Mycorrhizal fungi: symbiosis for plants

Mykorrhiza Pilze: Symbiose für Pflanzen - FARBIO® - Nachhaltige Bio-Flüssigdünger aus Hamburg

Mycorrhizal fungi enable fascinating symbiotic relationships between plants and fungi. It is an intricate network of intertwined hyphae that connects the plant's roots to a subterranean community of fungi. This partnership benefits both organisms because the fungi help the plant absorb nutrients and the plant provides energy to the fungi. For both houseplants and gardens, this symbiosis can mean healthier plants that can thrive better in their environment due to improved nutrient uptake. In this article, we'll take a closer look at how mycorrhizal relationships can help gardeners and houseplant owners grow healthier plants.

Symbiosis between fungi and plants

Symbiosis is the living together of different species for mutual benefit. Mycorrhiza is the community of soil fungi that live in symbiosis with plant roots . The fungi colonize the fine root system of the plant, penetrating the root and supplying the plants with phosphorus and nitrogen and making water more readily available. The fungus benefits from the plant because it supplies it with the products of photosynthesis: essential carbohydrates such as sugar and fats in the form of lipids.

Application of mycorrhiza

Mycorrhizal fungi are divided into different groups, with three different types that are of particular interest: ectomycorrhizal, endomycorrhizal and ericoid mycorrhizal.

Ectomycorrhiza mainly enter into symbioses with many tree species and form a dense network of hyphae around the tree root. This type of fungus often forms fruiting bodies in autumn, i.e. the edible mushrooms we are familiar with.

Endomycorrhiza invade mainly the roots of herbaceous plants. They are so small that they can only be seen under a microscope.

Ericoid mycorrhiza form a community with the Ericaeae family. These include, for example, rhododendrons, azaleas, blueberries, calluna and erica.

There are also certain plants that do not form a symbiosis with mycorrhizal fungi, for example the plants of the Brassicaceae family.

plant in pot

Beneficial effect of mycorrhiza

Mycorrhizal fungi are a unique example of mutualism, where two organisms benefit from each other's existence and both parties benefit from the interaction. Mycorrhizal fungi depend on plants for sustenance. Unlike certain soil fungi, many of these mycorrhizal fungi lack the enzymes needed to break down complex carbohydrates. In return, they provide the plant with salts such as phosphate and nitrate as well as water, because they have a significantly greater ability to extract minerals and water from the soil than the plant. The water, nitrogen and phosphate supply to the root cells infected with fungi is thus improved. In addition, mycorrhization offers protection against root pathogens and also above-ground pests. By supporting the water intake, the drought resistance of the plants increases.

Benefits of mycorrhiza

Mycorrhiza is a favorable relationship between a fungus and the roots of plants. This relationship offers the plants many advantages: they need less fertilizer, are healthier and stronger, can nutrient and absorb water better and are more resistant to pests. The fungus essentially acts as an extension of the plant's root system, supplying it with important nutrients and helps her get hold of those that aren't otherwise available. This helps increase the uptake of water and minerals from the soil, resulting in healthier plants. In addition , the presence of mycorrhiza can help plants grow stronger and more resistant to pests because they are more nutrient to record. All in all, using mycorrhiza can be a huge asset to any gardener and houseplant lover who wants healthy, pest-resistant plants.

fertilizer in hand

Use on indoor plants and in your own garden

There are over 6,000 species of mushrooms. Applying arbuscular mycorrhiza makes sense for many plant species to improve their growth and uptake of water and nutrients. These can be bought in liquid form or as powder and granules. It should be noted that using an organic fertilizer is essential when the fungal hyphae are in use. Mycorrhiza are living cultures that you would kill with mineral fertilizers, since mineral fertilizers come in the form of salts. Biological and organic fertilizers, on the other hand, are ideal food for the fungal network. You can find the right organic liquid fertilizer for your houseplants and vegetable plants in our shop. The product with mycorrhizae can often be put directly into the planting hole in the garden or mixed with the potting soil. There is also talk of "vaccinating" plants with mycorrhizae.