What Leaves Are Narrow: Learn About Plants With Long, Thin Leaves

Have you ever wondered why some plants have thick, fatleaves and some have leaves that are long and thin? It turns out thatscientists have asked that very question and they’ve come up with a reason forlong and narrow leaves. One of the more obvious plants with long, thin leavesis the conifer,whose leaves are called needles. What other plant leaves are narrow and whatpurpose do skinny leaves on plants have? Let’s find out.

Purpose of Skinny Leaves on Plants

When scientists began to examine plants with long, thinleaves (Fun fact: Approximately 7,670 types of plants with long andnarrow leaves exist), they discovered some commonalities. Plants near theequator tended to have larger leaves, but as you move toward the poles and intodeserts, you see more leaves that are long and thin.

Why would plants with long, thin leaves abound in arid andnorthern regions? It seems that skinny leaves on plants have something to dowith overheating and drying, but it also has to do with changes between hotdays and frigid nights. Eventually, scientists determined that leaves that arelong and thin are nature’s way of protecting plants from not only the risk ofoverheating and drying but also from freezing at night.

That makes sense for terrestrial plants, but what about aquaticplants? Reedand grass plants with long and narrow leaves have evolved for a reason as well.In the case of underwater plants, skinny leaves on plants take advantage oftheir length and light weight.

Aquatic plants are often long and thin so they can stretchupward towards sunlight and photosynthesize.Their light weight also means that they can easily mimic water currents,allowing them to go with the flow without risk or damage. The thin leaves allowwater to flow through and around the plants, minimizing damage.

What Leaves are Narrow?

As mentioned, conifer leaves are narrow. Some conifers have needles,and some have scale-like leaves. Conifers such as pinetrees, spruce,and firshave needles. The upside to needles on conifers is that the tree can keep itsfoliage year round so it can photosynthesize; the downside is that the tinyneedles reduce the amount of photosynthesis.

There are many flowering perennial plants with long, thinleaves such as dayliliesand the Africaniris. Flowering bulbs like daffodil,gladiolus,and tulipare all plants with skinny leaves. The thin leaves on these bulb plants helpsto create less drag and helps to elevate the comparatively heavy bloom.

Houseplants such as the spiderplant, dracaena,ponytailpalm, and snakeplant have leaves that are long and thin as well. There are even succulentswith long, thin foliage, although it tends to be fleshy. These include aloevera and yucca.

It is rare to find a vine with long, thin leaves, but the cypressvine fits the bill with its needle-like foliage. There are even some shrubswhich sport skinny foliage, such as the compact Oregongrape holly and the Emerald Wave sweet bay.

This plant is Beaucarnea recurvata, the ponytail palm. Despite the name it is not related to the palms. These are great indoor plants if you have good or high light conditions. I have never had a lot of problems with them. Things to note include:

  • in indoor environments it can be too dry ( Less than 30% relative humidity) and the tips tend to brown. Once you cut the tip back to living tissue it too can die back so you get in an endless round of scissor work. Better to leave the dead ends.
  • most common cause of death is over watering. The plant stores water in the bulb at the base of the plant. Just checking to see if the soil is dry will not be an accurate reflection of whether the plant needs more water. Best solution is to place in a high light area so it uses more water and water less frequently. (For example, every two weeks in high light).
  • The most common pest is mealybug which will hide in the central axil where all new growth comes from. I have never successfully controlled mealybug on these plants with soap and water because you cannot get the soap where the eggs are hiding.

Ask a Question forum→Corn plant too tall, Long stalk too skinny

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I know you can use cut offs to replant more plants, but would cutting the stalk and replanting it to grow new roots work on the parent plant? I don't want to lose it at all. I just want it to be healthier and not break. I would greatly appreciate any advice!

Oh, and in the picture I know the dirt is too low. I attempted to re-pot it, hoping the higher dirt would help but miscalculated the amount of dirt it would take and ran out. I'm planning on putting more in there in the next day or two.

Yes, you can root stem segments and the parent plant will rebranch just below wherever you cut it. But the only way to keep from having a wobbly skinny trunk is to provide more light.

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming. "WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org

You can cut your plant off and then cut the stem you removed into segments. Each of those will root (at the bottom) and branch at the top. These plants naturally have long bare stems.

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming. "WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

2) Every inch of space counts in a long thin garden

Mel and Emma say that inches count if you’re gardening in a very narrow space. When they completed one of their raised beds, they realised it wasn’t in quite the right place – just by 12 inches. They dismantled the bed and moved it.

Raised beds for vegetables at the bottom of the garden, plus a charming seating area.

Indoor Palm Tree Care: How to Care For Palm Houseplants

Indoor palm plants can be more demanding to care for than other houseplants. The primary care requirements are generally getting enough light, keeping humidity high, and watering correctly.

Let’s look briefly at how to look after your tropical potted palm.


Almost all varieties of palm plants thrive in bright, indirect light. Too much direct sunlight tends to scorch or burn the leaves. Apart from the parlor palm—a plant that grows in low-light conditions—indoor palms don’t grow well in dim light. So, choose a location that gets plenty of morning or evening sun and protect the palm from the sun’s direct rays.

Plant your indoor palms in a pot with well-draining, light potting fertile soil. A combination of peat moss, shredded bark, leaf mold, and perlite should be ideal for palms. Or, you could buy regular commercial potting soil or cactus mix. The essential care requirement for palm pot soil is that it drains well and holds some moisture.


Water your palm only when the top 1” to 2” (2.5 – 5 cm) of soil has dried out. Palms will die in waterlogged, soggy soil and they can’t sit in water. On the other hand, parched soil will starve the palm of much-needed moisture. One of the signs of not watering an indoor palm properly is brown tips on the leaves—the other two causes are a lack of humidity and too much fertilizer.


Most palms require high humidity to thrive because they are tropical plants. Average household humidity tends to be too dry for fussy palms. Ways to resolve humidity problems with palms include misting the leaves daily, using a humidifier, or sitting the plant pot on a pebble humidifying tray.


Average room temperatures should be perfect for growing healthy indoor palms. According to researchers, the minimum temperature for palms is 45°F (7°C). Anything below that, your palm will develop reddish-brown leaves. During the growing season, palms thrive indoors in temperatures between 60°F and 80°F (15.5°C – 26.6°C). In winter, it seems that 55°F to 60°F (12°C – 15.5°C) is the ideal temperature range. (1)

Watch the video: Which Part Of The Plant Do We Eat? Root, Stem, Leaves, Flower, Fruit. Educational Video For Kids.

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