Plants for Plants® is a truly revolutionary approach that is suitable for fertigation and foliar application for conventional and organic agriculture around the world. Instead of focusing on the effect of individual molecules, we focus on the plant and let nature guide us. The Plants for Plants® project was awarded a grant by LIFE, the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action.


“Firstly, we figured out what the crop lacked. Then we looked for another species that had already acquired the properties that were needed. We then took a tailored extract and applied it to the crop through fertilization programs. By doing so, we were able to trigger specific reactions in the crop.”

Adriano Altissimo
Scientific Manager, Landlab research center - Italy

Plants know perfectly well what is good for them.

During millions of years, they have adapted to changing conditions and overcome diseases. The diversity of nature proves to be the best context for plants to prosper. How can we blend this tremendous ability of nature into the everyday practice of agriculture? We have been working on the answer to this question for the past ten years.

For the last ten years, LandLab in Italy and Van Iperen International collaborated in a joint project called Plants for Plants.

Instead of focusing on the effect of individual molecules, we focus on the plant and let nature guide us.

Briefly: first we figure out what the crop lacks. Then we look for another species that has already acquired the properties that are needed. We then take a tailored extract of this plant and apply it to the crop through fertilization programs.

By using organic plant extracts, LandLab was able to trigger specific reactions.

Using this method among various species they improved water use efficiency, nutrient use efficiency and reduced sensitivity to diseases. The tailored extracts are purely organic and have food grade quality. The first products are expected to enter the market in 2022.

Goal of the project

Boost conventional agriculture’s confidence: a new generation of biostimulants to reduce water, nutrients, and pesticide demand.

Project objectives

The main objective of the Plants for Plants® project is to introduce new organic biostimulants that, due to their reliable performance, are suitable to conquer this market segment to reduce irrigation and chemical commodities to boost crops production.

This new generation of plant-derived biostimulants, called Standardized Metabolites Phytocomplex (SMP), is able to enhance crops’ resource efficiency, thus reducing significantly the number of nutrients, water, and pesticides needed by the crops to grow, herewith improving their resilience to climate change and diseases. The SMP, scientifically extracted from purposely cultivated plants, have overcome the main limitations of traditional biostimulants, namely their questionable performances, not always based on the renewable raw material.

Plants for Plants® will test and demonstrate 3 prototypes to pursue the following specific objectives

  • Develop an industrial process for the production of SMP
  • Produce 3 new biostimulants at pilot scale and validate performance on a variety of crops in open field in
    different climatic conditions:
  • Change the mindset of European conventional agricultural entrepreneurs towards the use of organic products to make their production more resource-efficient and environmentally
    friendly with similar or increased yield, by a Europe-wide demonstration and intensive dissemination
  •  Prepare commercial launch at the end of the project
  • SMP benefits for the target groups:
      • increased crop's climate resilience
      • reduced use of chemical commodities and water
      • increased yields
      • zero residues of food quality
      • stay competitive.

3 Prototypes

Improving resilience to abiotic stress, LL002 boosts WUE (Water Use Efficiency) leading to water savings of about 30% in irrigated crops and to significant reduction of water deficiency symptoms and increased crop yield and quality in rain-fed crops in climatic zones with water deficiency; and NUE (Nutrient Use Efficiency), especially of phosphorus.

Improving PUE (Phosphorus Use Efficiency) of annual arable crops and vegetables up to 30%, increasing absorption capacity and hence a reduction up to 30 % of P applied at sowing/planting

Activation of the primary and secondary metabolism leading to a strong enhancement of the crops comfort and therewith its defense systems called CFE (Crop Fortification Efficacy): reduction in fungicides use with about 20 to 40 %.

This project is co-funded by the European Union’s LIFE Programme under Grant Agreement LIFE18 ENV/NL/000043. The contents reflect the partnership’s view and EASME nor the European Commission is responsible for any use of the information it contains. More info about LIFE programme