Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Help a Plant Grow

By Brandii Lacey ; Updated September 21, 2017
Attending to your plant's needs helps it thrive.

Taking care of plants requires more than just soil, water and sunlight. Proper care of plants helps them grow and mature. Learning about your plant's specific needs is essential in helping it grow.

When a plant stops growing, it's time to investigate the reason. Sometimes, moving a plant to a new location in your house or yard is enough to help it grow. Other times, it requires a more detailed look at the problem and possible solution.


The correct amount of sunlight is essential in helping plants grow.

Determine if the plant is getting the proper amount of sunlight needed to grow. Check the plant's identification marker for exact specifications. Some plants thrive in full sun, while others prefer shade.

Garden centers offer many types of soil for plants.

Use a well-balanced garden soil when planting the plant. The soil should contain a fertilizer mixture of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Nitrogen keeps leaves and stems healthy, phosphorus helps plant roots and potassium aids in plant flowering. All three of these ingredients are essential to a plant's growth.

When planting in a flower pot, confirm the pot has a drainage hole.

Water the plant on a regular basis or as directed by the plant identification marker. Some plants grow better when the soil is allowed to dry out completely between waterings. Other plants need watering every other day.

Plant leaves often show the first sign of disease.

Look for any signs of plant disease, including yellow or brown leaves. Some plant diseases occur because of overwatering or lack of sunlight, while others may require a plant spray to treat the specific disease.

Frost can severely damage plant growth.

Cover plants that are frost-sensitive during times of frost. Sheets and newspapers work well as plant covers.



  • Some county extension offices offer soil testing. Soil testing reveals what ingredients your soil needs for your plants to thrive.
  • Native plants (plants that grow naturally in a specific region) often have an easier time growing in a garden.
  • Visit the USDA Plant database for plant specific information.


  • Overfertilizing plants may delay or stop plant growth and blooms.

About the Author


Brandii Lacey began writing in 1997 at "The Mountain Times" in Boone, N.C. Her articles appear on Trails.com, GardenGuides and eHow Home & Garden. She provides travel and lifestyle content for LIVESTRONG.COM. Lacey is the senior plays editor and on the nonfiction editorial team for "Mused Literary Review" magazine. She holds a Bachelor of Science in communications from Appalachian State University.