GardenWise, DC Landscape Design Firm, on Plant Stress

Plant Stress Symptoms and Solutions

Here at GardenWise we read a lot about  landscape architecture, going green, garden recycling, garden design, and  the latest news and updates on new plants and flowers.  We also write a lot – but we found this wonderful article  about stress and your plants by Suzanne DeJohn of National Gardening Association  that we want to share with you today. 

“Sometimes when plants look sick or appear to be under attack by insects, the symptoms are actually a sign that the plant is being stressed by environmental factors,” DeJohn writes in her first paragraph, which made us sit up and want to read more.  Below are some common symptoms of stress and the conditions that cause them from DeJohn’s story, which can be read in its entirety at

Wilting can indicate insect or disease problems, but is most commonly due to a lack of soil moisture. Don’t assume plants have enough water if the soil surface is moist. . . “

Off-color foliage can be caused by a nutrient deficiency. If the color is paler than normal, it may indicate a nitrogen deficiency. If the leaf veins are green but the area between them is yellow, suspect an iron deficiency . . .”

Bleached areas on the foliage of new transplants or plants that have been moved from indoors to outdoors, can indicate sunburn. Discoloration will be most pronounced on the leaves most exposed to the sun . . .”

Black areas on leaves can indicate frost damage. The most exposed leaves will show more damage if the plants have been nipped by a light frost. Foliage that has been damaged by a late-spring frost will not recover, but the plants will usually outgrow the damage . . .”