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As the summer heats up, when combined with lack of rainfall and/or an irrigation system, plants may start to suffer from drought and heat stress. This type of stress occurs mostly due to inefficient moisture reaching the roots, thereby reducing the amount of oxygen available for the plant’s basic needs. Either there may not be enough water to sustain the plant, or there may be enough water for survival, but not enough for growth. With a record breaking El Niño weather pattern, stress from drought is expected to be rather common this season.

It is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of drought and heat stress so that immediate action may be taken to preserve the asset and prevent its death. Unfortunately for us, plants don’t talk to tell us what’s wrong like we would when we visit a doctor’s office. However, there are some common signs of plant dehydration to keep an eye on. For a professional opinion, feel free to contact our staff with your concern.

What Are the Dehydration Symptoms?

Crabapple Leaf Curl Due To Drought Stress

Crabapple Leaf Curl Due To Drought Stress

Plant dehydration symptoms include:

  • Curling or rolling of leaves
  • Slowed/no growth, undersized leaves
  • Leaves, blossoms, or fruits drop prematurely (this happens often with birch trees for instance as they shed their leaves much like we perspire in the heat, click the image at top of the page to see a good example)
  • Wilting, limp and droopy leaves (crabapple leaves often look droopy)
  • Leaf scorch, yellowing and/or browning, death of leaf edges
  • Dead or brown/dying extremities starting from the outer leaves inward

Lawn dehydration symptoms include:

  • Do you leave footprints when walking or tire marks when mowing the lawn? If so, this is often the first sign of lack of water.
  • Next, turf appears to have blue-green hew prior to…
  • Browning or yellowing in patches (could also be a grub problem discussed in our previous blog post)
  • Thinning of the lawn
  • Appearance of more weeds (thinning allows space for growth of heat-tolerant weeds)

My Plants Are Dehydrated… Now What Do I Do?

You’ve determined that your lawn and/or plants are suffering from drought. That’s good! “Wait… why is that good?” Because now you can determine a course of action to remedy the problem. If you’re interested in getting a quote to install an irrigation system, Brian-Kyles can help. If you’d like to tackle the issue yourself, we applaud your enthusiasm! Regardless, here are some watering best practices to follow to ensure the proper health of your turf and landscape.

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