Why aren’t my plants growing? It’s such a common question with some pretty simple answers. Plants can take a lot of maintenance so there are all kinds of factors that can stunt growth.
Whether you’re waiting impatiently for seeds to sprout or can’t seem to get a small plant to get any bigger, here are some of the causes that may be worth investigating.
Why Aren’t My Plants Growing? Overwatering
More plants are killed by too much water than not enough. If leaves have turned limp and yellow, you know that you’ve most likely overwatered the plant. It’s easy to cut down on manually watering plants, but how do you stop the rain from destroying your shrubs? Sadly, there isn’t much you can do to combat waterlogging. If possible, transferring them to pots with drainage holes in the bottom may be the best option during rainy months.
Why Aren’t My Plants Growing? Soil Quality
Various soils can affect plant growth. Stony or thin soil can make it harder for roots to take hold and this affect the plant’s ability to extract nutrients. Clay meanwhile can become easily waterlogged in the winter, although it is a brilliant nutrient-filled soil for the summer months. In some cases, it may be best to do a soil analysis test. This is particularly worthwhile for those with crops or those looking after commercial gardens.
Why Aren’t My Plants Growing? Lack of Light
All plants require different amounts of light. Overhead foliage or shadows from neighbouring trees or buildings may be preventing growth. If there are plants already in the area, you’ll usually be able to tell if there’s a lack of light if they’re growing in a funny direction, as if straining to get the light. Whilst relocating these plants or removing the obstacle is the best option, some gardeners are able to make clever use of mirrors to get around this problem – although this isn’t enough for all types of plant. Planter boxes can be shifted from light to shade so are a great option for rejuvenating plants.
Why Aren’t My Plants Growing? Weeds and Pests
Any soil that is being used to grow plants needs to be thoroughly de-weeded first. Roots can sometimes take hold deep in the soil, and so the weeds may not be visible on the surface level. Whilst manually getting rid of these weeds is the healthiest option, using a weed-killer may be a better option for getting rid of these hard-to-access weeds.
Pests can come in all forms but are generally visible if they are the cause of the problem. Occasionally parasites, such as aphids, may be feeding off the roots. If you have roses, for example, use your used dish water to spray the plants. This will get rid of the aphids without damaging the roses.
Fungi can also take hold of the roots and affect growth. You should know that certain parasitic plants, such as epiphytes, can actually have health benefits.
Why Aren’t My Plants Growing? Chemical Usage
Fertilisers, pesticides and weed-killers can often be damaging to certain plants if chemical based. This is a rarity, given most chemical plant products are designed to be used on plants, but there may be specific cases of a certain plant not reacting well to a certain weed-killer/pesticide. Look up online the chemical you are using and see if anyone else has reported it leading to growth problems.
When you have your plants and flowers under control, you can enjoy your garden more. Buy some garden furniture and just ENJOY!