What is a host plant?



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    A host plant is a plant that provides several benefits to other plants. A host plant is defined as a plant “which aids, shelters, or protects another plant in its growth, as those which are used for nurse crops.”

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    Host plants are plants that simply provide some type of shelter, protection, food or other service to another organism. This can range from plants being hosts to bees and butterflies who look to extract nectar, or plants that fixate nitrogen to keep soils healthy.

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    All of the above answers are true, but host plants can have another meaning too. In the life cycles of various diseases and pests, there can be many stages of development. Sometimes, for example, an egg will develop in to larvae, and grow into a juvenile on one plant and then move to a second “host” plant (often called the alternative host plant) to complete its life cycle.

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