Basic Plant Requirements
Anyone interested in gardening has one question in mind when choosing a new plant
Will it thrive in my garden?2.
Many factors come into play to determine whether or not a plant will perform well for you. Each kind of plant has its own needs and requirements. Some plants, like thedandelion, are tolerant of a wide variety of conditions, while others, such as the pink ladyslipper orchid, have very exacting requirements. Before you spend the time,effort, and money attempting to grow a new plant in your garden, it is best to do someresearch to learn something about the conditions that the plant needs to grow properly.3.
Here is a brief description of some of the environmental parameters that influence plant growth
aylength is usually the most critical factor in regulating vegetative growth, flower initiation and development, and the induction of dormancy. Plants utilize daylength asa cue to promote their growth in spring and prepare them for the cold weather. Many plants require specific daylength conditions to initiate flowers.
Light is the energy source for plants. Cloudy, rainy days or the shade cast by nearby plants and structures can significantly reduce the amount of light available. Shadeadapted plants cannot tolerate the bright light of full sun. Plants survive only wherethe amount is within a range they can tolerate.
Plants grow best within an optimum range of temperatures; and the range may be widefor some species, narrow for others. Plants survive only where temperatures allowthem to carry on life-sustaining chemical reactions.
Plants differ in their ability to survive cold temperatures. Some tropical plants areinjured by temperatures below 60°F. Arctic species can tolerate temperatures well below zero. The ability of a plant to withstand cold is a function of the degree of dormancy present in the plant, its water status, and general health. Exposure to windand bright sunlight or rapidly changing temperatures can also compromise a plant'scold tolerance.
Heat tolerance varies widely from species to species. Many plants that naturally growin arid tropical regions are naturally very heat tolerant, while subarctic plants andalpine plants show very little tolerance for heat. High night temperatures are often themost limiting factor for many plants.
ifferent plants have different water needs. Some tolerate drought during the summer but need winter rains. Others need a consistent supply of moisture to grow well.Careful attention to the need for supplemental water can help you select plants thatneed a minimum of irrigation to perform well in your garden. If you have poorly