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Why Does A Plant Wilt?

Why Does A Plant Wilt?

If you are a new plant parent or even an avid gardener you have most likely experienced the stress of discovering one of your plant babies with wilted leaves.  Our plant nerd Deb gives us a rundown on the science behind why your plant will wilt and gives some tips on how to minimise the risk. 

The Science:

Plants wilt because the loss of water is greater than the absorption of water in the plant. Plants have little tubes called xylem which allows water to be transported all the way up from the roots to the outer extremity of the leaves. The plant starts to wilt as the water pressure drops to below zero and the chains of water molecules can no longer maintain rigidity in the leaves. Water escapes through tiny holes called stomata, this process is called transpiration(plantversion of perspiration in humans). Things like the weather affect the rate at which transpiration occurs.

The Effects on the Plant:

Wilted plants have an effect not only on their overall appearance but the plant health. Fine root hairs die and the plant is unable to absorb nutrients from the soil. This weakens the plant and will make it more susceptible to disease.  If the lack of water is prolonged the cells will dry out to the point of irreparable damage and result in... (we hate to say it) DEATH!

Watering Tips to Prevent the Dreaded Wilt: 
  • Water before the point of wilt - we love our Sustee Watering Checker it is a clever little device that tells you when to water your plant and when not to! 
  • Give your plants a deep water when it needs it - I pop mine in the shower and let them soak up the water 
  • Keep in mind that every plant is different - The larger the plant the more moisture it will take up
  • Make sure you use a good quality, free draining potting mix and that your pot has drainage holes in the bottom
  • Our range of selfwatering pots are great for taking the guesswork out of watering - plants can thrive for weeks by taking just the amount of water they need from the waterwell®