The Effect of a Water Shortage on Plants

Written by barbara barker | 13/05/2017
The Effect of a Water Shortage on Plants
Water- stressed plants may flower early. (watering plants image by david hughes from

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

The Effect of a Water Shortage on Plants
Cupped leaves and flowers indicate dehydration. (wilting sunflower image by Deborah Benbrook from

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

The Effect of a Water Shortage on Plants
Draught causes changes in leaf colour. (House Plant - Croton image by evillager from

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

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