Product ReviewsPropagation & Seed Starting

GROTAB™ Premium Plant Starter Product Review

Horticulturists are continuously trying to make their work as efficient and effective as possible. To get the most out of their gardens, commercial growers and hobbyists will go to great lengths to implement a variety of techniques and products. When a product comes along that reduces a gardener’s amount of labor and, at the same time, increases the garden’s performance, it is sure to be extremely popular among horticulturists. One such product, GROTAB™, is rapidly gaining popularity among horticulturists who are looking for a safe, effective and simple solution for giving plants a running start and continued benefits throughout the growing season.

What is GROTAB™?

GROTAB™ is a compressed organic compound with added bio-stimulant properties. The main concept behind GROTAB™ is simplicity teamed with effectiveness. It is designed to be placed under the roots of a freshly transplanted plant. The GROTAB™ compressed tablet is fast-acting; in about three minutes, GROTAB™ can absorb three times its weight in water. What really makes GROTAB™ so special is the multiple benefits it provides. GROTAB™ is a three-in-one product; once the tablet expands, it will give the plant(s) the beneficial microorganisms Trichoderma and mycorrhizae while also providing a time-released, balanced fertilizer.


Trichoderma are specialized fungi which feed on other, usually pathogenic, fungi. Trichoderma release chitinase enzymes which break down chitin. Many pathogenic fungi’s cell walls are made primarily of chitin. The chitinase enzymes released by Trichoderma microbes eat away at the pathogenic fungi and, in turn, protect the plant’s roots from being attacked. Trichoderma have gained a reputation among indoor horticulturists and greenhouse growers as a soil pathogen preventer.

Trichoderma also release another enzyme called cellulases that are beneficial to horticulturists. Cellulases can aid in breaking down organic material in the soil and converting it into readily available nutrients for the plant. Cellulases also have the ability to penetrate the cells in the plant’s roots. When cellulases penetrate the root’s cells, the plant’s natural defenses are automatically triggered. The plant’s metabolism is stimulated, but no real harm is done to the plant. In this regard, Trichoderma can be considered to have a synergistic relationship with the plant. The Trichoderma feed on sugars secreted by the plant’s roots and the plant receives a heightened resistance to pests and pathogens. The particular proprietary Trichoderma Atroviride strain used in GROTAB™ stimulates plant development and is compatible with most common insecticides, fertilizers, and herbicides.


The symbiotic relationship between mycorrhizae and the plant’s roots may be the most important relationship in horticulture. Essentially, mycorrhizae fungi become an extension of the root system and further its reach into the depths of the soil. This extension broadens the plant’s access to vital nutrients. The extending web of mycorrhizal fungi assimilate nutrients for the plant and, in return, the plant’s roots secrete sugars or carbon for the fungi to feed on. Like the Trichoderma, it is the enzymes produced by mycorrhizae fungi that make this microbe such an asset to the plants. The enzymes released by mycorrhizae dissolve otherwise hard-to-capture nutrients, such as organic nitrogen, phosphorus and iron. Although there are many mycorrhizae formulations on the market, they are not all created equally. The two strains of arbuscular mycorrhizae (Glomus intraradices and Glomus mosseae) found in GROTAB™ are some of the most unique forms of mycorrhizae available.

GROTAB™ is made by Italpollina, a world leader in the production of fertilizers made with safe animal by-products and vegetable-based bio-stimulants. Italpollina is one of only a handful of companies in the world to produce in vivo mycorrhizae. There are actually two ways to produce mycorrhizal inoculants: in vivo or in vitro. In vivo is more complex and expensive, but produces a final product of higher quality and consistency. Italpollina has developed a unique technology for the in vivo production of mycorrhizal inoculant which is why Italpollina can guarantee the highest performance in agricultural systems for major crops. In the world of mycorrhizae inoculants, Italpollina products are the best of the best and GROTAB™ is no exception.

Fertilizer (NPK 12-8-4 or NPK 4-8-4)

Aside from the powerful beneficial microorganisms, there is another important component in GROTAB™: the fertilizer. Every GROTAB™ contains a balanced NPK base formula fertilizer for the plants. Plants, like people, need essential elements to survive and thrive. By providing plants with a balanced ratio of these essential elements, a horticulturist can ensure the plants have the basic nutrition they need for healthy growth. GROTAB™ is available in two different NPK ratios: 12-8-4 (generally used for commercial applications) and 4-8-4 (generally used for home lawn and garden applications). The fertilizer contained within GROTAB™ is fast-acting and will quickly provide plants with the essential elements they need for healthy growth and bountiful fruits and flowers. The fertilizer contained within GROTAB™ is time-released which means it will provide nutrition for an extended period of time.

Manufacturer Recommendations for Application

To obtain the best results, GROTAB™ should be used as directed by the manufacturer. The manufacturer recommends the following:

  • Nursery and Landscape Ornamentals: 1-4 tablets (depending on the size of the plant)
  • Most Greenhouse Plants: 1 tablet per plant
  • New Vineyards: 2 tablets per plant
  • Fruit Trees: 2 tablets per tree
  • Most Vegetable Garden Plants: 1 tablet per plant

As you can see, GROTAB™ tablets will go a long way in providing the essential elements and beneficial microorganisms to the plants. Gardeners should always remember that GROTAB™ is a living product and should be stored in a dry location away from direct sunlight or intense heat.

About the Company

Italpollina was founded in the 1970s by Cav. Licinio Bonini who anticipated the current concept of sustainable agriculture. At the time, his idea to create and produce fertilizers that would increase the chemical, physical and biological fertility of the soil seemed like a wild idea. Today, however, our increased knowledge of plant physiology and soil composition confirms that increasing a soil’s fertility should be the focus of a gardener’s efforts. As Italpollina expanded over the next 40 years, it held close its core belief of soil fertility. In 2011, Italpollina created the biggest factory in the world for the production of bio-stimulants based on 100% vegetable amino acids and peptides. Italpollina continues to be a world leader in the production of safe and effective bio-stimulants. Its mission has been, and continues to be, to provide horticulturists with safe and effective fertilizers for all nutritional requirements while having the utmost respect for the environment and human health.

A product that combines the amazing benefits of Trichoderma and mycorrhizae with a balanced fertilizer seems almost too good to be true. However, when a company like Italpollina is involved, a grower can rest assured that the research and development behind a product like GROTAB™ will shine through in the results. Gardeners can also feel confident that the product was manufactured with the health of our planet and its inhabitants in mind. The idea of enhancing a soil’s fertility may seem like common sense today, but it is the continued innovation from companies like Italpollina which make it possible for both commercial and hobbyist applications. GROTAB’s™ simple, yet effective, approach to beneficial inoculation and fertilization is sure to change the face of horticulture in the future. The knowledge that GROTAB™ contains balanced nutrition along with the highest quality bio-stimulant root inoculants and is developed by a world leader in bio-stimulant production should have both hobbyists and professional growers excited to see the results for themselves.

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