The top ways to make plants grow more leaves are to add organic matter to the soil, add mulch, water regularly, trim shrubs using sharp secateurs, remove old flower heads and add worm juice to the soil. Nitrogen rich soils will promote good leaf growth so add pelleted chicken manure each Spring.
14 Ways to make plants grow more leaves
- Add organic matter to the soil
- Add mulch around your plants
- Water your plants regularly
- Trim hedges and shrubs regularly
- Use sharp secateurs to trim plants
- Remove old flower heads
- Pick single leaves of lettuce and kale
- Add worm juice to the soil
- Add liquid seaweed
- Add worm castings to your soil
- Plant in a sunny area
- Trim any diseased or damaged leaves
- Use good potting soil for potted plants
- Use organic liquid fertilizer like fish emulsion
To make plants grow more leaves tip prune the branches regularly. To make vegetables and herbs grow more leaves removing single leaves, water well and add organic fertilizer to grow more and bigger leaves.
Trimming shrubs and hedges will encourage more leaves to grow and make your hedge look dense and attractive. Using sharp secateurs will make a clean cut on the branch and encourage more leaves to grow from the cut stem.
For flowering plants, remove dead flowers as soon as you can by trimming them off. This will encourage the plant to grow more leaves and flowers in their place.
Use good soil conditioners like worm juice and liquid seaweed to make the soil attractive to soil microbes and worms. This will help your plant grow stronger roots, stems and grow more leaves. Using worm castings will also add more organic matter to the soil to feed the microbes and worms.
Planting in a sunny area for sun loving plants like fruit trees, blueberries and raspberries. Camelias will grow lots of leaves and flowers in a sunny, well drained spot in your garden.
Use good quality potting soil for potted plants and keep them well watered. Good potting soil will contain all of the nutrients the plant needs and encourage it to grow lots of leaves.
How to make plants grow more leaves – 3 Keys
All plants will grow more leaves if they are growing in the best soil and conditions possible. Adding organic matter to the soil, using natural mulch and regular water are the 3 keys to growing more leaves.
1. Add Organic Matter
Building the soil with organic matter before you plant fruit trees, herbs, vegetables and shrubs will give them the best start and encourage more leaf growth. Adding compost, aged cow manure and pelleted chicken manure to the soil and digging it through adds a range of nutrients including nitrogen which plants need to grow leaves.
How To: Before planting any new plant mix through a bucket full of compost, a shovel full of aged cow manure and pelleted chicken manure.
2. Add natural mulch
Mulching around your plants will help to grow more leaves as the mulch will keep moisture in the soil for longer and help to increase microbe growth and attract worms. The microbes will break down the organic matter and worms will come to eat the microbes and mulch.
As the mulch is broken down the nutrients are released into the soil for the plant to absorb. The extra moisture in the soil also will help the plant to grow more leaves quicker.
3. Regular water
Giving a growing plant regular water will help with more and quicker leaf growth. Watering your plant regularly when you first plant it out is important as a new plant will be used to lots of water. Plants grown in garden centers are usually watered daily. This means they will need lots of water at the start to settle in and adjust.
Adding mulch to the plants is a great way to keep the water in for longer but remember to check the soil 1 inch down to see if it has dried out. Vegetables like leafy greens need to be kept moist to grow lots of leaves. Water regularly and mulch with straw.
How to make a hedge grow more leaves
Trimming a plant will encourage it to grow more leaves. The more regularly you trim back hedge plants like buxus, murraya and lilly pilly the more leaves they will grow. Trimming hedges a small amount regularly encourages the plant to sprout new leaves and stems from the cut branch.
When plants grow the most leaves
Plants will grow most leaves during the spring growing season and again in fall. Spring is a great time for plants to grow as the weather warms after winter. Fruit trees, hedges and annual flowers are all ready to jump out of the ground in spring.
Preparing the soil before spring will give your plants all of the nutrients they need to grow lots of leaves and stems
How to make vegetables to grow more leaves
Vegetables like loose leaf lettuce, kale, spinach and peas will all grow new leaves when they are picked individually. To get loose leaf lettuce varieties to continue to sprout and grow new leaves, tear off the outside leaves and the plant will continue to grow more leaves.
Check out this video below to find out how to grow lettuce with lots of leaves.
Spinach and kale will keep growing if you pick outside leaves. New leaves will grow from the center of the plant for you to cook and eat.
For peas, you can pick new shoots by pinching the ends off. The plant will send out side shoots which you can keep picking. Snow peas can grow tall so to keep them small and enjoy the sprouts, pull of the tips and you can eat them in salads or stir fry.
How to make herbs to grow more leaves
Herbs will grow more leaves if they are picked regularly. Basil, chives, parsley and coriander will all re-sprout after you pick them. Use kitchen scissors to trim sections of the herbs for your kitchen. I like to only remove up to 1/3 of the herb plant at a time so that there are lots of leaves left to photosynthesize.
How to grow more leaves – FAQ
If a leaf is damaged or has turned brown it will not re-grow. Trim off any damaged leaves with sharp secateurs and the plant will put energy into growing new leaves. If a leaf is damaged by pests then trim them off and put them in your green bin.
Deciduous plants won’t die without leaves and will lose all of their leaves over winter. The plant takes back any nutrients it needs before the leaves change color to yellow, orange or red. The plant will stop growing over winter and will come back to life with new leaves in spring.
Plants that do not lose their leaves over winter will generally not survive without leaves. Leaves use sunlight to make food for the plant and without them the plant won’t live for long.
The leaves of a dying plant will turn brown and drop off. The biggest cause is letting plants dry out too much so if you see leaves turning brown, check the soil add water and seaweed tonic and you might save the plant.
Brown or dead leaves will not come back to life. Trim them off your plant with sharp secateurs and the plant will grow new leaves on new branches.
Leaves drawing carbon dioxide from the air turn it into a carbohydrate using sunlight. The green color in leaves is from the chlorophyll needed to make this happen. This carbohydrate is stored in the plant and is used to make new leaves, branches and stems. The process of photosynthesis is how plants absorb carbon dioxide from the air and turn it into a carbohydrate for energy.
How to make plants grow more leaves – Summary
More leaf growth on plants comes from a combination of nitrogen, water, sunlight and and regular trimming. Great soil will grow great plants with lots of leaves and a healthy root system.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.