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Why Aren’t My Plants Growing? Here Are The Reasons You Must Know

Why Aren’t My Plants Growing? Here Are The Reasons You Must Know

Plants are very much like babies. As babies are very sensitive and need proper care, plants also crave your care and attention. If you do not take proper care of your plant babies, then their growth rate would slow down.

There are many reasons why plants are not growing properly. If they do not get proper sunlight, water, and nutrients, they will not grow properly.

We have to check the plants daily to see if they are in good condition or not. Sometimes gardeners do not use good fertilizer, which further affects the plant’s growth rate.

If your plants are not growing properly and you are as confused as any other plant parent, then you are at the right place. We are here to find out why plants are not growing properly, the reason behind them, and how to recover them.

Why Aren’t My Plants Growing?

There are various reasons that affect the growth of a plant. Some of them are temperature, water and proper sunlight etc.

If these elements are missing, then it will be difficult to grow the plants. Below are some of the major reasons that would help you understand the cause behind the slow growth of your plants.

1. Lack Of Water And Too Much Of Water

Lack of water also stops the plants from growing. It is important to maintain a proper watering routine so that your plants don’t die of thirst.

That doesn’t mean we should water them daily. Overwatering the plant would decrease its capability to absorb water, which would cause the roots to stand in water for days.

This can further cause root rot, fungi development, and various other diseases. Too much water washes all the plants’ nutrition and makes them yellow. 

For example-

Cucumbers, when they are young, need little watering. At growing periods, they require more water, and the water goes into the root and makes the plant stronger.

When the plants start giving the fruits, they need water every day. The foliage vegetables grow quickly and are healthy if we supply water to them regularly.

Also read:

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2. Too Much Sunlight

Due to too much sunlight, sometimes the soil becomes very hot, water retention becomes inferior, and the plant dies. It also decreases the strength of the plant and affects its immune system greatly.

Besides, too much sunlight also makes the soil completely dry and leaves no ground for moisture absorption.

Due to this, worms go inside the soil to find some moisture and also eat away valuable nutrients from plants. This further affects the plants and might even kill them in the long run.

3. Over-fertilizing

Too much fertilizer can kill the plants. Sometimes too much fertilizer may damage the plant’s roots and make the plants yellow and brown in color.

Besides, it also burns the plants because of the presence of salt in the fertilizer.

Excess fertilizer brings moisture out from the plants. The growth rate is affected by defoliation and causes the lower leaves to wilt due to excess fertilizer.

4. Lack of nutrients

Another mistake is wrong potting. Plants also depend upon the enrooting and potting mix. Sometimes there is too much mulch present inside the soil which affects the growth of the plants. Lack of micronutrients also stops the plants from growing. 

For example :

  1. Phosphorus- lower and upper sides of the leaves become purple.
  2. Nitrogen – the leaves become yellow from upper to lower.
  3. Magnesium- causes interveinal chlorosis.
  4. Calcium- their leaves are paler and dwarf growth.
  5. These Minor elements are highly required for plants.

5. Wrong Season To Plant

You also need to consider the changing of seasons while planting any tree. In winter, roses are the best plants for bare roots.

Plants and vegetables should be planted in their endorsed season depending upon the genus of seed. Some seeds need to settle as soon as they are nubile.

Sometimes plants need torpid treatment and need to be stored in wet sand to protect from wind and temperature so that they become ready to bloom when spring arrives. 

Some seeds are so hard that water, temperature, light, and oxygen cannot reach through them. Soaking and scratching are the two processes for breaking down the seed coat. 

What is a seed coat? The seed coat is the outer covering of the seed and helps the seed to dry out and protect the embryo.

It has two layers, one is the outer testa, and another one is the inner testa. If we buy seed from a seed company, they will suggest the proper time when to plant. 

Sometimes they don’t shoot in time due to being too raspy.

For replanting a tree, you need to take care of the temperature and humidity levels. Most plants grow all year in equatorial climates, but there are fewer chances in the rainy and dry seasons. 

6. Wrong Spot To Plant A Tree

Planting a tree in a proper spot is also very important. Someone said “right plant, right place” is necessary. It’s a very disappointing moment when our new plant doesn’t grow well. 

In the floriculture world, the biggest mistakes we make when we plant a tree without checking whether that soil is of fine quality or not, the environmental factors that suit the seeds or not, and various such factors.

You need to find the perfect spot for planting a seed or tree to make sure that they grow nicely.

When we plant a seed too deep, they are unable to get enough oxygen and temperature. Due to this, the seedlings never shoot out of the soil and die inside. 

If we plant a tree on the edge of the road, there is more possibility of dying depending upon the soil.

If the soil is too rocky, then it won’t be able to grow. So make sure to check for the quality of the soil where you want to plant your seedling. It would save you from murdering the baby plant.

Also read:

  1. List of plants that grow in all seasons

7. Planting Trees In Close Proximity

If we plant seeds or trees in close proximity, then all the plants in the circle will have stunted growth. 

Plants need more space to lay out their stems.

If we plant the tree at a close distance from another, it will become difficult for the plant to grow in a healthy manner because the same nutrition will be divided.

In this case, one will get more nutrients, and another will get fewer nutrients.

If we plant trees closely, then we also need to increase the amount of fertilizer. In soil, there is limited out of Nitrogen, and other essential nutrients are present.

Planting trees closely will deplete them of the essential soil nutrients.

If a plant faces a nutrition deficiency, then it will not grow properly and will turn yellow. Besides, such plants won’t be able to bear fruits or flowers properly and would slowly die. 

8. Weeds Grow Too Large

If weeds grow too large, then it is harmful to plants and would affect their growth rate.

Weeds stop the plant from growing properly as they take away all the essential nutrients from the soil, leaving nothing for the new saplings. Besides, they unnecessarily cover the area and make it hard to maintain your yard. 

Weeds don’t have any kind of medicinal or aesthetic property and act as a parasite by taking all the essential nutrients from plants. 

Some parasitic weeds take water, nutrients, and light and grow faster than plants. For this, there are heavy losses in the garden. 

9. Attack By Pests

When pests infest your garden, they completely destroy your plants.

Some of them are stem borer, bollworm, thrips, root bores, mealy bugs, etc. Below we have discussed some of these harmful pests that you might find in your garden. 

Stem Borer:

Stem borers are the caterpillars that get attracted to juicy plants. It feeds inside the stem, and the plant becomes dry in the center. They grow in young plants and sometimes in older plants as well.

Such plants become dry and are affected by the disease called “white ear.” 

Some of the plants that stem borers find attractive are maize, finger millet, rice, sorghum, mango, fig, rubber, jackfruit, mulberry, sugarcane, and pearl millet. 


These are the larvae that dry the shoot of the plant by eating it.

They usually attack the fresh parts of the plant like new buds, shoots, leaves, and other similar areas. New parts of the plant contain high amounts of nutrients that these bollworms eat away.

Plants that bollworms attack are chickpeas, cotton, pigeon pea, sunflowers, and tomatoes. 


Thrips lay their eggs under the tissue of the leaves. They attack both adult and young saplings. Thrip-infested plants have dead leaves with white layering underneath. 

Plants that thrips mostly attack are cotton, grapes, citrus, roses, groundnut, chilies, pomegranate, tea, castor, and grapevine. 


Aphids are from the family of lice. In the summer and spring seasons, it sucks the sap of plants.

Due to this, the leaves become fragile, and the growth of the plant stops, and the plant dies. It also affects photosynthesis activity. They mostly affect barley, oats, ladyfinger, brinjal, chilies, wheat, and guava plants. 

Fruit and shoot borer

Larvae are attracted to the shoots of the plants and cause “dead hearts.” They enter the flower bud and make the fruit shabby.

These pests mostly affect brinjal, potatoes, maize, pigeon pea, chickpea, field beans, roses, and tomatoes. 


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What to do if plants are not growing?

  1. Before planting, we should ask the expert or nursery what condition the plant should be planted in.
  2. We should give water to plants in the proper way. We should not give water to plants even if it is needed.
  3. A steady temperature is required for indoor plants. Avoid gusty places
  4. We should provide a proper amount of sunlight.
  5. And we should give good quality fertilizer.
  6. Plants need proper space so that it grows properly.

Plants are the backbone of all living things present on earth. They provide food, carbon dioxide, and oxygen and give medicine too.

Without plants, it is very difficult to survive on earth. Plants are very important for living things. It is our duty to take proper care of our plants.

Whether you are a plant parent or not, the least you can do is water a plant once a week. It would help them in surviving through harsh climatic conditions.

Besides, always check your plants for any kind of pest infestation, as they are the major cause of the death of plants.

If your plant is infested with pests, start the treatment immediately. Apart from that, make sure to shower your plant babies with love and praise.