What the what !
Normal cells are in a state that is called ‘turgid’ – that is, they are pretty full of water and hence there is enough pressure against the cell wall for the cell membranes to keep their shape.
If the plant does not receive water in time it wilts, which is basically a result of removing water from a cell faster than the cell can replace it.
If the wilt persists the cell shrinks further – the cell membrane detaches from the cell wall and the cytoplasm becomes permanently damaged. This condition is what we call “plasmolysis”. Both our Garden Care and Irrigation Teams at Plant Specialists are fully aware of these issues and keep a close eye on the watering situation in your garden.
In many cases plasmolysis causes the death of the cell. However, should the cell re-hydrate in time, it may never return to full turgidity – it could be permanently damaged.
Cells that recover but which never reach 100% turgidity are an open invitation to insects and diseases – as turgidity is an element in keeping the cell wall firm and strong – which makes it difficult for pests to enter.
Written by our in house Horticulturalist Peter Morris BSc. MSc. MBA