How to Recognize and Prevent Plant Stress
Plants are a lot like humans. They need stability in order to function at their optimal levels. This includes consistent states of health and limited stress inducers. Yes, plants get stressed too. If growing conditions are even altered slightly, plants can be sent into shock, become toxic, or will just slowly wither away.
In order to prevent plants from even getting to this point, it’s important to establish a proper growing environment right from the beginning. This is proactive way to ensure the best possible plant growth. It’s especially important for growing food-producing plants, because your garden should be considered an investment.
However, mistakes happen in gardening. It is after all, a science. As an urban gardener, you should be able to recognize the signs of plant stress and take immediate actions to rectify the problems. By restoring your hydroponic garden back to a stable environment, you can de-stress your plants.
What is Plant Stress?
Plant stress is the state in which plants adapt into based on several different environmental variables. Essentially, this “survival mode” for plants means they are likely no longer performing their main functions, like blooming and producing food. They’re simply spending their remaining energy trying to survive. In order to prevent plant stress from happening, you must be able to know when your plants are actually in stress.
Signs of Plant Stress
- Bleached spots
- Dark patches
- Wilting leaves
- Ragged leaves
- No blooming
- Dried edges on leaves
How to Prevent Plant Stress
The best way to prevent plant stress is to keep a stable growing environment. This should include:
- Not withholding water – maintain water levels at a constant, including temperature and pH levels
- Avoid breaking stems and remove dead leaves regularly
- Not keeping plants under too low or high light intensity
- Maintaining constant appropriate nutrient levels
- Maintaining ambient conditions – proper ventilation, air temperatures, humidity levels.
- Preventing pests and mold and dealing with them immediately as they arise. Stressed plants invite in further pests and disease.
- Ensuring proper Co2 levels are available for plants to perform photosynthesis
By adding organic bio-stimulants to your hydroponic nutrient solution, you’ll help your plants in multiple ways. You’ll help plant roots better uptake the nutrient solution and increase the plant’s resistance to pests and disease. Both of these improvements will better equip your plants to deal with stress when it does occur. These improved conditions also lead to greater yields.