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 catering staff also have various culinary gadgets at their disposal for making with fancy foods and drinks with your favorite plants. 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.
Watering Can Actually just a glorified beaker with a maximum capacity of 120 units. Often requested by chemists.
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.
Chainsaw An electric chainsaw to keep weeds in check. Passable emergency weapon, but not very durable.
Hydroponics Tray The seeds go in here, obviously. You can plant them manually or by using drag & drop. The bar on the right tracks water level, and the tray has various indicators for the status of the plant:
  • LowPlantHealth.gif - Plant has poor health. Could use some compost.
  • ReadyToHarvestTray.gif - Plant is ready to be harvested. Click with a bare hand or with a produce satchel to gather its fruits and seeds.
  • LowWaterTray.gif - Plant is dangerously low water. Water it with a watering can, obviously.
  • OverwateredTray.gif - Plant has too much water.
  • DeadPlantTray.gif - Plant is dead and should be cleared.
SeedVendingMachine2.png ForensicScanner2.png
Seed Fabricator To unlock the more interesting seeds (notably cannabis), you'll have to mess with the wires (and for the record, this is a fabricator, not a vending machine, so you'll have to toggle a white light.) The required tools can be found in Tool Storage. A hand-held version may be acquired by hacking the GardenGear vendor.
GardenGear Most basic tools and plant formulas are available from this vending machine.
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.
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 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.
UV Grow Lamp Makes adjacent plants grow faster. Click it to turn it on and off.
Botanical Mister Adds a few units of whatever reagents stored inside it into any surrounding trays. By default, it contains 1000 units of water, so it'll effectively water your plants for you, but it'll accept all kinds of chems. It's not in Hydroponics at roundstart, except on Destiny and Clarion, but you might find one of these in an semi-abandoned satellite not too far from the Mining Outpost.

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

Icon Name Description
Weedkiller Also known as atrazine. As the name implies, it will quickly spell the end for any uninvited guest like lashers or space grass.
Compost This basic additive improves the plant's health over time. Can be refilled at, you guessed it, the compost tank.
Ammonia Some plants grow slowly, so a bit of ammonia can speed up the process. Just be prepared to water them more often.
Potash This is the chemical to go for if you want large harvests, but it will likely shorten the plant's lifespan.
Saltpetre Saltpetre tends to have a good effect on the crop potency and is particularly useful for medical herbs, cannabis and chili.
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.
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:

  • Phosphorus - Phosphorus slightly accelerates plant growth, though not nearly as much as ammonia does.
  • Potassium - Adding potassium boosts plant health somewhat and makes it grow a little bit faster.
  • Ash - Ash slightly boosts both plant health and growth.
  • Diethylamine - Diethylamine helps plants grow faster, more than phosphorus but still less than ammonia.
  • Space Fungus - Fungus makes the plant extra hardy & more resistant to the aforementioned poisons. Many plant mutations also involve reaching certain levels of endurance.
  • Glowing Slurry - Glowing slurry slows down plant growth slightly and immediately induces a mutation. Surprisingly, this doesn't damage plant health very much.
  • Stable Mutagen - On plants, it's less likely to cause mutation than unstable mutagen but is more likely to dampen plant growth.
  • Radium - Radium can cause a plant to mutate, but, unsurprisingly, irradiates it, damaging the plant.
  • Uranium & Polonium - For hopefully obvious reasons, these radioactive substances damage plant health and have a fairly high chance of inducing mutations.
  • Fluorosulfuric Acid - As with people and items, this nasty acid wrecks plant health and severely stunts growth. Did you expect anything else?
  • Sulfuric Acid & Hydrochloric Acid - These acids also hurt plant health and slow growth, though not as much as fluorosulfuric acid.
  • Phlogiston & Phlogiston Dust - To nobody's surprise, adding phlogiston destroys most plants and acutely stunts growth.
  • Acetaldehyde, Acetic Acid, Chlorine, Fluorine, Formaldehyde, Mercury, Napalm, Plasma, Toxin, Welding Fuel - Unsurprisingly, all these chems poison the plant, decreasing its health. Formaldehyde, chlorine, and fluorine are the worst among them.
  • Charcoal - Charcoal gradually removes any harmful chemicals in the plant tray.

Chemicals change plant traits when they're in a hydroponic tray or used in an infusion. Infusion immediately changes the plant's traits, so if you're hankering for triple-digit potency weed right then, right now, it's often better to stick with infusions. On the other hand, tray effects can add up. Due to the funny way BYOND uses numbers, a plant absorbs roughly half the reagents in its tray every while or so, but never actually runs out, like some sort of chemical Zeno's motion paradox. Since chems in trays don't actually scale up their effects (e.g. 0.25 units of saltpetre is the same as 250 units in the tray), then given enough time, adding a chemical into the tray can have a greater effect than infusing it into a seed.

Available Crops

Most of these seeds are readily available from the Seed Fabricator, but a few require a little hacking to access.

Name Icon Type Harvests Time Notes
Food Variable Average
Food Variable Slow Contains orange juice.
Food Variable Slow Contains water, unsurprisingly.
Food Once Average
Food Variable Slow Contains lemon juice. Clearly.
Food Variable Slow Contains lime juice, as you'd expect.
Food Variable Slow Contains apple juice. Heals 1 unit of TOX, BURN, BRUTE, OXYGEN, and BRAIN per bite.
Food Variable Average Contains potassium. Yummy.
Food Variable Average Contains strawberry juice.
Food Variable Average Contains cherry juice. Not blood, really!
Food Variable Slow
Food Variable Slow Make your own lantern!
Food Variable Average Contains nicotine.
Food Once Average
Ingredient Once Average Contains holy water. Not recommended for vampires.
Ingredient Once Average
Ingredient Once Slow
Ingredient Once Average Makes great French fries and great captains. Also spawns as a trinket.
Ingredient Variable Average Contains coconut milk, which is distinct from regular space milk.
Ingredient Variable Average Contains pineapple juice. Don't get in it your eyes.
Coffee berries
Ingredient Variable Average Extracts
Ingredient Variable Average Contains synthetic flesh. If you could make it into patches, Medbay will love you.
Ingredient Once Average Processes into popcorn. Contains corn starch.
Ingredient Variable Average Processes into milk. Conveniently contains space soybean oil.
Ingredient Variable Average Processes into hot sauce. Contains capsaicin.
Ingredient Variable Average Processes into ketchup. Contains tomato juice. Not blood.
Ingredient Once Average Processes into peanut butter.
Ingredient Once Fast Processes into flour.
Ingredient Once Fast Processes into oatmeal.
Sugar Cane/Sugar
Ingredient Once Fast Processes into sugar. Contains, you guessed it, sugar. (What else would it contain?)
Rice Sprig
Ingredient Variable Fast Processes into rice.
Ingredient Variable Fast Eating it allows fart propulsion in Space!
Other Variable Average Processes into fabric when used in a material processor.
Other Variable Slow Chainsaw the resulting log to get your very own barricade.
Other Variable Slow Produces bamboo stalks, which can be cut down to produce edible shoots.
Herb Once Average Contains salicylic acid.
Herb Once Average Contains ephedrine.
Herb Once Average Contains potassium iodide.
Herb Once Average Contains silver sulfadiazine.
Herb Once Average Contains charcoal.
Herb Once Fast Contains, as you'd expect, mint.
Catnip/Nepeta cataria
Herb Once Average Extract catonium to synthesize cat drugs.
Herb Once Fast Extracts into morphine.
Herb Once Fast Make your own joints by combining a leaf with a sheet of paper.
Herb Once Average Contains aconitum. Wards aways and smites werewolves.
Space Fungus
Weed Infinite Slow Contains, as you'd expect, space fungus, which is great for boosting endurance.
Weed Once Average Harvested seeds can be planted on most floor tiles.
Weed N/A Fast Attacks other plants and spreads into adjacent empty pots.
Weed N/A Fast Will lash out at nearby people with its thorns.
Weed N/A Slow Emits radiation, affecting nearby plants and people.
Weed Once Average Will explode if not quickly harvested, spreading toxic goop. Contains toxic slurry
Man Eater
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.

The following is an extensive but quite possibly incomplete table of possible mutations:

Mutant Icon Species Prerequisites Info
Seething Tomato
Tomato Infusion Tomatoes with an explosive flavour.
Suspicious Tomato
Tomato Infusion Crikey, aggressive vegetables.
Tomato Infusion Edible cigarettes! Contains super-addictive amounts of nicotine.
Green Grape
Grape Heals twice the amount of regular grapes.
Blood Orange
Orange Contains changeling blood in addition to orange juice. Peculiar.
Clockwork Orange
Orange Endurance An orange that is also a chronometer, how practical.
Rainbow Weed
Cannabis Gets you extremely high.
Cannabis Endurance, potency Gets you extremely dead.
Cannabis Endurance, potency Contains omnizine.
Omega Weed
Cannabis Potency Gets you extremely high and extremely dead.
Chilly Pepper
Chili Infusion (optional) Quite...chilling.
Fiery Chili
Chili Potency
Infusion (optional)
Extremely spicy!
Magic Mushroom
Space Fungus Contains psilocybin, a potent hallucinogen.
White Mushroom
Space Fungus Endurance, potency Contains a potent mycotoxin.
Glowing Slurrypod
Slurrypod Contains two toxins for the price of one. You really shouldn't eat this...
Synthbrain.png Synthheart.png
Synthmeat Harvests can either be synthbrains, synthhearts, syntheyes or a combination of all three.
Synthmeat Grows synthetic arms and legs.
Synthmeat Grow your own hat!
Synthmeat Infusion (synthbutt seed) Grow your own buttbot!
Free-range Egg-Plant
Eggplant Infusion (optional)
Steel Wheat
Wheat, Oats Infusion (optional) Use the food processor to convert the ears into iron fillings. Use a reclaimer/material processor to get...steel.
Durum Wheat
Wheat A hardy wheat for a hardy palatte, fit for processing into spaghetti
Rainbow Melon
Melon The ideal party snack! Full of melonium and fun to throw at people!
Immortal Melon
Melon Can be harvested an infinite amount of times.
Delicious-looking Apple
Apple Endurance Contains capulettium.
Immortal Banana
Strange Soybean
Soybean Contains high-energy plankton, promised!
Money Tree
Tree In space, money does grow on trees.

Rubber Tree
Tree Where all the synthrubber for the wires comes from.
Shivering Contusine
Contusine Contains salbutamol in addition to salicylic acid.
Quivering Contusine
Contusine Contains curare in addition to salicylic acid.
Robust Asomna
Asomna Contains methamphetamine in addition to ephedrine.
Fuzzy Nureous
Nureous Contains hairgrownium in addition to potassium iodide.
Burning Commol
Commol Contains phlogiston in addition to silver sulfadiazine.
Black Venne
Venne Contains atropine in addition to charcoal.
Dawning Venne
Venne Contains oculine, mannitol and mutadone in addition to charcoal.
Blooming Lasher
Smoldering Radweed
White Radweed
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.


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.


Infusion allows you to directly modify plant traits by adding chemical reagents to plant seeds. Depending on the reagent, it may hurt the plant, help it, or do absolutely nothing, and certain chems combined with certain seeds may wildly mutate the plant into an entirely different form. Just note that, despite popular conceptions, infusion does not necessarily result in a plant that extracts into the infused reagent (i.e. infusing water does not result in a plant that extracts into water).

Anyways, 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.


Depending on various factors, an infusn 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 allows you to combine two individual plant genomes together into a entirely new hybrid plant, with the interesting side effect of the resulting hybrid extracting into whatever the parent plants extracted into. This results in things like superherbs that heal burns, fix genetic defects, and remove toxin damage simultaneously, "prank" bananas that explode when eaten, and peanuts so sugary that they put people in diabetic comas. The mechanics of splicing are described below.

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

Out in the Debris Field, Adventure Zone, and Trench, you can find several strange, truly alien seeds (though, despite the similar appearance and name, they are not man-eater seeds) Experiment!

Objects and Items
by Department
Box2.png General · Glovesy.png Engineering · PowerPickV2.png Mining · Defibrillator.png Medical · PortASci.png Science · Handcuffs.png Security
Machinery MiniPutt.png Pods · ClownCar.png Vehicles · Thinkdos-pc.gif Computers · Fabricator.png Fabricators & Manufacturers · GenericPDA.png PDAs · Implanter2.png Implants
Clothing Chameleon.gif Clothing
Catering WateringCan.png Plants & Hydro Equipment · THE MONSTER.png Foods & Drinks
Weapons CyalumeSaberV4.gif Syndicate Items · RevolverV2.png Guns · ChemGrenadeCompleteV2.png Grenades · TransferValveBomb.png Bombs