Guide to Botany

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Your dream garden awaits!

Keeping it Green

When you click on a plant pot with an empty hand, you can check the plant to see how it is doing. Various indicators will appear when you do so, which describe the condition of the plant and soil - red indicators are bad, blue indicators are good:

Message Meaning
The soil is completely dry. The soil has run out of water. This will quickly kill the plant.
The plant is dying. Maltreatment or harmful chemicals are killing the plant.
The soil looks rich and fertile. Indicates the presence of compost in the soil. Remember, this dries out the soil quicker.
The plant glistens with good health! Judicious compost and water use has resulted in a healthy plant!
The plant is flourishing! The plant has extremely high health. Expect good harvests!
The plant looks strange... You have managed to grow a rare mutant strain of plant. This could be good or bad!
Weeds have infested the soil. This pot has been infested with a weed-type plant. You will have to take special measures to get rid of it.

In addition, you will receive a report of any chemical in the plant pot. Hopefully, there's at least water in it, but chemicals may also include stuff you've added like plant formula or compost. Some plants may produce nectar, a delightful treat for space bees. Harmful chemicals like toxic slurry may also appear, which usually require you to clean out the pot.

If you click and drag a plant pot onto yourself, you will completely clear out the pot. This not only empties any plant out of it, but completely cleans out all soil water, nutrients, everything. However, this will not work on pots infested with weeds! You must find a way to kill the weeds before emptying the pot if you want to get rid of them. Weeds will occasionally appear in unoccupied plant pots and may have various effects or even produce items, but remember - these are weeds and thus are useless and annoying at best, and downright dangerous at worst! Get rid of them when you can.

1986 Blue Ribbon Winner: Biggest Weed Harvest

Plants carry genes which affect various things relating to their growth and crops. While plant seeds are easy enough to come by from the dispenser or ordering crates of them from the Cargo Bay, these seeds start out completely plain and devoid of any particular genetic fluctuations. Every time a seed is planted, it mutates a bit - any seeds harvested from this plant will carry those genes, which will mutate again when planted - this way, you can breed plants for particular qualities. Genes can degrade as well as improve, however - so be careful not to end up with completely useless seeds which produce no crops, or result in plants that die instantly.

To get even more in-depth with planting you have the plant analyzer, which can scan a plant, fruit or seed for genetic variables:

Species Tells you what kind of plant it is.
Generation How many times this breed of plant has gone through a full lifecycle. Incremented by 1 whenever a seed is planted.
Maturation Rate How long the plant takes to grow from a sprout to a crop-producing plant. Lower is better! This is only marginally useful to single-harvest plants.
Production Rate How long you have to wait between each harvest. Lower is better!
Lifespan How many harvests the plant will produce before dying. Higher is better! This variable is irrelevant to plants with only one harvest.
Yield How many crops the plant will produce besides its normal amount. Higher is better!
Potency How powerful items produced by this plant are. This could be good or bad depending on what the crop is. Will change the quantity of chemical that can be extracted from each harvested item.
Endurance How much the plant can resist dehydration, poison, and fire.

With these, you can tell how much of a certain plant you can harvest, or how long it will live, or what you need to do to keep it alive. Some plants aren't just one-off harvests, you can tend tomatoes for multiple harvests if you want! In fact, should you keep the plant happy (with blue indicators above - rich and fertile, and very healthy), you will likely have a chance at harvesting MORE than you would if you had just plain watered it. Some plants may even inherit a special genetic mutation giving them indefinite life, as long as you tend to it. It pays to keep an eye on your plants! It's just a matter of knowing when to add water, or fertilizer, etc. Plants work the same way in real life - to an extent. Don't water your plants? They'll die. Overwater? Same deal. Be careful with your plants, they are fragile, little angels~

Apart from plain compost, botany starts with several plant formulas tailored to altering a plant's specific traits (all explained in the next section). If you want to experiment, call in the scientist or grab some Discount Dan's and test the effects of various chemicals in the soil.

Tools & Machinery

The fancy stuff you use to enhance your plants or extract useful chemicals. The are of course more options for the catering staff. Feel free to check Foods & Drinks for a full list of recipes.

Icon Name Description
PlantAnalyzer.png BotanistPDA.png
Plant Analyzer Provides you with a report of a plant's genes, its current condition, the presence of any mutations and other information. The functionality is also built into your PDA.
WateringCan.png
Watering Can Actually just a glorified beaker with a maximum capacity of 120 units. Often requested by chemists.
Satchel.png
Produce Satchel This spacious satchel makes the life of every chef or botanist much easier. Almost any type of food-related item (dishes, bottles, seeds etc.) can be stored in them, and they also interact nicely with tables (drag & drop), crates, the food processor, mail chutes and other objects.
ElectricChainsaw.png
Chainsaw An electric chainsaw to keep weeds in check. Passable emergency weapon, but not very durable.
EmptyPlantTray.png
Hydroponics Tray The seeds go in here, obviously. You can plant them manually or by using drag & drop. The indicators are from left to right: "low plant health" alert, "ready to harvest" alert and current water level.
SeedVendingMachine2.png ForensicScanner2.png
Seed Fabricator To unlock the more interesting seeds (notably cannabis), you'll have to mess with the wires. The required tools can be found in nearby tool storage. A hand-held version may be acquired by hacking the GardenGear vendor.
GenericVendingMachine2.png
GardenGear Most basic tools and plant formulas are available from this vending machine.
PlantMaster2.png
PlantMaster Mk3 Have a special or even new species in mind? This clever machine allows you to infuse seeds with certain reagents (drawn from an inserted beaker) and splice them together, or in other words tweak the desired genetic traits. It can also extract seeds from fruits or vegetables, which is great if you have a certain strain you want to grow more of.

The PlantMaster supports drag & drop for the following objects: seeds, produce, beakers/bottles, produce satchels.
ReagentExtractor2.png
Reagent Extractor Processes certain produce into reagents. Comes with two built-in storage tanks capable of holding up to 500 units each. You may then transfer said reagents to an inserted receptacle.

The extractor supports drag & drop for the following objects: produce, beakers/bottles, produce satchels.
CheMaster.png
CheMaster 3000 See Chemistry.
Tank Compost.png
Compost Tank Converts unwanted or excess produce as well as seeds into compost. Use drag & drop to stuff them into the tank.
Tank HCWater.png
HC Water Tank This high-capacity tank holds 100000 units of water. If you don't have a watering can, you can use drag & drop to transfer water directly to a hydroponics tray.

In addition, there are a number of plant formulas at your disposal.

Icon Name Description
Weedkiller.png
Weedkiller Also known as atrazine. As the name implies, it will quickly spell the end for any uninvited guest like lashers or space grass.
CompostBag.png
Compost This basic additive improves the plant's health over time. Can be refilled at, you guessed it, the compost tank.
Gro-BoostFormula.png
Ammonia Some plants grow slowly, so a bit of ammonia can speed up the process. Just be prepared to water them more often.
TopCropFormula.png
Potash This is the chemical to go for if you want large harvests, but it will likely shorten the plant's lifespan.
PowerplantFormula.png
Saltpetre Saltpetre tends to have a good effect on the crop potency and is particularly useful for medical herbs, cannabis and chili.
MutriantFormula.png
Mutagenic Dumping unstable mutagen into the tray is an easy option to grow all kinds of crazy stuff, however you have little actual control. If a species has multiple possible mutations, it will probably be difficult to get the one you desire.
FruitfulFarmingFormula.png
Mutadone As seen in medbay, but mutadone also works on plants. Mutating them wildly often damages their DNA and therefore this formula may be required to address some of the genetic problems. Unfortunately, mutadone slows down plant growth significantly as long as it is present in the tray.

Numerous other reagents also affect plant health or growth in some way - check Chemistry for the complete list.

Available Crops

Name Icon Type Harvests Time Notes
Grape
Foodgrape.png
Food Variable Average
Orange
Foodorange.png
Food Variable Slow
Melon
Watermelon.png
Food Variable Slow
Carrot
Foodcarrot.png
Food Once Average
Lemon
Foodlemon.png
Food Variable Slow
Lime
Foodlime.png
Food Variable Slow
Apple
Foodapple.png
Food Variable Slow
Banana
Foodbanana.png
Food Variable Average
Strawberry
Strawberry.png
Food Variable Average
Avocado
Avacado.png
Food Variable Slow
Pumpkin
Pumpkin.png
Food Variable Slow Make your own lantern!
Eggplant
Eggplant.png
Food Variable Average
Cucumber
Cucumber.png
Food Once Average
Garlic
FoodGarlic.png
Ingredient Once Average
Onion
Onion.png
Ingredient Once Average
Lettuce
Foodspinach.png
Ingredient Once Slow
Potato
Potato.png
Ingredient Once Average
Synthmeat
IngMeat.png
Ingredient Variable Average
Corn
FoodCornCob.png
Ingredient Once Average Processes into popcorn.
Soybean
Soybean.png
Ingredient Variable Average Processes into milk.
Chili
Foodchili.png
Ingredient Variable Average Processes into hot sauce.
Tomato
Foodtomato.png
Ingredient Variable Average Processes into ketchup.
Peanut
FoodPeanuts.png
Ingredient Once Average Processes into peanut butter.
Wheat
Foodwheat.png
Ingredient Once Fast Processes into flour.
Sugar Cane
Sugarcane.png
Ingredient Once Fast Processes into sugar.
Cotton
CottonWad.png
Other Variable Average Processes into fabric when used in an auto-loom.
Tree
WoodenPlank.png
Other Variable Slow Grow your own barricades.
Contusine
ContusineLeaf.png
Herb Once Average Contains salicylic acid.
Asomna
AsomnaBark.png
Herb Once Average Contains ephedrine.
Nureous
NureousLeaf.png
Herb Once Average Contains potassium iodide.
Commol
CommolRoot.png
Herb Once Average Contains silver sulfadiazine.
Venne
VenneFiber.png
Herb Once Average Contains charcoal.
Catnip
Catnip.png
Herb Once Average Extract catonium to synthesize cat drugs.
Cannabis
Weed.png
Herb Once Fast Make your own joints by combining a leaf with a sheet of paper.
Space Fungus
Mushroom.png
Weed Infinite Slow
Grass
GrassPlant.png
Weed Once Average Harvested seeds can be planted on most floor tiles.
Creeper
CreeperPlant.png
Weed N/A Fast Attacks other plants and spreads into adjacent empty pots.
Lasher
LasherPlant.png
Weed N/A Fast Will lash out at nearby people with its thorns.
Radweed
RadweedPlant.png
Weed N/A Slow Emits radiation, affecting nearby plants and people.
Slurrypod
Foodslurry.png
Weed Once Average Will explode if not quickly harvested, spreading toxic goop.
Man Eater
ManEater.png
Critter Once Variable Will climb out of the pot once grown enough.

Crop Mutations

Whenever a plant's genes would normally mutate (when planted, exposure to mutagen, in the gene manipulator), there is a rare chance that the plant will become a mutant variant of its normal self. These have different effects depending on the species! Some mutations don't appear unless specific conditions are met, for example plant stats (endurance, potency) or an infusion of certain chemicals. Feel free to experiment or pester more experienced botanists.

Mutant Icon Species Prerequisites Info
Seething Tomato
SeethingTomatoPlant.png
Tomato Infusion Tomatoes with an explosive flavour.
Suspicious Tomato
KillerTomato.png
Tomato Infusion Crikey, aggressive vegetables.
Green Grape
GreenGrapes.png
Grape Heals twice the amount of regular grapes.
Blood Orange
BloodOrangePlant.png
Orange Contains changeling blood in addition to orange juice. Peculiar.
Clockwork Orange
ClockworkOrange.png
Orange Endurance An orange that is also a chronometer, how practical.
Rainbow Weed
RainbowWeed.gif
Cannabis Gets you extremely high.
Deathweed
DeathWeed.png
Cannabis Endurance, potency Gets you extremely dead.
Lifeweed
WhiteWeed.png
Cannabis Endurance, potency Contains omnizine.
Omega Weed
OmegaWeed.gif
Cannabis Potency The ultimate cannabis plant. Guaranteed to mess you up.
Chilly Pepper
ChillyPepper.png
Chili Infusion (optional) Quite...chilling.
Fiery Chili
GhostlierChili2.gif
Chili Potency
Infusion (optional)
Extremely spicy!
Magic Mushroom
MagicMushroom.png
Space Fungus Contains psilocybin, a potent hallucinogen.
White Mushroom
WhiteMushroom.png
Space Fungus Endurance, potency Very toxic.
Glowing Slurrypod
OmegaSlurrypod.png
Slurrypod You really shouldn't eat this...
Synthorgan
Synthbrain.png Synthheart.png
Syntheye.png
Synthmeat Harvests can either be synthbrains, synthhearts, syntheyes or a combination of all three.
Synthlimb
LooseSythlimbs.png
Synthmeat Grows synthetic arms and legs.
Synthbutt
Butt.png
Synthmeat Grow your own hat!
Synthbuttbot
ButtBot.png
Synthmeat Infusion (synthbutt seed) Grow your own buttbot!
Free-range Egg-Plant
IngEgg.png
Eggplant Infusion (optional)
Steel Wheat
SteelWheat.png
Wheat Infusion (optional) Use the food processor to convert the ears into iron fillings.
Rainbow Melon
Foodgmelon.png
Melon The ideal party snack!
Immortal Melon
ImmortalMelonPlant.png
Melon Can be harvested an infinite amount of times.
Immortal Banana
ImmortalBananaPlant.png
Banana
Strange Soybean
SoylentChartreuse.png
Soybean Contains high-energy plankton, promised!
Money Tree
Money.png
Tree In space, money does grow on trees.
Shivering Contusine
ShiveringContusinePlant.png
Contusine Contains salbutamol in addition to salicyclic acid.
Quivering Contusine
QuiveringContusinePlant.png
Contusine Contains curare in addition to salicyclic acid.
Robust Asomna
RobustAsomnaPlant.png
Asomna Contains methamphetamine in addition to ephedrine.
Fuzzy Nureous
NureousLeaf.png
Nureous Contains hairgrownium in addition to potassium iodide.
Burning Commol
BurningCommolPlant.png
Commol Contains phlogiston in addition to silver sulfadiazine.
Black Venne
BlackVenneFiber.png
Venne Contains atropine in addition to charcoal.
Dawning Venne
DawningVenneFiber.png
Venne Contains oculine, mannitol and mutadone in addition to charcoal.
Blooming Lasher
BloomingLasherPlant.png
Lasher
Smoldering Radweed
SmolderingRadweedPlant.png
Radweed
White Radweed
WhiteRadweedPlant.png
Radweed Completely harmless.

Advanced Gardening for Dummies

The PlantMaster Mk3 is a powerful tool for the dedicated botanist. Instead of relying on Mother Nature and hoping for the best, you can tweak genetic traits with better precision. To this end, the machine is equipped with three distinct modules:

  • A seed extractor.
  • An injector to infuse seeds with chemicals provided by a beaker or other container.
  • A splicing apparatus to create hybrids of the same or two different species.

Extraction

In case you don't already have seeds with the DNA of a particular plant, insert some fruits (one or two will do) and switch the computer to the extraction mode. It's that simple.

Infusions

Infusing seeds is a straightforward affair. Provide the machine with a seed and filled receptacle, bring up the seed list and proceed from there. Though the various plant formulas will usually be the choice for reliable results, you can use any reagent for experimentation. If the beaker contains several chemicals, you will be prompted to select one. Just keep in mind that every infusion requires 10 units.

PlantMasterInfusion.png

Depending on various factors, an infusion may have undesired consequences. Here, the goal was to increase the potency of a cannabis seed with the help of saltpetre and while the operation was successful, it also had an effect on the yield trait. The outcome was beneficial in this example, but other potent reagents (unstable mutagen in particular) tend to have more negative side-effects.

Regardless of what you end up injecting, damage to the seed is almost guaranteed. It increases the chance of failed splicings, plants grown from them are less healthy overall and require special care. Compost is good, presence of mutadone in the nutrient solution is better.

Splicing

Adapted from a forum post by ISaidNo

Each plant species has a variable called "Genome" which is used to track how similar two species are to one another. Generally two species from the same group (eg fruit, veg, herbs) will have genomes which are close to each other, and thus easier to splice.

When splicing, the formula for your chances is worked out like so:

  • 1: Start Splicing Chance at 100%
  • 2: Compare the genomes of the two seeds, subtract the lower one from the higher one
  • 3: Multiply the sum of step 2 by 10, then subtract that from the splicing chance
  • 4: If either seed has damage from infusing, subtract damage amount from splicing chance
  • 5: Cap splicing chance between 0 and 100 to prevent bugs
  • 6: Perform the check to see if splicing succeeds or not


So, an example. You're trying to splice Weed (genome 2) with Synthmeat (genome 7).

You start with 100% splicing chance.

Subtract low genome from high genome: 7 - 2 = 5

Multiply that by 10: 5 * 10 = 50

Subtract that from the splicing chance: 100 - 50 = 50

Assuming you haven't damaged either seed with infusion, you have a 50/50 chance for this splice to succeed. That's not so good odds, of course. So how can we improve them?

When seeds are successfully spliced, the hybrid has a new genome which is the average of the two, calculated by adding the two plant's genomes together and then halving it. Assuming you successfully spliced Weed and Synthmeat, the new genome would be (from (2 + 7) / 2) 4.5.

What you need to do is chain. The genomes are generally done by group: Herbs have very low genomes, grasses and veg are in the middle, and fruit has very high genomes. Alien plants and weeds have genomes that are all over the place. This isn't a general rule either, there are exceptions here and there! Commol has a genome that's more in the vegetable group than the herb group with it being a root rather than a leaf, for example.

Out of this World

Certain artifacts can be put into plant pods with... unusual effects. Experiment!

Objects and Items
Equipment by Department:
General Objects - Engineering Objects - Mining Equipment - Security Objects - Medical Objects - Science Objects
Machinery:
Pods - Computers - PDAs - Implants
Clothing:
Clothing
Catering:
Plants & Hydro Equipment - Foods & Drinks
Weapons:
Syndicate Items - Guns - Grenades - Bombs