Klarenanstelerweg 11 | 6468 EP Kerkrade | The Netherlands | +31 45 569 0420

Vitamins in Plants

The definition of vitamins 

Let us start with the definition of vitamins: Organic compounds, which are necessary in small quantities in order to remain healthy and cannot be produced by humans, and thus must be included in the diet. We are familiar with vitamins in our daily lives from the many commercials and product packaging, which let us know that one product is healthier than another, because it contains a great deal of vitamins (for example, even sweets suddenly become healthy because they contain some vitamin C). 

What and who needs vitamins? 

We all know that vitamins are necessary and that, if we do not eat healthily enough, deficiencies arise. Some functions of many vitamins are known. For example, vitamin A is good for the eyes, vitamin C is good for the resistance, vitamin H is good for shiny hair, and so on. Many also know that animals need vitamins (that’s why vitamins are also added to dog and cat food). 

Do plants or even bacteria need vitamins? 

Of course they do! And actually, this makes perfect sense. Because why else would there be carotine (pro-vitamin A) in carrots, vitamin C in peppers and potatoes and B vitamins in legumes and grains? Certainly not to please us. These species need vitamins just as much as we do. 

Animals and plants are made up of cells that all have an independent metabolism. The basic principles of the metabolism of a plant cell, a bacterial cell or an animal cell are identical to ours. For example, the syntheses (production) of nucleic acids (building blocks of DNA), fats and proteins take place in the same way. 

The big difference between the vitamins - metabolism in humans and plants is that humans need to add them by eating them from external foods, while plants produce their own vitamins. Animals depend on the presence of plants and the substances produced by these plants. Plants are 'photo-autotrophic', meaning: self-sufficient by means of light. 

In the end we eat the vitamins that the plant has made itself. Vitamins from the meat we eat, or other animal products, actually all come from the plants. There is just an extra step in the food chain in between. 

The tasks of vitamins 

Vitamins have a multitude of tasks in a living being. They are mainly active in metabolism. 

Metabolism? What is it that? 

Metabolism simply means changing substances into other substances. An example: A bricklayer builds a wall from loose bricks. He has thus formed another fabric (solid wall) from the fabric "loose bricks". In the cells, the bricklayer (the executing force) is called the enzyme. And some of the vitamins help the enzymes to work. In this case they are also called co-enzymes. Vitamins are the tools of the bricklayer (enzymes). One has to imagine that an enzyme makes a connection with a vitamin and both together form a new connection that then does the task. Without tools the bricklayer cannot work, so without vitamins the enzymes do not work and the metabolic activity is not carried out. 

What vitamins does a plant produce? 

We are still far from knowing all the functions of vitamins. But we already know a lot! Here is a list: 

  • Vitamin B1 is active in breaking open sugar compounds (carbohydrates) and therefore very important for the storage of energy in the form of starch. 
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) is used in direct energy metabolism. 
  • Vitamin B3 is converted into an energy carrier molecule. 
  • Vitamin B6 is a component of fat metabolism (resin and oil) and is active in protein metabolism (protein build-up and breakdown). 
  • Vitamin A (and pro-vitamin A = carotenoid) are typical metabolic products of higher plants and are the building blocks of essential oils and resins! Vitamin A controls cell multiplication. 
  • Vitamin E is the fertility vitamin. Not for nothing is it found mainly in the seeds of plants. It is also a kind of preservative for cells, because here it acts as an antioxidant (against spoilage) of especially fats. 

How and why can vitamin defects arise? 


They can occur if we do not equip our plants with sufficient minerals, which is why balanced and complex nutrition is so important. After all, if we do not have enough minerals, we cannot produce enough vitamins. This results in sick or weak plants that do not flourish properly. That is why all our food contains the right minerals. 


Lack of light (not enough plant energy) and water (transport inhibited) can also hamper vitamin production in the plant. If the ambient temperature is too high (above 30 degrees Celsius), the plant can only 'make' insufficient photosynthesis. 


There is an additional problem with our plants. We try to force a plant from growth to flowering in the shortest possible time. We give her plenty of everything (artificial light, nutrition and warmth and maybe even love), but one thing we don't give them and that's TIME! 

Time to let them quietly and at ease produce everything she needs. We want to be able to harvest an end product as soon as possible, which also has to be very good (high pressure for those plants). In order to give the plants a little more time and energy, we can give them ready-made substances, for example in the form of vitamins and other vital substances. But then, of course, no vitamin tablets for humans, because they are not suitable for plants. 

There have been new developments recently: compound mixtures of vitamins. These are attuned to the metabolism of plants and contain not only vitamins but also other important vital substances, such as amino acids. What we then achieve is that we increase the condition of the plants and reduce stress (a lot of yield in little time). So we spoil the plant (and ourselves). 

We have of course incorporated this knowledge into our products ourselves. Our SuperVit and Root Complex are full of vitamins and amino acids, so a real boost for your plants. The nutrients in TNT Complex , Bloom Complex , Hydro Growth , Hydro Bloom , and Coco also contain a selection of these substances. Look at our product page for more information. 

Any questions after reading this article about vitamins? Contact us via Instagram or Facebook.

  • Cultivation Tips : Inspiration , Plant Care , Hesi Products
  • Nature: Plants in Nature
  • News: Product Information