins}


Auxin is a greek word  which means to increase.
It is a generic term for chemicals that typically stimulate cell elongation, but auxins also influence a wide range of growth and development response. The chemical isolations and characterization was done by Kogi et al. (1934).

Auxins are the first identified hormones of which IAA seems to be the major naturally  occurring, endogenous auxin  in  crops.
Besides IAA, plants contain three other compounds which are structurally similar and elicit many of the same response as that of IAA, 4, chloroindole acetic acid (CIAA),phenylacetic acid (PAA), indole butyric acid (IBA).
Synthetic compounds are classified into five major categories; indole acids, naphthalene acids, chlorophenoxy acids, benzoic acid and picolinic acid derivatives.

Role of Auxin

  1. Cell divisions and enlargement Eg. cambial growth in diameter –  .IAA + GA

  2. Tissue culture – Shoot multiplications (IBA and BAP),callus Growth (2,4,-D), root multiplication IAA and IBA (1-2 mg)

  3. Breaking dormancy and Apical dominance – NAA

  4. Shortening internode – Apple trees (NAA) (dwarf branch-fruit)

etc etc etc, so basically the website has complete information on this. hope this helps

And coming back to my original question, is the use of this chemical or not? does the effect equate to genetic modification? from the information on the TNAU website, application is foilar and term used is “chemical”. can any expert go through this and perhaps clarify? … tions.html

Certainly not genetic modification.
Many of these “chemicals” are produced naturally by plants (e.g., IAA) and microbes (e.g., GA); some of these can also be produced in the lab, and then there are synthetic ones that are similar to the natural ones.

But you raise an interesting point on whether their use falls under organic cultivation - as far as I understand, synthetic/manufactured plant growth regulators will not qualify for organic use.

Hi All,

A nice topic to clear all the myths and doubts about chemicals, Organic vs Inorganic etc etc. . Chemicals are chemicals, In my opinion I dont see any difference in the molecular structure.

But there is a catch. My personal experience is  A scotch is a scotch and only those who have tasted it will find the difference when compared to IMFL. Right ?? So do organically grown plants enjoy its food and live happily to produce ?? No idea !!

The simplest structure used by plants is H2O ie Water. Now how can one say which is organic, the rain water or water coming out of hydrogen combustion or H2O released as a by product when 2 chemicals are combined.  Confusing to me, but natural stream water has lots and lots of dissolved minerals and off all, it tastes better than distilled water !!

I am really confused.

The reason being I happen to attend a 2 day Bee Keeping course at GKVK. Bangalore. Nice insight into the activities of Bees with some practical hands on knowledge. Now here is the confusing debate on Organic Vs Inorganic Honey. Yes it has penetrated here also !!.

Most of the commercial Apiaries use Bees primarily as pollinators and Honey being the byproduct. This is true world wide, where 1000’s of bee hive boxes are migrated 1000 of miles for pollinating 1000 of acres of mono crops.

Now in india this is hardly done.  A few have come out with artificial flavored honey. How it is done ? Cans and cans of sugar syrup are placed near the hives. These are added with flavors like vanilla , Mango , Orange , coke & Pepsi , including Niligirs oil etc etc.

Voila !! you have honey with these flavors, Mind you this costs upwards of Rs 500 per KG. Now is this organic honey or Inorganic Honey ?? Bees simply are not bothered, Since they want to conserve energy, they suck this syrup kept near hives and store it as honey. But this honey is sold as naturally flavored honey.  Behind it is this trick. !! We have even corrupted the Bees !!

In the debate of Organic Vs Inorganic, why no one is raising the topic of Hybrids, the F1s and grafting ??. Again here man is playing god with primary aim being output.  Crossing species which naturally would not have occurred.

Gurus can pitch in their thoughts, so that we all can be benefited. The more we delve into it the more confusing isnt it ?




A few have come out with artificial flavored honey. How it is done ? Cans and cans of sugar syrup are placed near the hives. These are added with flavors like vanilla , Mango , Orange , coke & Pepsi , including Niligirs oil etc etc.

Voila !! you have honey with these flavors, Mind you this costs upwards of Rs 500 per KG. Now is this organic honey or Inorganic Honey ?? Bees simply are not bothered, Since they want to conserve energy, they suck this syrup kept near hives and store it as honey. But this honey is sold as naturally flavored honey.  Behind it is this trick. !! We have even corrupted the Bees !! [/quote]

Doesn’t sound good at all  >:(
Forget organic or inorganic, that does not even sound like honey to me anymore!

There is of course a lot of hue and cry over hybrids, intensive selection and monoculture decimating natural varietal diversity (remember people talking of old age local tasty maize that is not found much now?). But I think it is less to do with organic/inorganic debate and more with GM crops.

Yes you are right nothing to do with Organic / Inorganic, But what I meant Organic / Inorganic here is what the jargon we use in our corporate world, . Means Natural vs Artificial.

Dear Mr.Brijesh,

I would like to few more plant  growth regulator widely using in commercial farming

Mango – Paclobutrazole (Cultar),  Brinjal /okra /Chillies – Alpha Napthalene Acetic acid (ANA)

To Tide over adverse condition – Brassino steroids

Flower induction – salicylic acid(Disease Resistance),  Glucose -Vinegar Mixture

Growth Promotor for Monocots – Triacontanol

If anyone want to know more about G.Regulators



Thank you
Good Luck

it is not worthy to get confused on organic or inorganic. the need of plant growth promoters shows that the seed and the plant has a basic weakness embedded in it. the so called hybrid seeds and plants need all these things. the natural seeds and plants do not need this. for eg- grafted plants like mango, grapes etc need this type of treatment due to basic lack of the self growing abilities with them. where as natural mangoes and grapes do not need the same. it is all just commerce and avarice. the trees/plants grown by natural seeds are strong enough to live on themselves and produce their progeny by flowers, pods and seeds. but the human interfered plants and trees are always having this problem.

the soil fertility also plays a vital role. the need of growth promoters shows that the soil fertility is very poor. hence the need.

Dear Members

I have one more question about Growth stimulators available on internet
D.I Grow Organic Foliar Fertilizes

  1. Are they organic?
  2. Can they be uses in organic farm (many shows certificates from government)?
  3. Do they really work?
  4. Are there any natural stimulators?
  5. Are they Frauds?
    M K Bhadra

I have a small garden (in ground and plastic containers) and I have been using Compost Tea and a modified version of Jeevamrutha.

The results are amazing. Plants just love it. It is really easy to prepare compost tea. You just mix some compost into water in a container and then add molasses/jaggery. This mixture needs to be stirred/aerated thoroughly for 24-48 hours. You then dilute this to 1:3 ratio and provide to the plant.

You can also try making jeevamrutha. This is also really inexpensive to make. Here is a video that demonstrates this.

Both of these solutions are very good plant growth promoters. Try in a small patch of land to study and observe.



yes, you are correct. this was done by us in 2000 when no one knew these.
it worked very well for us in small scale operations. but, this failed in large scale operations especially when we started to handle 500-1000 hectares.
this is the problem of all such methods.
the need of the hour is large scale organic farming and not pot culture.

Dear Keshavapuri,
With one Indian indigenous cow 30 acres of land can be cultivated. If any one owning 500/acres, Than they can afford more cattle to meet the requisite demand for producing growth promoters and other requirement. Wherefore big farm holders also can get benefit of it.

Hi Keshavapuri,

I guess it does not really matter how big/small the farm is. I have read many articles abt experiences of several farmers practicing this technique. This is the basic principle of zero budget natural farming.

I have visited couple of farms in US that use just compost and compost tea for their farm. They would also grow nitrogen fixing legumes and let it grow for couple of months and then plow it into the soil just before sowing/planting the main crop.


I have no experience with any of these, but I certainly don’t believe in miracles, especially when the content composition is not clearly mentioned on the label.

If essential life tool PRAANA VAAYU (Taking breath to live) is available in surrounded atmosphere for human being to live happy and I can call it as a miracle.

Than same miracle is applicable to Plants also as they too has got life.
One can observe in early morning how much snow/water drops is arrested by a plant from the atmosphere?
Who feeded them? Nature itself.

Everything required by us is available in this universe/Earth. What weed to understand is to understand our role here. Our simple role is to understand and assist the nature for maximizing its productivity to feed us.
Miracles was done by our ancestors by assisting nature to grow their food without utilizing chemicals and fertilizers.

The food eaten by them is kept them still strong enough to work without intervals because their body is filled with food. But not with poisoned food. 

Hi Swamy,

Nice picture. Where is it by the way?


My land seen at early in the morning and coconut trees on boundary at Mulbagal

Hi Swamy,

Thats a nice pic,

Well how many acres do you cultivate at Mulbagal ? Also let us know what all you grow and more on the returns you are getting or expecting. Your knowledge would be very very helpful for new guys like us.



Dear Murali,
I have got 5 acre irrigated land and 15 acres of dry land in which Mango garden fro some extend and remaining planing.
Fruits, vegetable, milk, timber and medicinal plants are growing. 5 cows, 2 dogs,1 cat, few chicken are part and parcel in our farm activities and security.

Nursery set up is taking place.

Best time to visit my farm would be August.