Simply a plant growth regulator also known as a PGR is a chemical compound that helps to regulate the growth and developmental processes in plants.
PGR are used to help with seed germination, rooting, branching, flowering, fruit development, and plant growth.
Plant growth retardants (PGRs) are a specific type of plant growth regulator that inhibit subsequent extension growth and thus, make plants more compact. PGR applications are commonly applied on a wide range of ornamental crops, especially floriculture crops, so that plant size is more appropriate for its container, meets market height specifications, or both.
Paclobutrazol(PBZ) is a plant growth retardant (usually used in the vegetative cycle onwards) and works via being a giberellic acid (GA3) antagonist. For the science buffs out there, it’s a competitive inhibitor with irreversible binding to the iron core of the three enzymes involved at different stages in the synthesis of gibberelins. However, the takeaway message for the average person is that it stops the plant functioning in a normal manner by shutting down the following enzymatic pathways:
Cytochrome P450 mono-oxygenases (P450s)
Daminozide AKA alar is usually used in the flower mix and is another antagonist, but to abscisic acid instead of GA3. There aren’t a lot of visual effects caused by alar except for odd colouration of the fruit due to excess amounts of phytyl (a precursor to chlorophyll) accumulating.
Chlormequat Chloride is the final PGR common in flowering mixtures.
This is a plant growth regulator that inhibits the synthesis of GA3 in a similar way to PBZ, and therefore many of the effects caused by it are similar to PBZ’s and similarly, it causes a myriad of problems much like PBZ (though likely through different mechanisms).
We recommend to many of our customers that a PGR isn't the right way to go. It might increase the time but producing a decent fruit will lead to better quality and repeat sales.