Plants are very similar to people. When we are in situations we don't like, and our surroundings or support structures are weak, then we can begin to feel strained and can become sick as a result. The same goes for plants.
Plant stress, as it is known, is when plants are grown in conditions that are demanding. This in turn affects the plant's metabolism, reproduction abilities, the development of roots and ultimately its growth. Let's look at some of the key causes of plant stress.
Abiotic stresses, as they are known, come from the environment of the plant. These include things like water stress, where a plant has either too much water which causes its cells to become swollen, or too little water where the plant becomes weak. It can also include temperature stresses, such as when a plant is too hot which means the plant membranes are more permeable, and cold weather which prohibits the uptake of water and any nutrients. Other contributing factors can include windy conditions, toxins in the soil and the amount of light.
Biotic stresses damage plants through living organisms. These organisms can be found in soil and can cause disease in the plant which leads to growth failure. Not all organisms or bacteria are bad, and just like in humans some can even be beneficial. However, pathogens, weeds, insects and certain bacteria can add stress to your bulbs and plants.
In order to boost the health of your plants, stresses need to be restricted. You can do this by maintaining healthy soil foundations in your garden. To do this you should try and avoid disturbing soil where possible, compost, keep living plants in the soil and aim for a varied array of plants.
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