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Science

Controlling plant growth

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Uses of plant hormones

Weedkillers

Selective weedkillers kill some plants but not others. This can be useful for getting rid of dandelions in a lawn without killing the grass, or getting rid of thistles in a field without killing the wheat plants. The selective weedkiller contains growth hormone that causes the weeds to grow too quickly. The weedkiller is absorbed in larger quantities by the weeds than the beneficial plants.

Rooting powder

Rooting powder makes stem cuttings quickly develop roots. Rooting powder contains growth hormones.

Controlling fruit ripening

Some hormones slow the ripening of fruits and others speed it up. These hormones and their inhibitors are useful for delaying ripening during transport or when fruit is displayed in shops.

Dormancy

Dormancy stops seeds germinating until conditions are ideal for growth. Hormones can be used to remove the dormancy of a seed so it can germinate at all times of year. Buds and flowers can also be naturally dormant. Hormones can also be used to make plants grow bushier, make them flower or control the growth of hedge plants.

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