Whether in an office or outdoors, the reason plants wilt in most situations is simply because they are in need of water. It may seem rather simple, but there is more to it than one may think. To comprehend the problem, first we must understand the complex workings of the plant’s system.
Water is constantly being moved from the soil, into the plant’s roots, up through the stems, and eventually out onto the leaves. Once the water enters the leaves, almost 95% of it escapes back into the air through the plant’s stomata, or tiny holes in the leaves. This process, called transpiration, may seem rather wasteful, but is actually quite necessary. It gives the plant the ability to deliver water and dissolved nutrients to the very top of itself by providing a “pulling force.” This force then pulls water up and out of tiny tubes called xylem. These tubes act as the plant’s veins that deliver water to the other parts of the plant. As water travels up the tubes, water chains form and give the plant turgidity, which means that the plant is strong and upright. This is how plants are able to stand upright instead of being floppy or wilted.
When the water levels in the soil get to be too low, the water chains in the xylem become thinner, the plant loses its turgidity, and wilting occurs.
How can you keep your plants from wilting? It is important that they are watered regularly and that soil moisture levels are checked. Environmental conditions, such as the Florida heat and extreme air conditioning, are factors in how much water the indoor plants require and how often they should be watered.
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