In the fairytale Jack and the Beanstalk, we see the manifestation of an age-old desire: for plants to grow faster. Unlike rabbits that bound around and frogs that hop from one lily to another, plants are among the slower organisms to live with us on Earth. Everything they do is in slow motion, making tortoises look like Olympic sprinters in comparison.
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As a gardener, you’d like to see the fruits of your labor faster, but plants don’t want to play ball. It can take months for a simple flower to come up from a bulb, and if you want a mighty oak, you can forget it: you’ll be dead by the time it reaches maturity!
The good news, however, is that there are plenty of things that you can do to make plants grow faster from Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry) to Parochetus (blue oxalis). Take a look at some of these tips to supercharge their growth.
Tip #1: Keep Your Plants Warm
The reason that humans are warm-blooded is that it helps us maintain an optimal internal temperature for all the reactions that make life possible. It’s why we’re able to run a 100-meter sprint at any time of day or night, regardless of the surrounding temperature.
Plants, on the other hand, don’t have the capacity to regulate their temperature. But that doesn’t mean that they perform equally well in varying heat. As any experienced gardener knows, they don’t. Plants, like people, have a preferred temperature at which chemical reactions can occur with less resistance. For most species, this is about 70 degrees, a little above room temperature.
Tip #2: Provide Your Plants With Nutrients
The reason spinach is high in vitamins and minerals isn’t that it’s trying to be healthy: it’s because it needs those nutrients to form its tissues as it grows. The same is true of all plants: they need nutrients to construct their tissues. If they don’t get them, they fail to thrive.
You can supplement your plant with all kinds of different nutrients, but the most crucial is nitrogen.
Tip #3: Research Soil Moisture Levels
Some plants are adapted to arid environments, others temperate. It’s worthwhile, therefore, spending a bit of time finding out what soil moisture levels your plants prefer.
In some places, natural rainfall may be sufficient. If you live in the southwestern US, then you’ll be able to grow cacti without any additional water. However, growing petunias with desert levels of rainfall isn’t possible. Creating optimal moisture conditions can significantly speed the process at which a plant grows, signally to it that times are abundant and that it’s free to dedicate resources into getting bigger.
Tip #4: Use Soil Of The Correct Texture
Soil comes in many types. Some soils are rough and stony. Others are dense and clay-like. Check that the plants you want to grow are suited to the soil in your region. If they aren’t, then you may want to add extra soil or mulch from your local garden center to provide adequate conditions.