Friday, February 8, 2013

The Result Of Nicotine On Plant Growth

Nicotine is a powerful natural alkaloid.

Nicotine is a useful substance in the cultivation of garden plants. It occurs naturally in tobacco plants, but also in nightshades like tomatoes and potatoes. It is also used as a chemical spray during the production of other crops.


A small amount of nicotine can be found in green pepper plant leaves.

The biggest influence nicotine has on plant growth is as an insecticide. Plants that contain nicotine in their leaves naturally discourage insect predation. Flowering tobacco can be interspersed with other plants to discourage white flies. Nicotine works as a neurotoxin, disrupting muscle action in insects. Gardens cleared of insects with a nicotine tea or a commercial compound of nicotine sulfate will produce more abundantly.


Cigarette use in greenhouses, nurseries and gardens can have devastating effects on plant health. This is not due directly to the nicotine, but to the tobacco it is carried in. Cigarette tobacco, even in its dried and packaged form, can transmit tobacco mosaic virus. This virus infects 150 different plant species, can live up to 50 years in a dry plant and can be transmitted from the hands of a smoker to the plants he is working with. There is no control except removing the infected plants as completely as possible to avoid spread. Tobacco mosaic virus stunts the plant and damages the fruit.


Tobacco is commercially cultivated and dried for its nicotine.

Nicotine is an alkaloid produced in tobacco roots and transmitted to the leaves. It has no known effect on the growth of the plant and doesn't affect the growth of other plants it is applied to. However, the presence of nicotine in tobacco plants has meant tobacco has been cultivated and hybridized worldwide for centuries. Because it has been a useful crop for those who extract nicotine from it, tobacco has survived and flourished as a plant species.

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