Can plants experience stress?
A plant can experience stress in difficult conditions. Stress in plants is a biological response to combatting situations that affect their health negatively. They are very good at this. They have developed all kinds of defence mechanisms against harmful fungi, drought, heat, cold and pests. This enables them to survive.
As a grower, you can support your plants by tackling stress factors so your plants bloom optimally and produce a good yield. We discuss 7 stress factors in this article.
Stress factor 1. Too little or too much water
You can recognise this stress factor from wilting. It is important to know exactly how much water your plants need, because this varies from one variety to the next. You can find tips on how to determine this and what to do if your plants have had too much or too little water in our ‘How much water do my plants need?’ blog.
Stress factor 2. Unsuitable place
The plant is not in a suitable place. Every plant variety has different needs. For example, one plant needs more light than another, or needs a higher temperature. Check these characteristics in advance so you can put the plant in the right place from the outset.
How can you tell if your plant is in an unsuitable place? If the leaves develop brown or black blotches, the position is too warm or too dry. Is the plant losing its leaves? Then the ambient temperature is too low, or your plant is in a draught. A wooden base beneath the pot provides additional protection. Does the plant have yellow tips? Then the environment could be too cold. Are the stems weak? Then you have put the pot in a place that is too dark.
Suddenly moving your plants from indoors to outdoors can also cause stress. We recommend that you first erect a shelter so the transition is not too great.
Stress factor 3. Nutrient deficiency
If the plant’s leaves become discoloured, that usually indicates a lack of nutrients. Plant food contains trace elements that encourage growth and support specific functions. If the plant does not get enough of these elements, or conversely, an excess, it can be harmful. You can read more about this in our blog entitled ‘What are trace elements?’. If you have taken measures, but the discolouring continues, there could also be a problem with the pH value or acidity. You can influence the pH value with products from our range, such as pH- and pH+.
Stress factor 4. The air is too dry
The air is drier in winter. The leaves can dry out and become covered in dust. The plant therefore absorbs insufficient light. Remove the dust regularly, for example, with the aid of a damp cloth.
Stress factor 5. The humidity is too high
If the humidity is too high, the plant cannot dispose of its water vapour. This is not good, because the roots then lack the capacity to absorb any more nutrients. We recommend that you get a good extractor, ventilator, or dehumidifier.
Stress factor 6. Repotting
Repotting is a dramatic event for a plant. It finds itself in a new environment, needs to acclimatise to the new soil, and loses roots. That can cause the leaves to turn yellow or to drop off. If you ensure the potting soil contains the right nutrients, there is little that can go wrong. The plant will usually acclimatise to the new situation completely after a while and continue growing.
Stress factor 7: Pests and diseases
A plant can also encounter pests and disease. For example, harmful fungi, root rot, or an infestation of insects. In the event of an insect infestation, we recommend keeping the plant away from other plants and contacting us. Read the blog entitled ‘How can I tell whether my plant is healthy’ for more information.
At BAC, we have various products in our range for keeping your plants healthy, including: Silica Power. This plant booster activates soil life and strengthens plant cells. That way, your plant builds up resistance against pests and diseases.
Would you like to speak to an expert about the environment in which your plants are growing? Ask your question here.