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Wilted Plant Leaves

Stop, put down the hose and make sure that wilted plant needs more, not less water before turning on the faucet.

Wilted leaves are the clue many gardeners use to determine when a plant needs watering. But wilting can also be caused by factors other than a lack of water.

Compacted, poorly drained or water logged soils can also cause wilting. Water fills the air pores in the soil, preventing the plants from absorbing water and nutrients from the soil.

Root damage from construction, rodents, fertilizer burn, disease, soil temperature extremes, and girdling roots can also interfere in water uptake.

So be sure to check the soil moisture before watering your plants. If drainage is an issue, correct the cause and improve your plants’ health. Aerate the soil, install a French drain or replace the stressed plant with something suited to the soil moisture conditions.

A bit more information: Your finger is your best moisture meter. Feel the top few inches of soil to check the soil moisture before watering. For more on plant wilt, click here.

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