It is easy to fix the leggy polka dot plant. All you need to do is first understand what is legginess and what are the causes of it. Then follow the fixing techniques mentioned in this post.
After reading this article you will be able to solve the legginess issue in few minutes.
What is legginess in plants?
When a growing plant in normal conditions produces longer stems than usual this condition is called leggy growth.
Some plants naturally become leggy as they age like the polka dot plant. But they do not look beautiful in leggy looks. If your plant is aged then you cannot do anything in this. But if it is young and leggy then follow the below problem-solving techniques.
What causes legginess in polka dot plants?
There are many reasons but the most common reasons are discussed below. Read carefully and identify the cause of your leggy polka dot plant.
Low light in the grow room is the main cause of leggy growth. When a plant does not get enough light for photosynthesis. It stops producing leaves and spends entire energy to grow stems. To reach the nearest light source.
In the leggy polka dot plant, you will see fewer leaves and long stems. Because the plant tries to reach the light source to full fill its light needs.
Overuse of fertilizers
If you give extra fertilizers to your plant, it will surely grow as leggy. Because the polka dot plant does not need fertilizers to produce its leaves. But when you give an extra dose of the nitrogen-rich supplement. It speeds up the cell division in stems and leaves.
This doubles the natural growth rate of plants. This results in a leggy appearance.
It is best to add organic material to the soil to full fill its nutritional needs. You can also use pre-fertilized potting soil. Both methods will reduce your total cost of fertilization and prevent legginess.
When you use a large plant pot, your polka dot plant starts growing fast. Because it wants to fill the extra space of the pots with its roots. Whenever a plant starts growing fast it will naturally produce fewer leaves and long stems.
To prevent this problem and to keep your plant dense use the right size plant pots. Always choose 2 inches bigger and deeper pot than the root ball.
How to prevent Legginess in Polka dot plants?
If your polka dot plant is leggy no need to be worried. Because it is not a dangerous situation for it. There are many ways by which you can prevent this condition and reduce legginess.
First of all, you need to find the cause of the problem. Then follow the below-written solutions.
If your polka dot is leggy then you need to follow the trimming technique to fix it. By pruning or trimming you are encouraging dense or bushy growth. This is the old technique that is used for years to make plants bushy.
For pruning, spring to summer is the best time. Because at this time pruned plants grow bushy. Do not do pruning in the winter season. This will only harm the leggy polka dot plants.
Take sharp shears and cut the overly grown stems.
Steps to prune polka dot plant
Choose the items that you want to trim
Use shears to cut above the cluster of leaves
Make a clean cut in one short
To prevent legginess in long term you need to also adjust light conditions after trimming it. If there is low light in the room then move your plant to a bright place. Your problem will get solved in few days.
The light must be bright but not direct light. Protect it from direct sun rays because they are harsh for its health.
If your other plants are getting light from the sunny window. Then place it there with them but 2 feet away from a sunny window. Remember you need to protect it from direct falling sun rays.
Once you move it to the bright place you may see slower growth for few days. Which is totally normal and no need to do anything in it. Your plant will automatically start growing normally after few days.
Polka dot plants need freely draining soil. They do not like to live in compacted soil that holds too much water. This type of soil also puts extra pressure on its soft roots.
This results in root damaging and your plant stops growing dense.
Use well-draining soil that also contains some organic material to support your plant health. The organic material in soil supplies a good amount of nutrients and increases soil fertility.
This reduces the chances of leggy polka dot plants.
Size of Container
In order to keep the plant short in height practice pruning regularly. Also, use small size pots. For small to medium plants, 5 to 7 inches wide plant pots are best.
Also, make sure the pot you are using must have a draining hole. Otherwise, the extra water stays in the pot and increases the soil weight. Also, the chances of root rot and legginess.
For the good health of your plant, it is best to use terracotta plant pots. They are made from porous material and are good for small size plants.
If your polka dot plant is leggy due to a lack of nutrients. Then give general-purpose liquid fertilizers. First, dilute as per the instructions and then pour to the base of the plant.
Fertilize your polka dot plant once in 30 days in its active growing season.
Stop fertilizing it on winter days because it is the dormancy period.
This small nutrient boost will double the production of leaves per stem.
The best temperature range for polka dot plant is 60 to 80 degrees F. If you observe your plant is growing fast than normal and have leggy growth. Then move it to the cool place and it will slow down its growth.
The minimum humidity level must be 50%.
Keep in mind that your polka dot plant needs a balanced temperature and humidity to grow healthy. Therefore, keep an eye on both growing conditions.
I hope now it is clear why your polka dot plant is leggy and what you can do to solve the problem. In most cases, the low light is the main cause of leggy polka dot plants.
Aged plants naturally become leggy and you cannot do anything in it. For more info on plants visit us again.