As a member of the GWA (Garden Writers Association), I routinely get emails about new garden products. Here’s one I received this week:
“I thought your readers or listeners might be interested in learning of a new way to protect their plants without using pesticides. Moisturin, which contains no toxic ingredients, is sprayed on plants to form a clear flexible barrier strong enough to lock out both insects and airborne plant disease. Moisturin is inexpensive, easy to use and extremely effective. I would like to send you some at no charge for your own trial. If your satisfied with it performance I hope you will pass it s benefits onto the people who trust your opinion.”
It turns out that Moisturin is simply a repackaged antitranspirant. Briefly, these spray-on barriers prevent water loss physically (by covering stomata) or physiologically (by closing stomata). Interfering with stomatal function both reduces carbon dioxide uptake and water movement within the plant. You can read more about antitranspirants here.
But do antitranspirants have an effect on diseases or insects? Research indicates that while antitranspirants may reduce insect attack, their efficacy against diseases is less clear. They also show a clear negative impact on the plants they supposedly protect, to the extent they’ve even been tested as a form of weed control.
The best way to reduce pest and disease problems in garden and landscape plants is to keep them healthy. Reducing their ability to function normally by clogging their stomata will do exactly the opposite.
Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott has a Ph.D. in Horticulture from Oregon State University and is an ISA certified arborist and an ASCA consulting arborist. She is WSU’s Extension Urban Horticulturist and a Professor in the Department of Horticulture, and holds two affiliate associate professor positions at University of Washington. She conducts research in applied plant and soil sciences, publishing the results in scientific articles and university Extension fact sheets.
Linda also is the award-winning author of five books: the horticultural myth-busting The Informed Gardener (2008) and The Informed Gardener Blooms Again (2010) from the University of Washington Press and Sustainable Landscapes and Gardens: Good Science – Practical Application (2009) from GFG Publishing, Inc., and How Plants Work: The Science Behind the Amazing Things Plants Do from Timber Press (2015). Her latest effort is an update of Art Kruckeberg’s Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest from UW Press (2019).
In 2018 Linda was featured in a video series – The Science of Gardening – produced by The Great Courses. She also is one of the Garden Professors – a group of academic colleagues who educate and entertain through their blog and Facebook pages. Linda’s contribution to gardeners was recognized in 2017 by the Association for Garden Communicators as the first recipient of their Cynthia Westcott Scientific Writing Award.
"The Garden Professors" Facebook page - www.facebook.com/TheGardenProfessors
"The Garden Professors" Facebook group - www.facebook.com/groups/GardenProfessors
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4 thoughts on “Yet another fine product”
What stores carry this product? Is it only available online? I’ve multiple products in the past few years. Although some had been effective, it has only been minimally.
I don’t know who might carry it. They do have a web site and it probably has distributor information.
Misspelling, incorrect punctuation, and poor grammar in any solicitation should send up red flags to us all. I would not trust such an offer ever.
Sigh. Let me know if you ever do any independent efficacy trials. Until then, I don’t think we’ll be stocking this….