What are biostimulants?

All around the world farmers are faced with droughts and degraded soil. Up to now the comon reflex is to use fertilisers to restore the soil, but they end up damaging ecosystems and polluting fresh water sources. By using biostimulants the use of water and fertilisers by farmers can be reduced. These stimulants have proven to strengthen crops and restore soil at the same time. 

A biostimulant is not a crop protection product, but it improves the

  • nutrient use efficiency,
  • tolerance to abiotic stress,
  • crop quality,
  • availability of confined nutrients in soil or rhizosphere


Watch the video 'Biostimulants and the Bio4safe-project' and learn more about biostimulants in horticulture. This video is also available with subtitles: Dutch French 

Producers, researchers, growers and policy makers want to share their experiences with biostimulants with you. Watch their story in the video 'Biostimulants and plant sensors in the horticultural sector of tomorrow - The impact of Bio4safe'. This video is also available with subtitles: Dutch | French 


How to use the database?

The database gathers scientific data on plant biostimulants for growers. You can search generally on any search term or you can filter by desired effect, biostimulant type or crop. After searching you get an overview of biostimulants. By clicking on a biostimulant you open the data sheet with information on the biostimulant (type, company), description of the effects, trial details (greenhouse/field trial, stress conditions and country), tested crops, application (method, timing, rate) and source. For optimal use of the database, it is recommended not to use Firefox as webbrowser.

missing biostimulants?

Are you a biostimulant company or researcher and do you have other biostimulants to include in the biostimulant database? Please complete the form below to contact us.


    The database is one of the goals of the Bio4safe project (2017-2021) funded by Europe via the Interreg 2 Seas Programme. Bio4safe wants to reduce water and fertilizer use in horticulture (by 20 and 10%, respectively) in the 2 Seas Region (coastal region across the southern North Sea and The Canal) by:

    • increasing the use of biostimulants and innovative plant monitoring tools to study the effect of biostimulants on plant responses
    • writing a policy protocol on how to measure the impact of biostimulants on fertilizer and water use efficiency of plants
    • creating economic opportunities for local seaweed producers by studying business cases on biostimulants based on local seaweed

    Also follow the Bio4safe-project on Twitter and have a look at the banner and poster of this Bio4safe-project.

    Projectbeeld Bio4safe


    1. Demonstration trials with sensors and biostimulants

    The project includes demonstration trials on different horticultural crops (lettuce, tomato, Surfinia, Hydrangea, strawberry, raspberry, tulips, Chrysanthemum) in four different countries to promote the use of biostimulants to diverse target groups. Watch this video about the trials in Dutch: 



    Click here to have a look at the publications for ornamental growers on the website of PCS Ornamental Plant Research (Dutch).



    As a non-profit community of businesses with a passion for seaweed, North Sea Farmers work towards positive climate impact. By accelerating and strengthening a sustainable seaweed sector in the Netherlands and Europe, the community aims to improve biodiversity, reduces carbon emissions and is part of the circular economy. One of the ways to do so, is researching the potential of biostimulants based on seaweed: an innovative, locally produced product. In this video, 'The Biostimulant of the Future', the company explains how they work.

    Also have a look at the interview 'The community determined to make waves with seaweed' with Marlies Draisma (NSF) about the possibilities of seaweed in general and seaweedbased biostimulants.