Look for Signs That Something Is Wrong in Your Garden.

Most experienced gardeners are fluent in the language of plants, able to read signs and signals that their plants are thriving or in distress. But those without years of experience may not be aware of some of the more subtle ways their garden is trying to tell them that something is wrong. Here are some of these signs and their meanings, courtesy of Audrey Stallsmith’s article on BobVila.com .

Signs that something is wrong in your garden

Of course, if the plant dries up and dies, you probably know something is wrong, but the plants actually provide more information, including what exactly is wrong. You just need to know where to look and what the changes mean. Here are some examples from Stallsmith’s article :

  • Yellowing of leaves with green veins: a condition called iron deficiency chlorosis, which means the soil is too alkaline.
  • Darker foliage with a bronze tint or purple spots : The soil is too acidic.
  • Low-growing leaves with a matte appearance instead of a glossy sheen : the soil is too dry.
  • Withered and yellow leaves with rotting brown roots instead of healthy whites : the soil is too wet.
  • Shriveled drooping leaves, discolored foliage and flowers, and occasional burns in the center of the leaves : too much sunlight.
  • Fusiform stems that sometimes lose their natural variegation or refuse to bloom : insufficient sunlight.
  • Grows large, but with few or no flowers : plants are overfed.
  • The lower (old) leaves turn yellow prematurely : the plants do not receive enough feed and nitrogen.
  • Yellowed or reddened distorted foliage and brown spots on flowers after spraying : Herbicide damage.
  • Holes or “windows” in the leaves : Insects eat the plants.
  • Plants completely eaten, plants without chunks or plants with large chunks removed : Plants are eaten by vertebrates such as deer, marmots and rabbits.
  • Dark sunken spots or powdery films on the leaves : The plant contains fungi.


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