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How to identify water stress??

Posted by thecurious1 z5 Chicago (My Page) on
Tue, Jul 12, 05 at 10:43

Hi There-

I've never had to give too much thought to lack of water. I have always had the crutch of a water hose and spigot coming out of my home. That combined with a small garden made it a non-issue.

With the drought in chicago, however, I have begun to wonder about identifying water stress. What should I look for in plants that are stressed for water? How do I know when the plant has enough water and to stop? I'm sure that there is a aite with a discussion of this, I just have never seen it. Any help in how to tell is a plant is getting enough water would be appreciated.


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RE: How to identify water stress??

Varies with the plants. Some wilt and don't recover overnight. Others take on a "miscolor." Lawns may turn a touch purple or grey before turning brown. Deciduous plants often grey a bit..it is subtle, watch for it. Some plants will begin to roll their leaves in an attempt to reduce surface facing the sun. Damage begins such as burned leaf edges or flower buds falling off.

Insect problems such as spider mites literally explode in hot, dry weather. Leaves will feel gritty, have stippling marks from feeding.......and eventually webs form. By the web time the infestation is severe.

Mulch, mulch, mulch to conserve any moisture.

Damage may not appear until next year as the plants are not making enough carbohydrates for good growth and flowering next year.

In other words, it varies with the plants.


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