Is Your Garden Stressed? There Could Be A Number of Reasons Why


There are lots of reasons why your plants could be looking stressed. Some of these issues can be remedied by simply changing your watering habits, but others might require you to change what you’re using in the garden and how much. Let’s explore some common causes for why your plants may be looking less than stellar!

Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

Your plant is stressed. You know it, I know it, your neighbor knows it. The question is: why? Here are some potential reasons for your plants being under stress:

  • Temperature – Did you leave your garden outside during a cold snap or bring them inside when the temperatures were too hot? Many plants need to be acclimated slowly before being put into direct sunlight or moved from one environment to another. This can cause leaves and stems to burn up very quickly in the sun if they aren’t used to that much heat!
  • Light – Did you move the pot closer or further away from a window? Plants need full sun or at least medium light levels in order to thrive; any less will result in weak growth and poor health overall.


  • Over-watering can cause root rot.
  • Over-watering can also cause fungus.
  • Over-watering may result in damage to roots and leaves.


One of the most common reasons for stress in a garden is under-watering. This can cause root rot, which leads to the death of your plants. Under-watering can be caused by a number of things, such as a leaky hose or forgetting to water during a drought period. If you suspect that your plant is showing signs of being under-watered, it’s important to act quickly and correct the problem before too much damage has been done.


Pests are a major cause of stress for your plants, and for that reason, it is important to identify the pests in your garden and remove them as soon as possible. If you are using organic pest control, it is still possible that some pests may still be there. Sometimes, pests can even sneak through if you aren’t using any pest control at all!

Insects like caterpillars or beetles infest plant leaves, laying eggs on them so their young will hatch later. This causes wilting and death of leaves because the nutrients flow away from the damaged area of the leaf. Fungi like mildews grow on leaves that have become damp with too much moisture or cool temperatures; these will also cause dying off of leaves until they fall off completely.


The most important thing to understand about diseases is that they are caused by either bacteria, viruses or fungi. These organisms are all around us, but healthy plants usually have the natural defenses necessary to fend off these pathogens. However, if the conditions in your garden are not optimal for all of its inhabitants (i.e., soil quality, irrigation practices), it can lead to a weakened immune system — and that means more disease! Here’s how different types of plant stressors can impact plant health:

  • Poor soil conditions – Poorly draining soils will put excessive pressure on roots and hold too much water; this leads to root rot or other issues like nutrient leaching (the nutrients drain away with excess water) which can further weaken your plants’ immune systems against disease attacks.
  • Poor air circulation – If there’s no good cross-ventilation through open windows or doors in your home during hot weather periods like summertime heat waves without cold fronts coming through regularly then those indoor temperatures will get too high for some houseplants while others may be able to tolerate them better depending on their native habitats outside our homes here at higher latitudes where wintertime temperatures drop below freezing more often than not every year during fall months when trees drop leaves from their branches as well as when snowfall covers ground surfaces across Canada’s prairies during winter seasons.”


Insecticides are used to kill insects. Insecticides can be harmful to the environment, humans and pets. The most common type of insecticide is an insect repellent that can be sprayed on plants to keep bugs away from them. Many people will spray their gardens with these chemicals so they do not have any problems with pests eating their crops or destroying them completely. However, this can cause harm to bees, butterflies and other insects that may come into contact with the plant’s leaves while they are trying to pollinate them during their lifecycle stages.


Herbicides are used to kill weeds. They are often used in gardens to keep the plants healthy and free of weeds. Herbicides can be harmful to people, animals, and plants if they come in contact with them.

When herbicides are sprayed on a plant, they kill it by affecting its ability to photosynthesize (make energy).

Air Pollution

Air pollution can be a major stress to plants. This may cause leaves to appear brown, curled and wilted. The leaf tips may also appear scorched, or even yellow.

Soil Compaction & Imbalance

Soil compaction is a common stress that can cause plants to show signs of distress. It can be caused by heavy equipment, or people walking on the soil. Heavy rains can also cause soil compaction if there isn’t a good drainage system in place for your garden.

Soil compaction isn’t just about the quality of the soil—it’s also about how much space there is between each grain of dirt. Imagine taking a big handful of sand and packing it tight together—you wouldn’t have as much room inside your hand anymore because all those grains are piled up against each other! That’s what happens when you compacted soil: You take away space from where your plant roots live and they might not be able to grow as well, leading them to die off or look unhealthy.

Lack of Nutrients in the Soil (Fertilizer)

If you’re concerned that your plants are experiencing nutrient stress, the first step is to determine whether or not this is actually the case. Fertilizers can be purchased at any garden supply store and come in a variety of forms: liquid or powder, specifically targeted for certain plants and/or specific soil types. The next time you’re shopping at Home Depot or Lowe’s (which we all do regularly), take some time to look at their selection of fertilizers and see what they offer.

A stressed plant can look many different ways. Make sure you know why your plants are being stressed, so you can help them be happy.

  • “Stressed plants can look many different ways. Some look wilted, some have yellow leaves, and some have brown/black spots on their leaves. The most important thing to know about stressed plants is that they are more likely to get sick or die.”
  • “If your plant looks like it’s in good health but you want to make sure it’s happy, there are a few ways you can tell if it needs help.”
  • “Does your plant have enough water? Check the soil around it; if there is no moisture at all, then water the plant.”
  • “Is there plenty of sun? If not, move your plant into direct sunlight for as long as possible.”


Plant stress can be a cause for concern, but it doesn’t have to be! By knowing what causes your plants to suffer and how to avoid those things, you can keep your garden thriving.

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