The Effect of a Water Shortage on Plants

Updated July 19, 2017

Plants are 90 per cent water and they require water for all growth processes. Drought may produce several effects on plants, including reduced growth and vigour, wilting and nutrient deficiencies. Effects may still be noted five years after a water shortage.

Decreased Vigor

Plants use water for photosynthesis and temperature regulation. Drought inhibits these processes and decreases the growth and vitality of the plant.

Nutrient Deficiencies

Water transports minerals from soil to the plant. Without water, plants become nutrient deficient.

Plant Structure

Water maintains cell structure and holds plants erect. A deficit of water in the plant causes wilting.

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About the Author

Barbara Barker has been writing about gardening since 1999. She is a food gardening consultant and the owner of The Gourmet Gardener. The author of "Container Gardening for Health," Barker also writes for several blogs and on her website. Barker has a bachelor's degree in English and is a certified Master Gardener in Florida.