Tricks to accelerate plant growth

Caring for plants is a rewarding hobby that will allow you to learn to respect nature's timing, acquire patience and enjoy taking care of a living being; although let's be honest: there are times when we would like to see the results of our care immediately. The problem is that each plant has its own rhythm, needs and cycles that must be understood; in fact, if someone promises you that there is a fertiliser or trick to accelerate the growth of plants exponentially, they are cheating you. However, there are certain tips that can help you optimise the growth rate of your seedlings. Let's say that they will not grow faster, but slower.

My plant is not growing, what should I do?

Many times people think that their plant is not growing, when the truth is that it is growing even slower than normal because it is not in the right conditions, which stimulate and guarantee its development. For a plant to stretch, grow and thrive it needs to live in a perfect atmosphere that recreates as closely as possible the atmospheric conditions of its place of origin. This does not mean that you should create an Amazon jungle in the middle of your living room (although if you want to do so, you are free, we do not judge you and we support you) but that you should provide the necessary conditions for it to feel the desire to grow: humidity, watering, sun exposure, among others.

For this reason, many tips and tricks to accelerate growth seem obvious, but they seek to ensure that you are giving your plants everything they need. If you live in a continental area, with well-defined seasons and a rather cool or cold climate, it is very likely that houseplants, which usually originate from tropical countries, will not be eager to grow or will enter a sort of hibernation period. But don't be discouraged, as some of these tricks are aimed at making those plants from warm climates start to feel at ease and stretch their branches.

Tricks to speed up growth

- Use black plastic pots

It may seem like a simple tip, but plastic pots are ideal for increasing the temperature of the substrate that houses roots or seeds. Plastic has a tendency to store heat for much longer. The black colour also absorbs heat better, so it will help to maintain a good temperature.

- Use compost and fertiliser

Many of us think that we don't need to fertilise plants because we use a good quality substrate or similar, but the truth is that soil gradually loses its nutrients and minerals, even more so in pots that are watered and renewed infrequently. That is why it is necessary to use fertilisers and fertilisers. I know it is tempting and easy to use only natural fertilisers, such as worm hummus, which also balances the bacterial load of the substrate, but you should not be afraid of fertilisers. A good fertiliser can strengthen your plant and provide it with all the nutrients it needs. In fact, there are those who recommend this or that brand because "it's a miracle" and there is no such miracle, only that at last the little plant will get everything it needs to grow big and strong.

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Calathea makoyana
A colourful plant
Calathea Medallion
Regulates humidity

- Express germination

If you have some seeds that you want to see grow right away, use a very simple and eco-friendly trick. Keep one of those transparent plastic containers, which you close by squeezing the ends and which take a little while to open. Use a pointed object (a thick wooden stick, a nail or similar) to poke holes in the lid to allow air to flow through. Fill the bottom with universal substrate and plant your seeds. Spray them with a sprinkler of water and close the lid. Leave it in a sunny spot. The container acts like a greenhouse and will make the seedlings sprout much faster by providing them with a warm, moist environment.

- Prefer liquid fertilisers

Liquid fertilisers are faster acting, easily absorbed and excellent for those "emergency" cases. On the downside, they require more frequent applications and you must be very careful with amounts, frequencies and concentrations, because if you exceed the recommended dosage you can cause burns and kill your plant.

- Look for fast-growing plants

Some species take years to grow and flower, while others become huge before you know it. If you are impatient, prefer those species that develop at your own pace. Flowers like marigold, cosmos and Vinca. want plants you can use in the kitchen? Go for chives, radishes, lettuces, mint, lavender, rosemary and basil. For ornamental plants, potos, butterfly plant, tradescantia, ivy and bamboo.

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Resistant and for beginners
Calathea orbifolia
An exotic Calathea

- Transplant as needed

I bought a beautiful Calathea Triostar, tiny, with 5cm leaves. After a few weeks I transplanted it into the garden, straight into the ground. Now the leaves of my Triostar are about 30 cm long and no, I am not exaggerating. The size of the pot will determine how much room your plant has to expand its roots and develop further. If the plant has grown, its roots are balled up in its pot and protrude from the top and bottom, there will be no way for it to continue its development, it won't even have enough substrate to feed on. Change your plant's pot regularly, renew the substrate and give it space to be who it wants to be.

- Basic care

A happy plant is a plant that grows radiantly. Take care of the basics: watering, light, humidity and fertiliser. If you have these details under control, you are a good part of the way to ensuring that your little plant stretches its roots and branches until it reaches for the sky. Don't forget to aerate the soil from time to time with a small stick (the disposable wooden ones you use for sushi are great), taking care with the roots and cleaning the leaves if they get dusty.

About the author
Ame Rodríguez

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.

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