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Your Plants Are Talking… Are You Listening?

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Many times people purchase plants with the best of intentions.

They’ll spend time at the local nursery or garden center, thinking they picked the right plant.

All to often, they “think” only about looks and not about having the right amount of light.

While working on our Ficus eBook …. How to Care for Your Ficus. I began looking at this very question and how our plants “communicate” to us if we are willing to “listen”.

I’m not talking about some kind of “weird” communication with plant vibrations… just the way plants respond to their conditions.
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How can you tell if your plant is not receiving enough light?

No Blooms

This is a question I get all the time. I have a peace lily, brown tips and not flowering… What’s wrong? Usually it’s a matter of more light for a longer period of time. That’s where fluorescent grow lights can come in handy.

Plants generally need more light to flower than just grow. If your plant has nice deep dark green lush foliage and an occasional flower or no flowers your plant probably isn’t getting enough light.

Small Leaves

Does your plant have leaves quite a bit smaller than when you first brought the plant home?

If it’s a flowering plant it may be that the flowers have taken so much energy, the new leaves will come out smaller… But it may be light.

Plants are different than people. Plants can manufacture their own food… But they need light to perform this function.

Rotten Roots

Plants in lower light just don’t need as much water as plants in high light. They can’t absorb and use the water so the roots stay too wet and rot off and possibly the stems too.

One of the best ways to grow plants is to just concentrate on growing roots. A good strong root system makes for a healthy plant.

Leaf Loss

Just about anyone that has ever owned a Ficus has experienced a ficus dropping leaves. Rapid leaf loss usually occurs with the older leaves. Be patient the plant may just be acclimating.

Plants need a certain amount of light to support all they have going on.

If they don’t get the light they need they’ll drop leaves and reduce the amount of foliage they can support for the conditions they are in.

Weak, Long, Stretched Leaves

If your plant has weak leaves, long and stretched… the plant is screaming for more light.

It’s stretching and reaching for any available light it can get. If possible move the plant closer to the light source.

Growing Towards the Light

When plants are growing in the nursery they’re getting light from all directions. But when they move indoors the light source usually is from only one direction.

It’s natural for the plant to grow towards the light. If the plants are severely bending then it may just not have enough light.

Try rotating the plant on a regular basis a quarter of a turn every week. If not, you may end up with a flat or one-sided plant.

Plants are great communicators we just need to listen.