Many in the plant world are not familiar with this product, but some are…its been around for quite a few years now.
First thing: it is not a fertilizer! It is a “Vitalizer,” which we will get too a little bit later in the post. It is supposed to enhance your plant’s health and growth.
I would also like to say that I am not endorsing the product nor do I do business with them. I’m writing this to be an informational article for anyone wanting to know more about the product.
I will share my thoughts and experience using the product as well. There are many people, especially in Bonsai that swear by it. There are just as many that think it is hogwash and just another Bulls**t product.
Where does it come from?
Japan. More Specifically Flora Co., Ltd. owned by the Kawase family.
Who Makes it?
This product does have hundreds of years of history behind it and was developed by Yoshinari Kawase. He currently owns Flora Co., Ltd.
His family has been in the forestry industry for about 400 years now, and they know trees. They have recorded all their techniques in family archives which Yoshinari studied.
Everything from growing techniques to treating ailments. Their solutions and methods are natural. They discovered that certain plants (and their essences) have highly beneficial properties that can help other plants and trees.
The end result is HB-101.
What is it?
It is a Vitalizer. In the company’s own words: “A liquid plant growth enhancer.” If the first thing that you are thinking of right now is “Oh it’s fertilizer,” then forget that correlation.
A fertilizer, by definition: Is a natural or synthetic material that is applied to soil or plant tissue to supply nutrients (i.e. nitrogen, phosphate, potassium) essential to plant growth.
Since HB-101 does not provide these nutrients it is not a fertilizer. It should be used to supplement your normal feeding. Do not rely solely on this product for your plants!
It is 100% natural, non-toxic and safe to humans, plants & animals.
What does it contain?
- Cedar Extract
- Pine Extract
- Cypress Extract
- Plantain Grass Extract
- Ionized Minerals (Sodium, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Silicon)
What does it do?
All of the extracts used have beneficial properties that can be useful to all plants.
Cedars, Pines, & Cypresses are very long living trees. Their sap also has excellent deodorizing qualities. The sap and metabolites of these trees are what help them live for so long, thus the use of these extracts.
Plantains are known for medicinal qualities in human’s as well. The extract is used to support the health of your plant as well as assisting the plant with health issues that may already be there.
The minerals this product contains are essential to healthy plants and healthy green leaves. Typically your soil has micro organisms that ionize these minerals.
If the soil and conditions are not ideal, these organisms won’t be present or there won’t be enough of them. The roots cannot absorb the minerals in solid form.
HB-101 helps by providing the minerals already ionized. So I guess in this sense it can be said that it definitely has a positive effect.
In a nutshell, their claim is you will have faster growing, healthier, and more vibrant plants/trees.
My opinion is that use of this product should be focused on struggling or ailing trees. If your growing conditions are not ideal it will help tremendously. However, if you have healthy, vibrant trees I do not think you will see any difference. I’ll explain more below.
My take and Experience
Yes this does seem like one of those “Cure All’s sold by some guy on a soap box back in the Wild Wild West. At the same time though, if you look at it scientifically and ignore the lame advertising, it does make some sense.
I have heard from many reputable bonsai artists that they swear by this stuff. I have also heard from the same number of credible sources that it doesn’t work and is a waste of money. I guess that is the case with every product.
On that note, this stuff is not cheap! For a 100mL bottle which will make 150 gallons the price is $28.99.
So before you go buying it here is a link so you can get some free samples: http://www.hb-101usa.com/ask-for-a-sample/
They will send you enough to make 4 gallons worth of solution. That should be enough to make an assessment. As for the results you will see, I believe that will depend on the current state of your tree or plants.
If all of the things mentioned earlier (minerals, etc) are already present and the soil and environment of your plants are near “perfect” then I do not think you will see much of a difference.
However by using this product you can ensure that those levels all remain fine and good in your healthy plants without too much thought or testing. That is of course assuming this stuff works, I guess 🙂
I haven’t been able to find any credible or conclusive tests or experiments yet, although There are many testimonials/reviews online you can read. There are some big names in bonsai that swear by it also.
I’ve been using it for a month on a few trees that do not have “ideal” conditions. Have I noticed a positive difference? Well, they have been doing better, however it is spring. I think I need to use this stuff for a little while longer before giving you my full assesment.
What I do know is this: We don’t know everything about plants. Very little in fact. I believe that plants need more than just sun, water and NPK which is what most people think. So this stuff might actually be on to something. Maybe.