Gardeners usually stay on their toes when it comes to making their plants grow fast and healthy.
Although proper fertilization can lead to fast growth and better yields, can you go to the extent of using Gatorade on your plants?
How safe is Gatorade to your plants, and what happens when you apply it?
The straightforward answer is that Gatorade isn’t safe for your plants and can inhibit their growth in the long term because of the presence of excess sugars and salts.
This article discusses more of this in detail below.
What Is Gatorade, And What Are Its Components?
Gatorade is an energy beverage that helps people hydrate after heavy physical activity or athletic performance. The slogan for its advert is -“Is it in you?”.
Gatorade’s essential components include water, sugar, carbohydrates, potassium, and sodium. These ingredients, in combination, provide an energy boost to a person who feels drained or has lost a lot of body water via sweating.
The Effect Of Gatorade On Plants
The electrolytes in Gatorade hydrate human bodies, but should we expect the same in the case of plants? Your guess is as good as mine. Gatorade is bad for plants in the long term.
One of the electrolytes that make up Gatorade is sodium, a salt. Plants get dehydrated when they absorb the salt, which eventually curtails their growth.
The other ingredient you should be worried about is sugar. The sugar in Gatorade includes fructose, high fructose, sucrose, sucralose, and corn syrup.
When you introduce sugar to a plant’s natural environment, it may help the plant grow in the short term, but excess build-up harms it eventually.
Sugar also has the potential to attract bacteria and organisms that become disease vectors.
Lastly, plants absorb pure water faster than impure water. This is because impure water contains many dissolved or undissolved compounds that plants need to filter before hydrating.
Consequently, plants will absorb Gatorade slower than distilled or pure water.
Fast water intake in plants is essential because of the vital energy-making process referred to as photosynthesis. With slow and little water intake, photosynthesis slows down, and plant growth is halted.
Additionally, the sugars in Gatorade lead to the formation of molds that eventually make the soil less permeable and also prevent the sprouting of the seeds.
Your plant suffocates since it no longer receives the requisite water and nutrients for healthy growth.
So Is Gatorade A Good Fertilizer For Plants?
A test conducted at Miami University to determine the efficacy of different liquids, namely cold water, tap water, and Gatorade, found that the latter isn’t safe for plant growth.
The experiment was conducted under constant conditions of sunlight, water, and soil.
Seeds watered with cold water, and tap water sprouted within the first week. However, the seeds watered with Gatorade never germinated.
It’s also important to add that plants hydrated with water at room temperature experienced fast growth than plants hydrated with cold water.
We can safely say that Gatorade is not beneficial for the sprouting of your plants.
That being said, Gatorade has a fair share of beneficial nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, niacin, potassium, vitamin c, and vitamin k.
You will also find these nutrients in the fertilizers you buy at your local store.
They serve various benefits to plants, such as foliage growth, protein production, fruiting and blossoming.
Unfortunately for you, the dangers of using Gatorade on your plants far outweigh such nutritional benefits.
Gatorade Alternatives For Plants
Plants produce their sugars once they have the right balance of light, water, soil, and beneficial minerals.
That makes Gatorade the last thing that they will ever need.
However, if you are still adamant about using liquid fertilizers or beverage drinks to kickstart growth in your plants, here are some safe recommendations:
- Carbonated Water
- Fish Emulsion
- Manure Tea
- Green Tea Leaves
Gatorade might be beneficial to you but unsafe for your plants. The reason for this is the sugar and salts that it contains, which interfere with the healthy growth of your plants.
Plants don’t need additional sugars for growth since they can sufficiently make their own via photosynthesis. Despite Gatorade having beneficial nutrients for plants, the risks of using it far outweigh the benefits.
We can safely conclude that pure water remains the most preferred liquid for meeting your plant’s hydration requirements.
Job Kiniale is a certified crop scientist and gardening enthusiast with a passion to help beginning gardeners navigate their newfound hobby. Let’s talk about plants, backyard ideas, and general gardening advice. Outside work, Job loves spending time with family.