THE BASICS

 

This is a natural process which shows itself as slight differences in flower and fruit size and shape.  It may lead to the misunderstanding that the plant may have a disorder or that something is wrong. And sometimes something is wrong !

Many times it is simply a combination of growth factors and the availability of nutrients.  In fruit many times its all about which ones on the tree are getting more of the sugar!  But genetic variation, temperature extremes, wind, age, competition for space and resources, and the amount of sunlight available all affect size and shape.

 

NATURAL GENETIC VARIATION

 

Genetic variation in leaves on one plant is quite common.

 

Natural genetic variation in ears of same corn variety!

 

Naturally occurring size variations in Mango !

AGE OF PLANT

 

The age of the plant itself affects its leaf shape – see here from older (left) to younger (right) in Oak.

 

POSITION ON THE TREE (LIGHT CAPTURE VARIATIONS)

 

Inner shaded leaves (wider) vs outer leaves in sunnier locations

 

SOIL NUTRIENTS AND PH

 

Color variations in hydrangea – from difference is soil acidity (pH) and uptake of nutrients

 

Differences in size caused by nutrition deficiencies – not enough food for all !

Guess which apple got to eat more sugar!

 

TEMPERATURE

 

Pansies grow better in cold temperatures !

Here they are all stretched out in the summer heat !

 

POLLINATION

 

This is what happens when we don’t have enough bees to pollinate flowers!

 

Did you know – tropical Hibiscus flowers left outside get smaller and smaller  as the temperature drops below 55*F in the Fall

 

BUT…

Osteospermum produce less and smaller flowers as the temperature rises above 85*F in Summer!

 

 

 

For a garden full of flowers (with or without variation)  

Call Plant Specialists TODAY !

We have a Team that can do that for you ! !

Don’t delay – the sooner the better !

 

 

GREENING NEW YORK FOR OVER 51 YEARS !

 

 

 

 

Article written by our Staff Horticulturist, Peter B Morris, BSc, MSc, MBA

All photographs used with permission @SHUTTERSTOCK