If you're at a loss as to why your plants have stopped growing, don't beat yourself up. Even seasoned plant owners get stumped from time to time. Sometimes the reasons are simple, with an easy fix, but getting there can require a bit of trial and error, coupled with your attentive awareness.
We’ve put our expert knowledge together to help your plants thrive and flourish. Here are 5 reasons why your plants may not be growing:
It's getting insufficient nutrients
This is the most obvious and most common reason your plant's growth has slowed. Remember, we don't just mean fertilizer when we say nutrients. If your plant is getting insufficient natural light or warmth (and during winter, they probably won't be) it will conserve all its energy so it can stay alive. When plants are in 'panic mode,' they may drop leaves and extremities so their food doesn't have to travel so far - they definitely won't be growing! So, if your plant is in a cool, shady patch, try moving nearer an East or South facing window. Of course, if it is winter, your plant may simply have entered a natural period of dormancy, and will be growing again come spring.
If your plant has suddenly taken a turn for the worse, it could be infested with common houseplant pests like aphids or fungus gnats. Some bugs are more troublesome than others. As a first point of call, you can try wiping the plant's leaves down with diluted washing up liquid, neem oil or our naturally bug-repellant Aomori Hiba spay. If the issue still persists try rinsing your plant with water and repotting in new soil.
It's root bound
After many years in one pot, plants will have exhausted their soil's nutrients and may have filled every available space with their expanding roots. Some plants can happily be root bound for years, but others will struggle to keep themselves upright and be less able to suck up moisture from the soil. The good news is that it's really easy to check if your plant is root bound. Number one, you'll probably see roots coming out of the holes in the bottom of its growing pot. Secondly, if you lift your plant gently out of its growing pot, you'll be able to tell immediately if its roots have swelled to the shape of the pot or not. If your plant is root bound, the best thing to do is re-pot it. The best time to repot your plants isin Spring when they are in their natural growing season, but if it's in reasonably good health you can probably get away with repotting at other stages too.
It's reached its full potential
Much like humans and other animals, houseplants can have an upper limit when it comes to growth. In fact, some houseplants are specially bred to be slow-growing so they can be used as decor and won't take over your living room. All that matters now is maintaining the houseplant and giving it an occasional pruning so it can replace older branches with new.
Too much fussing!
One of the main causes of stunted growth in plants is actually over-caring. We totally get it, we’ve all been there! It’s hard to get the balance right sometimes. The best thing you can do is follow the guidelines and let your plant be for a while. An inconsistent environment can be troublesome for plants, so once you’ve found yours a spot with the right temperature, amount of light and water it accordingly, leave it in its spot to do its thing. Trust that your plant wants to survive and will do so if it’s left to its own devices.
We hope these guidelines have been helpful and will allow your plants to reach their full potential. If you're looking for an easy to care for plant, check out our new Easy Care Plants collection.
We'd love to see our plants in your homes. Just tag us on Instagram @bloomboxclub