Plant Stressors

January 27, 2021 2 min read

Plant Stressors

Stress in plants refers to external conditions that affect growth, development or productivity of that plant in a negative way. Stressors cause triggers which can alter a plant’s gene expression.

What is gene expression?

Gene expression refers to all of the normal control processes inside plant cells which direct and govern plant characteristics such as growth, yield, seed production and ability to tolerate stress.

Therefore stress is not ideal for those keen gardeners amongst us that enjoy growing a lot of our own produce.

What causes plant stress?

Things that can stress plants are mainly categorised into two groups; abiotic stressors and biotic stressors.

Anything living is known as biotic stress.

Anything else is known as abiotic stress, or non-living stress.

We’ve broken down these categories for you:

Biotic stress

  • Imposed by external living organisms
  • Includes:
    • Viruses
    • Bacteria
    • Fungi
    • Nematodes
    • Insects
    • Arachnids
    • Weeds
Insect on a plant

Biotic stress - insects on plants

Abiotic stress

  • Imposed by the environment
  • Includes:
    • Salinity
    • Sunlight
    • Temperature
    • Floods
    • Drought
    • Presence of toxic minerals in soil (eg. from chemical fertilisers)
    • Wounding (perhaps from over pruning or mowing the lawn)
Frosty Garden

Abiotic stress - frosty plant conditions

Plants can recover from stress if it is mild or short term.

For abiotic stress recovery, the first line of defence is in the roots of the plant. The chances of survival are higher if the root system is robust, and the surrounding soil is healthy and biologically diverse.

Greenman products promote strong root development, for better anchoring, access to nutrients and adequate water, and therefore aid recovery from harsh weather conditions and other abiotic stressors present in your garden.

Take a look at our products here


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