Drooping leaves on plants and trees may indicate a severe health problem. Some drooping on plants during hot, dry weather is normal, but the leaves usually return to their prior health during the cooler evening hours. Drooping that persists may indicate a greater problem that requires immediate treatment to ensure that the plant remains healthy.
Improper watering causes leaves to droop and leads to the eventual decline and death of the plant. Too little water leads to drought stress. The first symptom of dry soil is typically wilting leaves. The foliage also develops dry, brown margins and may curl. The plants generally perk back up soon after they receive sufficient watering. However, too much water suffocates the roots, which results in root death and drooping leaves. The leaves may remain green or begin to yellow before they fall off. Avoid soggy soil and plant in a well-drained location to prevent wilt from wet soil.
Too little light causes leaves to suffer and droop. Plants may also grow less foliage or become leggy as they stretch to reach a light source. Move plants to a location that receives enough sunlight for the plant variety to prevent the leaves from drooping. On the other hand, too much sunlight causes the leaves to lose moisture too quickly, which may result in wilt. Plants suffering from too much sun may perk back up overnight then begin to droop again at midday. Read plant care labels to determine the light requirements for your plant variety.
Diseases and pests weaken a plant, causing leaves to discolour and droop. Symptoms of pests include visible insects on the underside of the leaves, trails of sticky honeydew or small holes or ragged edges left behind by the insect's feeding. Nematodes attack the roots or stems of the plant. As the plant weakens, it can no longer support the foliage and the leaves begin to wilt. Inspect plants for pests regularly and apply an insecticide formulated for the specific pest to prevent the leaves from drooping and the plant from declining.
Bacterial and fungal diseases often result in wilting or drooping leaves. Bacterial diseases weaken the entire plant. The drooping leaves often develop yellow discolourations. They may also appear distorted or misshapen. Treatment depends on the plant and the specific infection. Some types of bacterial infections have no cure and you must dispose of the plant. Proper care, including watering and fertilisation, helps prevent infections since healthy plants are less susceptible. Plants suffering a fungal infection typically have visible mould or mildew growth in conjunction with wilting. Remove infected leaves and treat the plant with a fungicide to prevent drooping.
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