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Why Are My Plant Stems Splitting – 6 Reasons This Happens

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Sometimes plant stems split on their own, and sometimes gardeners do it on purpose to benefit the plant and contribute positively towards its health. The primary function of the stem is to give a lot of support to the plant.

So Why Are My Plant Stems Splitting? The answer to that lies in this article. Stems sometimes split because the outer layer of the plant starts breaking because of the excessive force which is applied by the inner cells of the plants.

Let’s shed some more light on this matter.

Why Are My Plant Stems Splitting
My Pothos stems are splitting and turning brown! – via Reddit

Why Are My Plant Stems Splitting?

Rapid growth throughout the growing season, which runs from early spring to late fall, is the most common cause of stem splitting. Because most plants are dormant and do not grow in the winter, stem splitting is unlikely during this time.

During the growing season, pay close attention to plant growth because high growth rates, combined with other environmental factors, might have an impact on plant safety.

Split stems allow pests and rot to enter your plants, thereby killing them from the inside out. This is why you should understand the reasons for split stems and how to avoid them becoming a significant issue.

Many people have devised methods to prevent each of these issues, but following some basic plant-growing logic will go a long way towards ensuring that your plants never suffer from split stems.

Providing proper support is one approach to keep plants from splitting. This is accomplished by the use of cost-effective and straightforward ties.

Windy Conditions

Some plant stems are frail, and they can easily bend in strong winds. The thick protective covering that shields the inner layers that hold the xylem and phloem together can be strained by the power of the wind.

The plant’s stem will begin splitting vertically along the bark when the wind becomes strong enough.

This exposes the interior sections of the body to fungus and germs by opening up the other layer. In addition, the plant’s stem will weaken and begin to tilt.

Low Temperatures

As the temperature outside lowers, a plant may not respond positively; in fact, due to their high water content, most plants may get slightly frozen.

The plant becomes brittle due to the temperature difference between the exterior and inside of the plant, or simply the freezing of the outside. When the plant is moved, or the wind brushes against it, it splits.

Fast Plant Growth

When a plant grows rapidly, not everything grows at the same time, with many plants growing quicker within than outside due to the harsher conditions.

As it grows, the plant’s exterior shell will be severely damaged, and the stems may easily split; this can also happen after a period of dryness.

This is due to the fact that the xylem and phloem, which transport fluids to different areas of the plant, swell to the point where they burst through the protective coating of the stem, generating cracks or splits.

Huge Amount Of Water Absorption After a Period Of Drought

When a plant is not watered for an extended period of time, it enters survival mode. The stomata close, and the plant develops traits such as roots venturing near the soil’s surface to conserve moisture.

When the plant is finally watered, the intake of water is so great that the pressure exerted by the xylem and phloem exceeds the pressure exerted by the outer bark, which holds the plant together.

As a result, the stem breaks, exposing the inner layers and allowing the plant to breathe easier.

To judge how much you should water your plant, you can get a soil meter. One option is the Trazon Soil 3-in-1 Meter. It can be used to evaluate the moisture and pH of the soil at a low cost. It measures pH, moisture content, and light intensity, among other things.

Low Light

When a plant receives insufficient light, it becomes lanky and droopy. This is due to the plant’s natural tendency to move towards the brightest light source in order to make food through photosynthesis.

The plant will start leaning towards the light, causing tension on the stems, this legginess can cause plant stems to split. The stem will split at its weakest spot due to the stress exerted by the leaning plant on it.

If the plant is not adequately supported and transferred to a good light source, it may eventually fall over. To prevent this, make sure that your plant is getting enough light.

Top Heavy Plants

Plants with a lot of top weight place a burden on the stems that sustain the plant. When the weight of the fruit causes the top half of the plant to become heavy during the bearing season, the stem will strain and eventually break under pressure.

When this occurs, the plant should be supported to prevent the stem from breaking, which would impair the transfer of nutrients to the fruit and hinder further fruit growth.

As the stem separates at all of the aforementioned spots, you’ll note that the plant’s previously strong support is compromised, and the plant begins to lean to one side.

How To Prevent Plants From Splitting?

The most straightforward strategy to keep a plant stem from splitting is to provide it with a solid support system and to water it consistently, even during the worst droughts.

If you have an indoor plant, maintaining a consistent routine is critical, as is ensuring that the plants receive the proper amount of sunlight every day to avoid legginess.

Split stems can occur in even the best-kept plants around the world, with the majority of plant owners experiencing the problem at least once in their lives.

Always keep an eye on your plant’s environment to make sure that whatever it’s going through isn’t causing it additional harm over time. You may not be able to prevent the skies from opening up and storming, but you can ensure that the tree is not in survival mode when it happens.


The answer to Why Are My Plant Stems Splitting was in this article. I hope this article answered all your questions related to your query. We discussed different causes for the problem and various solutions which you can employ to counter the issues.

Best of luck and happy gardening!