Why Are My House Plants Not Growing

All plants require light. Some people enjoy mild indirect light, whereas most others prefer bright, direct light. If your houseplant has stopped growing, you may need to relocate it away from a window that is too bright, or you can use a sheer curtain to block off some of the light. On the other hand, if the lighting in your home is dim, you might need to utilize grow lights or fluorescent tubes to make up for the lack of natural light. You should occasionally wipe the leaves since dust impairs visibility and airflow.

Water: A typical cause of a houseplant’s failure to flourish is either insufficient or excessive watering. Avoid developing the habit of watering on a schedule since different plants require different amounts of irrigation. When the soil is fairly dry, the majority like to be watered deeply rather than seldom. Never let the plant stand in water; instead, empty the drainage saucer after a short while.

Fertilizer: Too little fertilizer is usually preferable to too much when it comes to feeding plants. Over the spring and summer, most plants benefit from light, frequent feedings; however, while the plant is dormant during the winter, very little or no fertilizer should be used. Houseplants that receive too much fertilizer may become stunted, wilt, and develop yellow leaves.

If your houseplant isn’t growing, see if it’s rootbound before repotting. Too many roots could prevent the soil from holding enough water and nutrients, which would cause the plant to starve. Search for roots that are poking through the drainage opening or developing on the soil’s surface. A pot that holds too much soil will retain water, which can cause root rot, therefore the replacement container should only be marginally bigger. Make sure the bottom of the new pot has a drainage hole.

Pests and disease: When an indoor plant isn’t growing, pests are always a possibility, and some are tricky to notice. As an illustration, spider mites are a small nuisance that are hard to spot yet leave clear webbing on the plant. Keep an eye out for diseases like powdery mildew or sooty mold, which are frequently associated with too much moisture. Viruses can also be the cause of stunted houseplants.

How can I speed up the growth of my houseplant?

Seven Indoor Gardening Tricks to Grow Healthy Houseplants

  • less water. In the winter, indoor plants require less water.
  • Retain the fertilizer.
  • Keep plants clean and allow light to enter.
  • Boost the humidity.
  • Get ready for spring
  • Remove aging growth.
  • Cleanse the dirt.

Why aren’t my plants growing?

Because you put the plants in the incorrect area and climate, they did not flourish. Poor soil conditions and transplant shock may also be at blame. Additionally, improper fertilizer, lighting, and watering can prevent your plants from flourishing. The growth of your plants may also be stunted as a result of pests and diseases.

Grow Light

In general, plants grow slowly if they don’t receive enough light. Your plants require more light if their growth is slow and their seedlings are long and lanky. If so, either boost the light’s intensity, move it closer, or get a larger grow lamp.

Additionally, it’s possible to overlight plants. When plants are kept too close to powerful grow lights, it might stress them out and slow down their growth.

When the grow light is too close, too much light stresses plants and causes strange symptoms that can slow them down.

Extreme Environment

A warm, sunny day is pleasant for cannabis plants. Not too humid nor too dry. actually similar to humans. Although some strains are more tolerant to harsh conditions, plants thrive in conditions with a decent amount of humidity and warm but not scorching air. Warmer than 70°F (21°C) at night and around 79°F (26°C) during the day is considered a suitable temperature range. A humidity level of about 50% is ideal.

  • Growth could be slowed to a halt at cold daylight temperatures below 60F (15C), and freezing temperatures can be fatal.
  • Additionally, heat exceeding 85°F (30°C) can hinder plant growth or even cause them to die if it is too hot for too long.
  • Dry air below 35% RH can inhibit growth, and below 25% RH you might even start noticing unusual symptoms like evidence of deficiency on the leaves.
  • Plants can get droopy and develop more slowly when the humidity is above 70% because it is more difficult for the plant to transport water efficiently through the plant.

Older plants typically are more tolerant of temperature and humidity, while seedlings have the most difficulty adjusting to a poor environment.

This sapling is having trouble surviving in the hot, dry climate. Maintain a daytime temperature of about 79F (26C) and a little lower at night for the quickest growth. Around 50% humidity is considered ideal.

Plants can also be stunted or have their growth slowed down by cold temperatures. This plant had a cold night that dropped below 50F/10C, and the next morning it was wilted. The plant needed many days to recover and resume regular growth. Even worse, as a result of plants drinking less as a result of the cold, they are more susceptible to overwatering problems as the temperature drops.

Although fans aid in balancing the temperature of your grow space, an excessively strong breeze can hinder seedling growth. While stems shouldn’t be swaying in the breeze, leaves should be softly rustling. If it occurs, adjust the fan’s speed or change its direction. Find out more about circulation and fans.

Unhappy Roots

Chances are, unless you’re growing in a hydroponic system, your plant roots are concealed from view. However, the environment aboveground and the roots have an equal impact on plant growth. A plant sags and stops developing when the roots are weak or unhappy. A plant can grow up to an inch each day if its roots are receiving what they require.

Overwatering is the most frequent reason for unhappy roots, especially in seedlings and young plants. Overwatering is often caused by either watering too frequently or giving plants too much water at once.

But isn’t water beneficial to plants? The issue is that roots require oxygen as well, which they usually obtain from air pockets in the soil. The roots begin to “drown from lack of oxygen” if the soil becomes soggy from excessive amounts of water without any pockets of air. The signs of drooping and poor growth are brought on by a shortage of oxygen.

In hydroponic cultivation, bubbles deliver oxygen to the roots. Because of this, hydroponic plants do not droop despite having roots that are submerged in water.

When a plant is small and in a large pot, overwatering is more likely to occur because the roots aren’t yet getting enough water. Fortunately, this may be avoided by using the right seedling watering techniques. However, even if you’re watering your plants correctly, a poor draining growing medium (such a pot without drainage holes or thick muddy soil) could still cause root issues and sluggish growth since the roots aren’t getting enough oxygen.

Droopiness and yellowing are caused by a thick growing media, a little plant in a large container, and persistent overwatering.


Despite being about a month old, this seedling has remained small as a result of excessive and frequent watering.

Although less frequent, underwatering could be more detrimental for seedlings. Seedlings that are underwatered develop slowly, remain tiny, and frequently have dark colour.


Lack of water causes plants to grow slowly and possibly turn dark green.

Growth slows down and plants remain small if they are kept in a pot that is too small and lacks space for their roots to spread out. A plant that has been in the same pot for a time and begins to exhibit droopiness and deficits may be root bound (the roots have wrapped around the edges of the container). Although it produces symptoms comparable to over- or underwatering, it is challenging or impossible to treat using watering techniques.

To alleviate the symptoms with a plant that is significantly rootbound, you might need to transplant it into a larger pot. Just keep in mind to minimize root disturbance during transplantation (try to retain roots in a solid bunch and place the rootball immediately into a hole in the new medium) to prevent unintended root stress from excessive movement.


If you transplant this seedling to a larger pot so that the roots can stretch out, it will grow bigger and quicker.

Nutrient Deficiencies

Seedlings that are planted in soil won’t need nutrients immediately away because the earth already contains those things. However, because minerals take on a different chemical form at high or low pH ranges, plants can’t efficiently absorb the nutrients if the pH at the roots is too high or low (6-7 pH is good for soil).

When plants are seedlings, whether they are grown in coco or hydroponically, they need nutrients in the water. The only nutrients plants receive are those you give them because natural resources like simple water and coco do not contain large amounts of nutrients. In other words, if you don’t give the plants any nutrition, they will grow very slowly and finally turn yellow. Coco and hydroponic farmers must additionally modify the pH of their water to guarantee that nutrients are adequately absorbed. The ideal pH range for coco or hydro is 5.5-6.5.

There’s a good probability that your plant isn’t growing as quickly as it should if you see nutrient deficits. Due to an iron deficit brought on by high pH at the roots (and overwatering, which isn’t helping), this seedling is growing slowly.

Bugs or Other Pests

Plant pests like wide mites, spider mites, thrips, or even a large number of fungus gnats, unfortunately, can hinder growth as the plant expends energy mending the damage. Sometimes gardeners mistake the signs for another issue, such as a nutrient deficit. Don’t disregard any spots, patches, or other oddities you see on your leaves!

Why aren’t my plants growing quickly?

The most fundamental elements that contribute to a plant’s ability to grow larger and quicker are water, air, light, soil nutrients, and the right temperature when combined with love and care.

How can I get bushier indoor plants?

To maintain their health and beauty, indoor plants occasionally require maintenance. Regular upkeep not only ensures that your plants look their best, but it also aids in the prevention of pests and diseases.

Pinching House Plants

Pinching a plant involves removing the tip of a stem with your thumb and forefinger.

A fast-growing vine can be kept compact by pinching off the growth tips, or a plant’s bushy shape can be preserved. The plant will branch out and grow bushier and fuller if a young stem tip is removed.

Never squeeze below a node, which is the site of growth where a leaf is attached. Here, cuts typically result in branching below the cut.

The soft-stemmed plants that have a tendency to become tall and lanky, such as the coleus (shown at right), heartleaf philodendron, English ivy, and pothos, respond nicely to pinching.

Use sharp pruners to cut a vine off if it is difficult to do so with your fingernail to prevent injuring the stem.

What may I feed my plant to encourage growth?

You may make a fertilizer by mixing baking soda, household ammonia, and epsom salts. This fertilizer promotes plant development and helps plants keep healthy foliage.

How may stunted plant growth be corrected?

  • Young seedlings or transplants may become stunted due to drought, strong winds, waterlogged soil, subpar transplants, significant temperature changes, and cloggy or compacted soils with a high clay content. It will be easier to assure healthy growth and strong yields throughout the season by creating the ideal conditions for robust growth at this early stage. Observe these cultural advices:
  • Plant in an organically rich, well-drained soil.
  • Make use of premium seed and transplants. Examine transplants before buying. Avoid planting any plants near the bottom of the container that have brown roots.
  • After seedlings sprout or after transplantation, keep the soil equally moist and fertilize with a balanced soluble fertilizer.
  • Row cover material, a cold frame, or a cloche can shield plants from the wind and the cold (e.g. an empty 1-gallon plastic milk jug with the bottom removed).
  • Avoid disturbing plant roots by tilling, cultivating, or walking on the ground.

Poor growing conditions prevent plants from producing enough leaves or yields. Additionally, if plant growth is considerably inhibited at any stage of its life cycle, from seedling through fruit maturation, low yields and poor eating quality might be anticipated.

Low or high temperature

Temperatures that are too low or too high for photosynthesis—60 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit or 15 to 40 degrees Celsius—can impede plant growth.

Low temperatures hinder growth because it is possible for photosynthesis to stop, which leads to a hormonal imbalance that forces nutrients into the roots, twigs, stems, and buds. In the winter, non-hardy plants can suffer cell and structural damage if temperatures fall below 40 °F (5 °C).

But many plants, including peaches and aloe vera, often hibernate in cold weather and are misconstrued as having restricted development. They recuperate and continue to grow after leaving the resting phase.

On the other hand, extremely high temperatures make produce of low yield quality, such as lettuce or cucumbers, bitter.

According to one study, both annual and perennial plants may have reduced acid content and fruit size when exposed to temperatures exceeding 91 °F (33 °C).

Solution: Place potted plants in a location that falls within their ideal temperature range. If the soil temperature is too low for plants growing on the ground, try to increase it using various techniques like mulching, a cold frame, and a low tunnel. Create some shade over the plants if it is too hot.

Nutrient deficiency

Plant growth is frequently hampered by a lack of important macronutrients like nitrogen (N), potassium (K), phosphorus (P), calcium (Ca), sulfur (S), and magnesium (Mg).

Nutrient deficiencies have essentially the same effects on all types of plants. The symptoms of a nutrient shortfall can affect a plant’s old and new growth, depending on whether the lack is in mobile or immobile nutrients.

Chlorosis, or the yellowing of leaves, is a common sign of nutrient insufficiency and occurs when the production of chlorophyll, an essential component of photosynthesis, is lost or disrupted. It can appear as a mosaic pattern on the edges of both young and old leaves, as well as in between the veins with visible green veins.

It can also manifest as “necrosis,” or cellular death, which causes plant tissues to typically turn dry, brown, or black near the leaf margins. A leaf drop or bud blast may eventually result from the issue if it spreads.

Weak stalks and scorched leaf tips can arise from a potassium deficiency. Your plants may be deficient in phosphorus, which encourages photosynthesis, if the underside or upper sides of the leaves are turning purple.

Since calcium aids in plant cell development, a calcium deficiency results in “dieback or burnt tips on new leaves.” The falling of flowers is a warning indication, but the leaf tips will eventually burn and the fruits will appear smaller than usual.

Magnesium deficiency causes plants to produce less chlorophyll, which stunts their growth. When there is a lack of magnesium, the leaves become pale while the veins are still green.

When vital micronutrients are insufficient, there will also be indications of stunted growth. Zinc, boron, manganese, iron, copper, chloride, and molybdenum are examples of frequent micronutrients.

Solution: Feed your plants small amounts of NPK fertilizer on a regular basis, particularly Cal-Mag in the late winter or early spring for new growths.

Too much light

Different plant species can tolerate light differently, which is important for photosynthesis, the process through which plants make carbohydrates.

Because they can only thrive in low light environments and will show signs of stunted development in high light environments, plants like Phalaenopsis orchids, Dracaena, Peace Lilies, and the zz plant are excellent indoor plants.

Their leaves being pale or discolored is a typical sign of high light intensity.

However, low light levels only cause etiolated or extended stems, not the growth of plants.

The sunburned skin can be left alone and not removed. Move the potted plant to a cooler spot or give shade for the garden’s grounds to recuperate.

Pest or fungal infection

The growth of plants can also be hindered by pests and infections because they frequently assault the leaves and obstruct photosynthesis.

Bacterial or fungal infections (such as downy mildew, fusarium wilt, and clubroot) frequently cause the leaves to decay and turn yellow while also altering the rate of cellular growth.

The majority of insects and pests also favor the leaves, stems, and buds of young plants while feeding. That would have an impact on their photosynthetic process and the subsequent production of food required for healthy growth.

Because viruses and pests can swiftly infect nearby plants and spread when they are identified, plants that have been stunted by them frequently cannot recover.

Solution: In order to prevent the infection from spreading to other locations, the diseased region needs to be removed right away using sterile cutters. To destroy fungi, bacteria, or diseases, use a fungicide like Physan 20 or a solution of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide. Dust some cinnamon powder, a natural fungicide, over the diseased area to keep it dry. To stop the spread of any infections, remove it from other plants.

Soil pH

The majority of plant nutrients are easily absorbed in low pH or acidic environments. Maganese (Mn) and Iron (Fe), two minerals essential for photosynthesis and the creation of chlorophyll, are particularly well absorbed by roots at low soil pH levels.

While most plants don’t need a lot of these nutrients, acid-loving plants do, and because of this, they are more sensitive to the pH of the soil.

Additionally, too-acidic soil is not ideal for plant growth because it suppresses beneficial microbes that convert organic matter into forms that plants may quickly absorb.

Excess or lack of water

Lack of water or dehydration causes leaves and other fragile plant components to shrink and wilt, while too much water in the growing medium can result in root rot and yellowing of the leaves.

The plant’s cell walls break when pressure inside the plant builds up after too much water is absorbed by the roots. The result is a yellowing of the leaves.

Additionally, humidity fosters the growth of mold and other pests like gnats, making the plant susceptible to illnesses.

Because of this, it’s essential to pick a growing medium that can hold as much water as the plant requires.

Succulents, cactus, and orchids, for instance, don’t like to grow in soil that is too wet. They consequently thrive in a substrate with good drainage and little water retention. Examples include using chunky materials like gravel, perlite, coarse sand, lava rock, and bark chips in place of extremely water-retentive potting soil or compost.

However, prolonged dehydration can drastically reduce the rate at which stunted plants recover. Once the dehydrated cells in the leaves and stems have collapsed, stunned plants start to completely droop.

Change the growing medium to one with improved drainage as a solution. Change your watering practices to one that is less frequent or that waters from the bottom rather than the top.

Pesticide residue

The synthetic substances used to make pesticides have the potential to harm beneficial microorganisms, which are essential for maintaining soil fertility and the healthy growth of plants.

Stunted growth would be a negative effect a grower could have to deal with if the toxin levels are high.

Solution: Avoiding growing in pesticide-treated soil is the only method to get rid of the issue of pesticide residue. Know the security of the soil or compost you buy from a third party.

Transplant shock

Transplant shock can undoubtedly slow down plant growth because it occurs when there is a significant shift in the growing environment. This specifically occurs to young seedlings with fragile roots that are frequently harmed during the transplant. When roots sustain little injury, they often bounce back within a week or two of being in the new environment.

Solution: Use sturdy seed starting trays with a large drainage hole on the bottom so you can pop out the seedlings without damaging their root balls to germinate your seeds.