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Summer has arrived (we won’t count those few cooler days thrown in) and with that you may have noticed some issues with your plants. While not all plant issues signify trouble, there are some signs you can watch for in your plants to prevent bigger problems. Here are 3 signs that can signify plant stress in Southwest Michigan, and what may be the culprit.

 

Wilting

Plant Wilting - Plant Stress - Kalamazoo Grand RapidsWilting is the most common sign of plant stress in Southwest Michigan. It is typically also the first and most obvious symptom you can see. Lack of water is the biggest (but not the only) cause of your plants wilting leaves, and also simple to check. Check the soil around your plants and notice if it is too dry, you may see this upon a quick visual inspection. If your soil is too dry, give your plants a thorough watering, making sure the soil gets a good soaking.  If you have irrigation, check that the heads are covering the proper areas, as well as making sure none of the heads are broken.

A second cause for wilting leaves in Southwest Michigan is too much water, or over watering. When you see your plant wilting you immediately water it, but too much water can worsen the problem and could even lead to the death of the plant. Take the same steps as you would for dry soil, while looking for soaked/standing water and also checking the irrigation for problems. My plants always look sad mid day when it is hottest or in extreme heat, but look great in the morning and evening, which is pretty normal. A good watering always helps in those cases.

 

Discoloration

Plant Stress - Burned Leaves - Kalamazoo Grand RapidsDiscoloration is another symptom of plant stress in Southwest Michigan, and typically caused by a deficiency. The two most common deficiencies in plants are nitrogen and iron. A plant showing a nitrogen deficiency will typically have the lower leaves lighter than the upper leaves in color. When leaves turn yellow, this can indicate an iron deficiency. If you suspect a nutrient deficiency, your best bet is to take some leaves to a nursery and see if they can help identify the problem. Since we are on the subject of discoloration, have you noticed any of the leaves on your plants turning brown and becoming ‘crunchy’? This can be caused by a plant being in the wrong location and receiving too much sun, or being over fertilized, resulting in leaf scorch or leaf burn.

 

Shape

Plant Pest - Plant Stress - Kalamazoo Grand RapidsNotice any holes in your leaves lately? Or have you noticed leaves that are curling on themselves or even look shiny or wet? Well…your plant is likely the host to a pest, not fun for the plant or you! I noticed this on a few leaves of a strawberry plant, I rolled open the leaf…spiders…which are better than earwigs (which are what the core of all nightmares are made of ). To get rid of your pests, find an appropriate chemical or pesticide, organic of course, especially on fruit or vegetables. And if you’re not into chemicals or pesticides…I hear vinegar does about anything you ask of it.

 

 

Be sure to check out some recent projects and also find answers to common questions you might have. If you still need help with your stressed out plants, or are in search of a landscape makeover contact us today to get results you will love!