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So you have that one plant that has done absolutely nothing for months, perhaps even years. It’s incredibly frustrating, isn’t it? Do not worry! There are many possible reasons why your plant seems stuck in a perpetual state of stunted growth, and luckily, there are several things you can do to fix the situation. Let’s dive into some of the common issues and solutions to help your plant thrive.
Not Enough Light:
Light is the true food of plants, and insufficient light can severely stunt or even halt their growth. Plants photosynthesize light and turn it into energy and nutrients to grow larger. When trying to get your plant to grow consider the plant’s light requirements and ensure it is recieving the proper amount of light. In our care guides we always include lighting requirements for you but indirect bright light is a good assumption for most. Low light is one of the most common causes for lack of plant growth. Many houseplants categorized as low light will have stagnant growth and need a bright indirect light to really grow.
Plants need certain nutrients from fertilizer to be able to grow propely like humans need vitamins. Ensure you are providing the appropriate fertilizer or plant food for your specific plant species. Different plants have different nutrient requirements. Some need to be fertilized more then others while certain plants need more of one specific nutrient. The type of plant also determines the best way to deliver the fertilizer. For example: Hoya grow best with a foliar spray fertilizer on their leaves rather then slow release fertilizer in their soil. A monstera is a heavy feeder so they need to be fertilized regularly and if a feed is missed they will slow their growth. Be sure to research what your specific plant needs
Many houseplants are from tropical regions(such as rainforests) where humidity levels are high. If your plant is struggling with new leaves being stuck, crisping edges, or new growth the dries up and dies off, then low humidity could be the issue. Increase the humidity around your plant by using a humidifier, placing a tray of water nearby, or grouping it with other plants to create a humid microclimate within a plant community.
Temperature is often overlooked in plant care. However it is vital in a plant’s growth and development. Temperatures, whether too hot or too cold, can negatively impact a plants health. Most houseplants prefer a tropical temperature range, generally between 70°F-80°f. It does depend on the plant though and some plants prefer cooler temperatures or have a winter growth pattern. Generally, keep your plants away from cool drafts and be sure to use heatmats or fans as needed. Maintaining a consistent temperature and researching what your plant specifically needs is key. For example alocasia grow best with a heatmat while rex begonia melt when the temperatures are to warm for it.
Watering can be tricky. Overwatering or underwatering are common mistakes that can impede plant growth by preventing nutrient absorbtion or cause root rot. Take the time to understand your plant’s watering needs, considering factors like its species, size, and the type of potting mix it’s in. Always manually check the moisture level in the soil before watering and adjust your watering accordingly based on your plants needs. The season and temperatures can affect how much water your plant needs as well.
Pruning might seem counterintuitive when you want your plant to grow, but it’s actually beneficial for its overall health and growth. Regular pruning helps remove dead and diseased parts, encourages new growth, and improves the plant’s overall shape. Many plants after a prune will divide and create one or more stems or push out new growth. Be sure to use sterilized and sharp pruning tools, and utilize intentional pruning techniques specific to your plant to avoid causing damage.
Remember, plants are living things that require care and attention. By examining the needs of your plant and comparing it to what they have been getting you should be able to eaily find the issue. Patience is key, as plants may take some time to recover and show visible signs of growth. Some young plants like rooted hoya cuttings can take a long time for growth even if everything is perfect. So don’t give up, keep nurturing your plant, and soon enough, you’ll be rewarded with flourishing foliage.