In fact, everyone who owns plants wants them to grow very quickly and get big. Very rapid growth in length, also known as slack growth or stinging, is more harmful to your plants. Because one speaks of so-called lack of light shoots, which arise because the plants are not supplied with enough light.
Why do plants grow horny?
Strictly speaking, it is the difference between heat and light that often confuses plants in winter. Plants associate heat with light. So the warmer it is, the more light they expect to get. If the temperature is lower in winter, the plants usually initiate a dormant phase in which they need less light due to less activity. Due to the heaters, it is still warm inside in winter, so the plants do not initiate a resting phase and continuously need a lot of light, which is not sufficient in winter.
If there is now a lack of light, the plants think that they are being shaded by other plants. In response, they grow rapidly to gain height and shift their leaf mass closer to the light. The fast-growing shoots are thin and unstable. As a result, they bend over very easily and die off.
If the plants actually get more light due to the rapid height growth, they then invest energy to stabilize the shoots by storing them. So if the length growth is successful, the horny growth is not necessarily bad. However, if the plants do not find more light at higher altitudes, the long shoots are useless.
This phenomenon can very often be detected in young seedlings, which are pre-grown in the apartment in spring. Due to the heat, they grow tall, but unfortunately there is rarely much sunlight indoors. In addition, there should always be enough soil in the growing pots so that the seedlings are not shaded by the pot and shoots with a lack of light are inevitable.
Another disadvantage is that roots are no longer actively developed because the plants invest most of their energy in developing shoots. The leaves, flowers and fruits that form on these light-deficient shoots are often smaller. A chlorophyll deficiency can also occur, causing the leaves to appear yellowish or even brownish.
What can you do if there is a lack of light?
If your plants become tangled, it is important to support the long, thin shoots with a trellis and protect them from the wind to prevent them from snapping. Furthermore, it is necessary to relocate the plants to a very bright place when they wilt, so that growth towards the sunlight is no longer necessary and the plants can stabilize the long shoots.
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