Symptoms of Sick Plants: Warning Signs All New Growers Need to Look Out For

Gardening is a fun hobby that can yield beautiful flowers, delicious food, and personal satisfaction. Anyone can enjoy the delights of gardening, whether they are younger, older, city-dwellers, or country-folk.

Most everyone decides to try their hand at gardening at some point in life, but not everyone continues. Similar to the challenges associated with other hobbies, some become apprehensive when progress isn’t made or unforeseen issues arise. Eventually, the garden (windowsill hangar, raised bed, row garden, wall hangar, etc.) is left untended, and almost-gardeners move on.

Gardening challenges may seem daunting, especially when it comes to its well-being. Fortunately, these issues can be prevented with the right know-how. The most important rule for growing a healthy garden is to maintain close supervision. Plants are alive and equipped with physical warning signs that signal when something is wrong. If these pre-emptive symptoms are identified at early stages, then the garden may be saved.

After choosing the right gardening apparatus and sowing their plants, greenhorn gardeners need to stay vigilant for common illness signs. There are a variety of diseases, molds, fungi, rots, and environmental factors that can negatively affect gardens, but most treatments are universal. Instead of memorizing every illness that can befall a garden, new gardeners simply need to recognize the warning signs.

Warning Signs of Sick Plants in the Grow Room

Most plant issues are identified by a combination of symptoms; however, plants are unique and may not demonstrate every symptom before it’s too late. That’s why new gardeners should simply watch for any symptoms and respond before waiting to categorize the specific disease. Fortunately, it doesn’t take a magnifying glass to recognize issues appearing in your garden.

Discoloration and Wilting

Major symptoms that can be resolved through additional attention include discoloration and wilting. Discoloration occurs when a plant hasn’t turned brown, black, gray, or white yet, but is becoming yellow or pale. It’s a symptom caused by changes in the environment, such as increased temperature. It can also be caused by overwatering, but both can be solved easily. When discoloration becomes present, reassure the soil isn’t pooling water and the garden isn’t receiving more than six to eight hours of direct sunlight.

New gardeners can identify wilting when the plant isn’t thriving or standing upright. Yes, leaves do droop naturally due to weight, but wilting is present when the plant looks “sad.” If the stem isn’t strong, and the whole plant is sagging, then it is wilting. Wilting is a symptom of multiple plant diseases, but can be treated by assessing its environment.

Look at the soil moisture, which should be moist up to two inches down, and for weeds in the garden. Wilting can be caused by a nutrition imbalance as well, so re-evaluate the amount of fertilizer in the soil. Fertilizer is fickle and is best used as directed on the packaging. If you’re unsure about your soil’s quality, home and garden stores often have simple test kits you can use to determine pH and nutrient needs.

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