How to make a plant grow wide

How to make a plant grow wide

Plants have a tendency to grow in length rather than width. However, by applying a few small tricks we can make a plant grow wide and becomes an even more striking specimen.

The tips that we are going to see can be applied to different varieties, regardless of whether they are indoor or outdoor plants, so take good note.

Why is it important for a plant to grow wide?

Why is it important for a plant to grow wide?

Although it may seem like it, the objective of making our plants have a wider size is not only due to a matter of aesthetic preferences.

Increased light collection surface

Plants need to receive light to be able to carry out photosynthesis and thus be able to grow. The more leaves that are exposed to sunlight, the greater the plant's ability to produce energy and nutrients. AND The best way for more leaves to access light is for the plant to be wider than it is long.

Improved structural stability

By growing laterally, the plant develops a wider base that gives it greater stability in adverse conditions such as strong winds. This is also very useful in the case of plants and trees that reach great heights, and they need a root and stem system that is robust and can withstand their weight.

Increased capacity to absorb water and nutrients

A wider and more extensive root system allows for the exploration of a greater area of ​​soil for water and nutrients. Therefore, a plant that has increased its growth in width has a better chance of surviving if it is in soil poor in nutrients or hydration.

Vegetative propagation

In some species, lateral growth is a form of vegetative propagation, since new plants that are genetically identical to the “mother” can emerge from the lateral stems or roots.

Promotion of biological diversity

Promoting lateral growth instead of longitudinal growth favors the creation of microhabitats and ecological niches in and around the plant. This improves the biodiversity of insects, microorganisms and other living things, which is good for the ecosystem.

What can be done to make a plant grow wide?

What can be done to make a plant grow wide?

To achieve greater lateral growth we can apply the following care:

Proper pruning

Pruning the plant involves reducing its size and, interestingly, this stimulates faster development. In this case, what you have to do is cut the tips of the main stems, so that the plant better distributes its energy towards the lateral shoots.

The key is to make clean cuts just above the buds or side branches. Thus, the lateral shoots develop and eventually become horizontal branches.

A balance must be maintained between pruning to encourage lateral growth and that which is necessary to shape the plant and improve its health. In any case, it is important to avoid over-pruning, because this can weaken the plant.

Branch training

This technique focuses on changing the growth pattern of those branches that have a tendency to vertical growth. For this, stakes, wires or trellises are used in order to guide the branch towards horizontality.

Forcing the stems can damage them, so this operation must be carried out very carefully and gradually.

Growth hormone stimulation

After pruning, apply growth hormones such as auxins to the cuts. You can also apply them directly to the side stems, even if you have not pruned.

This gives you greater control over the plant's growth pattern, causing it to redirect its energy to the areas you want to grow the most.

Provide adequate space

For a plant to grow wide It needs to have enough space for its lateral branches to develop. Therefore, try to leave some free space around the specimen that you want to widen.

If the pot has become small, a Changing the container to a larger one also helps to stimulate lateral growth.

proper fertilization

To promote healthy root growth and lateral branching, rely on balanced fertilizers that are rich in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. As we always recommend, follow the instructions manufacturer's application to avoid overfertilization and its negative consequences.


Light is essential for plant development. If you want it to grow wide, place it in a place where it receives light evenly, so that all the side branches grow equally. If this is not possible, and it is a specimen planted in a pot, Rotate this periodically to ensure that light reaches all branches.

Plants with a widthwise growth pattern

Plants with a widthwise growth pattern

With the tricks we have seen you will make any plant grow wide. If you want to ensure better results, choose varieties whose growth pattern is more horizontal than vertical, here are some examples:

  • Honeysuckle. This vine expands horizontally as it spreads its branches. Therefore, its use is very common to cover fences and pergolas.
  • Creeping Juniper. This species of juniper forms a dense, low cover that is very practical when it comes to covering the soil and preventing erosion.
  • Hydrangea. It has a spreading growth habit with slowly branching branches. In addition, hydrangeas are highly appreciated for their colorful flowers, which can be quite large.
  • ficus. Some varieties such as ficus benjamina or elastica have bush-like growth and spread laterally.
  • Holly. The holly has lateral and very dense growth. It is a shrub much appreciated for its bright green leaves and red berries that appear during winter and add a Christmas touch to the garden.
  • Clematis. It is characterized by its climbing stems that can be trained to grow horizontally rather than vertically. It easily adheres to support structures and produces very showy flowers.

You've already seen it, making a plant grow wide is not complicated at all. Do you dare to try it?

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