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The Difference Between Humic and Fulvic Acids

Humic and fulvic acids affect plants at the cellular level. Humic and fulvic acids affect plants at the cellular level.

 

Whether they know it or not, growers of high-value plants encounter humic and fulvic acids all the time. This is especially true of, but not limited to, the organic gardener because most organic fertilizers contain one or both acids.

Humic and fulvic acids are both beneficial to growers of high-value plants but for different reasons.

In order to understand the benefits each can provide, we must first understand the differences between these two valuable substances.

Humic acids and fulvic acids are both humic substances that are differentiated by their molecular size and solubility. Humic substances are comprised of decomposed plant matter and are rich in microbial properties. Many growers think that humic acids are the only humic substances. In fact, there are three humic substances that are defined and further broken down by their molecular structure: humin, humic acids, and fulvic acids.

Humins

Humins are defined as the set of humic substances that are not soluble in water at any pH value. Humins are black in color.

Humic Acids

Humic acids are soluble at pH values above 2 but they are not soluble at pH values under 2. Humic acids help build soil and increase microbial life.

The other big benefit of humic acids is the ability to act as chelators. This means that humic acids have the ability to grab onto other essential elements and bring them into the plant as the humic acids themselves are absorbed.

Growers of high-value plants are always looking for ways to get the most out of their nutrients. By using chelators such as humic acids, growers can ensure that their plants are able to process the maximum amount of nutrients. Humic acids are brown to almost black in color.

Fulvic Acids

Fulvic acids are finally gaining some notoriety in the indoor gardening community. Growers of high-value plants are figuring out the benefits of these special humic substances. Fulvic acids are even smaller than humic acids which means they can be absorbed into the plant itself and are also transcellular. This means fulvic acids can actually enter the plant’s cells. The ability to chelate nutrients directly into the cells of the plant makes fertilization that much more efficient.

For the indoor horticulturist, another advantage of fulvic acids’ small molecular size is the ability to increase efficiency in foliar feeding. Fulvic acids can easily be absorbed through the plant’s stomata and can act as chelators in this form of fertilization as well. This can be especially advantageous for growers who are experiencing a nutrient deficiency in their gardens.

By applying the needed nutrient in combination with fulvic acids via foliar application the grower ensures that the highest amount of the needed nutrient is absorbed as fast as possible.

This quick delivery of nutrients could mean a huge difference in the overall yield. In some cases, a quickly applied fulvic acids foliar treatment combined with the needed nutrient can correct a deficiency so speedily that the plants continue to perform at a high rate. For organic growers, fulvic acids could be the single most beneficial supplement as both a fertilizer additive and foliar additive. Fulvic acids are clear to golden amber in color.

For the grower of high-value plants, humic and fulvic acids can be the keys to maximizing nutrient efficiency. By adding humic and fulvic acids to a fertilizer regiment a grower can ensure the plants are receiving a constant supply of vital nutrients and the microbial life in the root zone can continue to flourish.

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An expert breakdown on humic and fulvic acids.
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Last modified on Thursday, 22 August 2013 04:57

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