Gibberellic acid is a growth regulator found in plants. It is used in commercial agriculture to improve plant development, stimulate flowering and increase fruiting.
What Is Gibberellic Acid?
Gibberellic acid is comprised of related substance, called gibberellins, that affect plant growth. They occur naturally in a variety of foods, such as rice, wheat, corn, maize and others. The acid is extracted from a fungus in them called gibberella fujikuroi. It is then purified and processed as a liquid or powder for agricultural use. Gibberellic acid is a hormone that regulates cell division and stem elongation in plants.
The acid shortens plant dormancy, and spurs their rapid germination. It is added to seeds that normally require pre-treatment, such as chilling, scarification or aging, in order to sprout. It also used in hybridizing to force pollination between closely related species.
Growth improves significantly when gibberellic acid is applied near the terminal bud at the top of the tree. The acid also speeds up the growth of biennials, resulting in an earlier bloom time.
Gibberellic acid initiates early flowering of fully developed plants, and increases the number of blooms. It also can be sprayed on the blossoms of fruit trees to help protect them against freezing.
In addition, gibberellic acid improves fruit set and increases yield. It helps tomatoes set fruit in high temperatures. The application of gibberellic acid may result in seedless or nearly seedless fruit. It is used on blueberries, cherries and peaches to decrease fruit set for better quality fruit, and on citrus fruit to prevent the rind from aging.
Geberellic acid must be carefully calibrated. When too much is applied, the results may be the opposite of those desired. If too little is applied, repeat treatments may be required. The acid is approved by most organic certification programs, because it is found naturally in plants.