Plants are living things and as such are subject to cycles; however these life cycles are a bit different when compared to other types of living things. One of the most radical differences is in the lifespan. If you are wondering how to keep your plants longer, then read on because we will give you the keys to do just that.
how long do plants live?
The lifespan of plants depends on 2 factors: their longevity potential, which is determined by their genetics; and the effect of the environment in which they develop. The first aspect we cannot control, there are plants with a certain lifespan and they die after completing their cycle, while the second aspect is the one that depends on us.
- Longevity potential
Plants are classified into 3 types: annuals, biennials and perennials. Annual plants, as the name suggests, have a lifespan of one year, biennials live a little more or less 2 years while perennials can live for decades or even centuries. Within this perspective, perennials could theoretically continue to grow and develop without limit, or almost, but we will discuss that later.
- Environmental factors
These are the aspects we can control. Soil, temperature, humidity and proper care for each type of plant will allow you to keep a plant alive for as long as it will live or much longer.
Care is what allows bonsai, for example, to live for hundreds of years, and it is in this area that you should put your energies.
How to keep your plants for longer
- Selective pruning
If your plant is not pruned selectively on a regular basis, it may grow so much that it cannot support its own weight and the water absorbed by the roots is not enough to feed the whole plant. Pruning allows it to be shaped, prevents it from becoming too lanky and will allow the foliage to grow lush and leafy. There are plants such as basil, which, depending on the environmental climate, can grow as a perennial or annual. If you want to keep it growing, remember to remove the flowering stem. This interrupts the cycle and allows it to continue to develop.
- Take care of the lighting
While some plants are better adapted to poor light conditions, all plants need light to be able to photosynthesise and manage their own food. If there is no light, no matter how much you water and fertilise it, it will never thrive or grow properly.
- Adequate watering and humidity
From water, plants receive the minerals and nutrients they need to synthesise their own food, but the needs of each species are different. It is essential to know the origin of your plant's species and try to model the watering to what it might receive in its natural habitat, and always keep an eye on humidity levels.
It is important that your plant's roots have adequate space to spread out and continue to grow, they are responsible for circulating water throughout the plant and their health will determine how long the plant lives. But don't overdo it, an excessively large pot can accumulate too much moisture and suffocate the plant. Prefer pots that are a few centimetres wider and transplant only when necessary.
Dedicated to creating an army of cacti, succulents, poodles and cats to help me conquer the world. In the little free time I have left, I play, write and dance.