Why do Plant Stems Split? (Causes and Solutions)

The primary purpose of stems, which can be either soft or woody in character, is to sustain the plant. When the inner cells exert too much pressure on the outer layer of the stem, it splits.

Split plant stem

As the plant takes a lot of water and nutrients during times of rapid growth and fertility, plant stems may split. Splits can also happen when a plant receives an excessive amount of water through its xylem during dry periods, which causes the tubular structure to enlarge and break through the bark.

The power necessary for the inner tubular structure of the stem to break through and cause cracks can also be produced by a fast drop in temperature or rise in moisture combined with strong winds and top-heaviness.

A superb strategy to produce robust, healthy plants is to comprehend why plant stems split, what to do in the event that it does, and how to prevent them from happening.We will go into additional detail regarding all the reasons why plant stems split as well as the finest remedies.

What Causes Plant Stems to Split or Crack?

Rapid growth throughout the growing season, which lasts from the beginning of spring to the end of fall, is the most frequent cause of stem splitting.

Stem splitting during this time is unlikely because most plants become dormant and do not grow throughout the winter.

During the growing season, it is important to pay close attention to how plants are developing because a fast rate of development in combination with other environmental factors may compromise the health of the plants.

Your stems will split because of six natural factors.

  1. windy circumstances
  2. minimal temperatures
  3. rapid growth of plants
  4. Low light levels
  5. high water absorption following an extended dry spell
  6. Leading Heavy Plants

When the weather shifts and spring arrives, the aforementioned circumstances could result in harm.

The growth season is this time of year.

Split stems can allow pests and rot to enter your plants, destroying them from the inside.

For this reason, it’s important to understand what causes split stems and how to stop them from becoming a significant issue.

While there are many ways to avoid each of them, applying some simple plant-growing principles will go a long way toward ensuring that your plants never experience broken stems.

I have found that giving my tomato proper support helps to prevent splitting. Simple and inexpensive ties are used to accomplish this. By clicking here, you can access them.

1. Windy Conditions

Some plant stalks could be fragile and easily bend in strong winds.

The robust protective layer that shelters the inner layers that hold the xylem and phloem together can be stressed by the wind’s energy.

When the wind blows hard enough, the plant’s stem will start to split vertically along the bark.

This allows fungi and germs to grow inside, exposing the other layer. The plant stem will also deteriorate and start to lean.

2. Low Temperatures

Despite the fact that most plants have a significant water content inside, they can nonetheless become slightly frozen as the outside temperature lowers.

The plant becomes brittle due to the temperature differential between the inside and outside of the plant or simply from the outside freezing.

splitting the moment the plant is moved or rubbed by the wind.

3. Rapid Plant Growth

Not every part of a plant expands at once during periods of rapid development; many plants grow more quickly indoors than on the drier exterior.

You can observe this happening after a period of drought. As it grows, it can severely injure the plant’s outer shell and may easily cause the stems to split.

This is mostly due to swelling of the xylem and phloem, which transport fluids to various areas of the plant, to the point where it penetrates the stem’s protective coat and splits or cracks the stem.

4. Low Light Conditions

Lack of light will cause a plant to grow lanky and droopy.

This is a result of the plant’s innate tendency to move toward the source of the brightest light in order to carry out photosynthesis and make nourishment.

Because the plant will lean toward the light and put strain on the stems as a result, this legginess can cause plant stems to split.

The steam will split at its weakest point due to the strain from the leaning plant.

If the plant is not adequately supported and transferred to an appropriate light source, it can eventually topple over.

5. High Water Absorption after Prolonged Drought 

When a plant goes without water for a while, it enters survival mode.

To save moisture, the plant adjusts features like its roots penetrating the soil’s surface and closing its stomata.

When the plant is finally watered, the amount of water it absorbs causes the pressure the xylem and phloem apply to outweigh the pressure the outer bark uses to hold the plant together.

The stem cracks as a result, exposing the inner layers and offering some comfort to the plant.

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6. Top Heavy Plants

Plants that are top-heavy will put stress on the steams that sustain the plant.

During the fruit-bearing season, a plant may become top-heavy as a result of the weight of the fruit on the top half of the plant, which causes the steam to strain and eventually break under pressure.

When this occurs, the plant needs to be supported to avoid the stem from splitting because doing so could impair the flow of nutrients to the fruit and stop it from growing further.

You will observe that the plant’s support will lessen as the stem separates from all of the aforementioned spots, and the plant will begin to tilt to one side.

This is a telltale symptom of a split stem, and further research and corrective action will be needed to save the plant from toppling over completely.

Plants that are Commonly Susceptible to Stem Splits

  • Tomatoes
  • Melons
  • Cherries
  • Grapes
  • plants that produce hot peppers
  • Squash
  • a soy bean
  • Cucumbers

How to Prevent Plant Stems from Splitting?

The easiest technique to keep a plant stem from splitting is to provide it with a suitable support system and make sure that it receives regular watering even during the harshest droughts.

Maintaining a regular schedule is crucial if you have an indoor plant, and to prevent legginess, you must make sure the plants get enough sun each day.

Split stems can happen to even the best-kept plants, and most plant owners will encounter them at least once in their lifetimes.

Rapid growth is a common issue for plants, which might be brought on by an annual wet season, more sun than usual, or even soil changes as a result of other plants being removed.

Always keep an eye on your plant’s surroundings to make sure that everything it is going through doesn’t end up doing additional long-term harm.

You might not be able to prevent the heavens from opening and a storm from occurring, but you can make sure that the tree is not in survivor mode when it does.

How to Strengthen the Stem?

There are various techniques to strengthen the stem of your plant, each including some kind of rope, depending on the sort of plant you have.

While plants that spread outward or grow closer to the ground will require rope, ropes, or wire tied around them, upward-growing plants can be strengthened by tightly connecting them to the support structure.

Additionally, some meshes are employed around frail stems. These are often organic systems that support stems as they develop into strong enough supports.

This explains why some plants and bushes may have what appear to be brown sacks knotted around their stems.

All of the assistance we can provide plant stems, though, serves merely to make them stronger by relieving the stress that would otherwise hinder their growth.

Since the very first people began cultivating plants and needed their trees, bushes, or grapes to endure longer than just until the first powerful winds destroyed them, this approach has gained popularity.

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How to Support the Plant?

You can put a long piece of wood or pipe next to the stem and secure it with a rope or wire, or you can create a latticework of support to hold the stem in place.

A latticework support system typically resembles a fence that has been placed next to the plant, with various elements of the plant linked to support weight and encourage growth.

These structural supports aid in regulating plant growth and alleviate much of the stress that would otherwise be placed on the stem.

The pressure that the stem would typically experience is greatly reduced by the presence of a support structure, allowing the plant to focus all of its energy on expansion rather than maintenance.

It’s crucial to remember that different plants have distinct stems. For example, cucumbers have long, flexible stems, but grapes have stems that are rather strong and firm.

To ensure everything runs smoothly, these various stem variants necessitate a wide variety of support structures, all of which must be created precisely as needed.

How to Fix or Heal a Plant with a Split Stem?

Finding something to tie the stem up with is the simplest thing to do when the stem of your plant has split. There is no need to rush or panic.

Make sure not to apply too much pressure while using rope, tape, zip ties, or wire to close the stem. As a result, the stem will eventually close and grow new skin.

However, a split stem in a plant with a soft stem or a hard stem will no longer be as powerful as it once was.

However, most of the time the stem will merely carry on functioning normally. With some plants, it can be allowed to continue unsupported and the stem will grow over the tape or rope used to seal it.

This is why, rather than using the patch for the duration of the plant’s use, you might never be able to remove the one you applied to repair a broken stem.

Another typical strategy with vined plants is to burrow the broken stems into the ground, which also encourages the growth of strong roots that support the plant’s further development.

Will a Split Stem Cause the Plant to Die?

No, a broken stem won’t kill a plant; but, after being restored properly, it may make the plant appear a little droopy for a few days.

The portion of the plant beyond a split stem that is left untreated will eventually rot off and die.

The most hazardous aspect of a split stem is that it can encourage the growth of pests and mold inside the plant, killing it from the inside out.

Because the split was allowed to remain open and finally resulted in bugs eating the plant, many plants that may have been salvaged eventually die.

Pro Tip – 

If you have a vine-growing plant and you are sure that the break or crack in the stem is not the result of germs or pests, you can bury it in the ground.

This encourages root formation and may even aid the plant’s further growth and development.

Conclusion

Split stems are not the worst thing that can happen to your plant, and if you understand the causes, it is simple to prevent them.

If you have all the necessary equipment on hand, fixing a split stem is simple and only takes a few minutes to complete. It is crucial to close a split stem without pressing too hard until juices leak out in order to properly mend it.

Never, under any circumstances, just leave a split stem alone and expect the plant to heal itself!

FAQ

Can a plant survive a split stem?

Does a Split Stem Lead to Plant Death? No, a broken stem won’t kill a plant; but, after being restored properly, it may make the plant appear a little droopy for a few days. The portion of the plant beyond a split stem that is left untreated will eventually rot off and die.

What happens if a plant’s stem is cut?

New roots and stems are produced through root and stem cuttings, respectively. Some plants can be propagated via leaf fragments, often known as leaf cuttings, which develop both stems and roots. Cuttings are another name for the scions used in grafting.

How do you fix a split plant stem?

Place the stake or splint down the edge, holding the shattered edges together. Use a stretchy binding, such as nylons, plant tape, or even electrical tape, to tightly wrap. In order for the stem to grow, the binding must have some give. If the stem is dangling, brace it to prevent further stress on it as it heals.

How do you fix a split stem?

Place the stake or splint down the edge, holding the shattered edges together. Use a stretchy binding, such nylons, plant tape, or even electrical tape, to tightly wrap. In order for the stem to grow, the binding must have some give. If the stem is dangling, brace it to prevent further stress on it as it heals.

How long does it take for a broken plant stem to heal?

How Long Does a Slashed Stem Take to Heal? You must take good care of the split stem after you have repaired it. Your branch or stem may take three to five weeks to fully recover.

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