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Slow growing  [ Botany - Horticulture]

Dictionary of botanic terminology - index of names

  A plant species or cultivar marked by reduced growth rate which will take many years to attain mature growth.  
Most plant species grows quite fast and large in the wild, have high rates of nutrient uptake and growth response to fertilization. On the other end of the spectrum are slow-growing plants adapted to infertile environments with a relatively reduced growth rate and dwarf, compact habit. In the natural habitats fast-growing plants (with more tender tissues) should be more palatable to herbivores than slow-growing plants which have usually thickened tissues.
Such plants are considered to be inherently slow growing as the fast and slow-growing characteristic depend on genotype. As a whole, slow-growing plants tend to be longer lived.

The slow-growing species and cultivars can easily be grown in pots as they stay reasonably sized. This plants require almost no maintenance compared with other plants. No hard pruning is required to maintain their compact size, since typical growth rates for these plant are only a few cm per year (and even less than a cm per year for some of them).
Slow-growing plants may require repotting every two to three years (while faster growing plants should be repotted annually) and not need a large amount of fertilizer. In fact slow-growing plants are more susceptible to infestation by root mealybugs because they require lengthy bench time to attain mature size. As a rule slow growing plant should not be planted too close to faster growing plants.

Most of these plant are quite drought-tolerant and many cacti and succulents are slow growing plants that they nearly care for themselves.








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