Why Do Plants Droop?

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Why Do Plants Droop?
Drooping flowers seem to bow with their blooms hanging towards the earth. (Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Drooping may indicate that plants are receiving too much or not enough water. Drooping is also a sign of plant diseases and pests. Remedy these problems quickly to prevent permanent damage or plant death. However, some causes of plant droop may not have remedies or may have progressed beyond repair.

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Plants suffering the affects of too much water begin drooping and take on yellow tints. Many inexperienced gardeners misinterpret this symptom and administer more water, thinking the plant is parched. Do not give potted plants water for a couple of days and protect ground-planted plants from excessive rainfall by covering them with buckets. Raised beds or garden sites with sandy soils that drain well, even in especially rainy seasons, are good solutions.


Some plants droop from too little water. Look for dried and browned leaves indicating the plant needs more water. This problem occurs if you are not watering as deeply as suggested, causing roots to grow shallow and require more frequent watering.

Plant Diseases

Certain diseases cause flowers, trees and vegetable plants to droop and show other signs of distress. Fusarium wilt causes leaf droop and yellowing among tobacco, potatoes, peppers, tomatoes and eggplants. It is contracted through contaminated soil. Fusarium wilt flourishes among plants suffering nematode-caused root damage. Bacteria and fungi cause other moulds, wilts and plant diseases.

Insect Pests

Houseplants may suffer drooping and other signs of stress when fungus gnat maggots and springtails infect the plant's potting soil. If you're watering plants the appropriate amounts of water to prevent over- and under-watering symptoms, look for signs indicating pest problems. Pests may gather on leaves or leave behind half-eaten leaves full of holes. Other pests live in the ground, feeding on plant roots and preventing plants from receiving the water needed to sustain healthy growth.


Some plants intentionally droop. Examples of drooping plants include willow trees, drooping juniper trees, drooping cedars and drooping leucothoe trees. Plants that intentionally droop often have the words "drooping" or "cascading" in their common names, to describe the cascading manner in which they grow.

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