You probably give your plants plenty of love and attention, but they still have stunted growth. If you are facing this issue right now with your garden, now is the time to learn how to fix it. We’re going to discuss many things today, including why it happens and what you can do about it.
Various factors could be at play for stunted growth in plants. It could be something relating to the environment of the plant. Things like clay soil, drought, temperature extremes, nutrient deficiency, and more, can be to blame.
These problems can happen at any time during the plant growth cycle. Luckily, you can find many techniques out there to fix stunted growth in plants. Some of these issues can be avoided altogether or can be changed.
Table of Contents
Identifying That There Is Stunted Growth in Plants
When you’re faced with a problem like stunted growth in plants, you need to know how to figure out the cause of it. There could be many issues.
Host problems are a big reason for stunted growth. Bugs and other pests and diseases (root rot) can cause the plant to stop growing. Instead, the disease or pest feeds off the plant and gets all the nutrients.
Environmental stress factors are also a concern and could be the reason why plants don’t grow. These can include poor soil nutrition and unbalanced pH. You may also have too many weeds that take up the nutrients.
As a gardener, you might think that plant-related issues are only caused by insects. However, that isn’t always true. Sometimes, sick plants have a nutrient deficiency or could be dying because of poor gardening practices.
The easiest way to determine why your plant isn’t growing is by looking at the plant structure and leaves. If you see any discoloration, manifestation, or deformity there, it’s an indication that something is wrong.
Most plant-related diseases have the same symptoms and signs. It could also be a mix of various problems. Therefore, tackling it could require trial and error until you figure everything out.
Before you try adding more water or nutrients, you should take a moment to figure out what’s wrong. Otherwise, you could end up killing the plants that way. Focus on its regular growth pattern and go from there.
How to Identify Abnormalities
Once you know what’s afflicting your plant, you should research this to find other problems. That way, you are covering all the bases. When you’ve figured out your observations, match up the findings with one or more plant issues.
That way, you come up with a real diagnosis and can eliminate other potential stunted-growth problems. Ultimately, these are the steps you need to take to figure out why your plants aren’t growing:
2. Leaf discoloration should be checked. If you notice it went from bright green to yellow, there’s a problem.
3. Pay attention to the temperature outside. Extreme changes could lead to cold and heat. These can slow the plant’s growth and affect the fruit or flowering.
4. Do the plants look burnt or appear black? This could be because you overdosed on fertilizer and caused a salt injury. If they’re sagging and blackened, there isn’t much that you can do right now.
5. Over- or under-watering can cause plant death or stunted growth. If it’s the rainy season in your area and the soil doesn’t drain well, stunted growth in plants can occur. Aerate the soil or add more drainage holes to the pot.
6. Inspect the soil base near your plants every 10 days or once a week. This depends on how often you water (or when it rains).
How to Fix the Issue
The best way to ensure the proper growth of your plants is to maintain the right conditions for growing. Study the plant and know how it develops. Make sure that you provide enough light, nutrition, and water.
When you know the growth requirements of the plant, you can effectively prevent environmental stressors from hurting them. It is also going to increase the plant’s defense against diseases and pests that could stunt your plant’s growth.
Many factors can boost healthy growth in your plants. They include:
- Sow plants into well-drained soil, and use organic compost.
- Ensure that you are using high-quality transplants or seeds. Inspect the transplants before you buy them. Don’t purchase plants that have brown or shriveled roots.
- Maintain the soil and keep it fertilized and moist. Use a soluble fertilizer once seedlings emerge or the plants are transplanted.
- Avoid damage to the plant roots. Don’t till, plow, or walk on your soil close to the plants.
- Protect your plants from various environmental stressors, such as wind and cold. Cover the rows or individual plants with plastic jugs or tarps.
- Plants are highly susceptible to heat. Therefore, make sure you know their ideal temperature and move them around in pots or protect them with shade.
- Young plants can’t handle high-intensity light. It might be best to keep them out of direct sunlight until they’re older.
- You’ve got to ensure that the light isn’t too hot for your plants, whether they’re inside or outside. Place the tip of a finger on the soil by the plant for a minute. If it feels hot, there could be too much light, so consider moving it or shading it somehow during the heat of the day.
- If a plant can’t be shaded or moved, consider keeping it moist. Don’t water during the heat of the day, though. Only do it at dusk and in the morning.
- Plants must have a balanced dose of nutrients, and it needs to be enough to keep them alive. If they don’t get this, they could suffer a nutrient deficiency. Be careful how you fertilize, though, because you don’t want to burn the plants.
- You must consider the pot size and make sure it’s big enough for the roots. Once plants have germinated, they should have adequate soil drainage, nutrients, and water. When they’re big enough, move them to the ground or a larger pot.
- Consider buying a soil moisture meter to help you see how moist the soil is. You can also feel it with your fingers. Unless it’s dry about 8 inches down, don’t water the plants.
- If overwatering is a concern, wait a week and take action if the soil is water-logged. Raise the plant bed a bit to get rid of the extra water and improve soil drainage. Another option is to buy well-drained topsoil to help improve the properties of your current soil.
Since many factors could cause stunted growth in plants, it can be hard to figure out what to do. Some signs are quite noticeable, so you should start there, such as with overwatering. Then, work on figuring out if the plants are diseased or plagued with pests.
This guide has talked about many techniques to learn how to fix stunted growth in plants. Be patient while you figure out what’s going on. It can take time, as there could be more than one problem.
As you start learning about your plants, you can focus on their needs. From there, you’re going to learn more about nutrients, light, and water. Then, you can focus on other potential problems and help your plants thrive.