Do you know that many plants droop at night? Usually, we see plants closing their leaves to preserve water during the day in heat spells, don’t we?
However, seeing your favorite houseplant droopy at night might frustrate us, but it’s completely normal for some!
Closing the leaves allows the plants to go into “sleep mode.” But some other processes also govern this phenomenon!
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Is It Normal To See Plants Droop At Night?
Over 200 species of houseplants like Prayer Plants, vegetables like members of the plant family Leguminaceae (Pea, Gram, and Beans), Chilli, Peppers, Tomatoes, and ornamental favorites like Cannabis, Acacia, Mimosa, Albizia, Lotus, Crocus, Tulip, Poppy, etc. droop at night.
This droopy look of the leaves and flowers in some plants is normal at night due to Nyctinasty.
The internal circadian rhythm and the presence of photosensitive cells in plants govern the process.
To perk your droopy plant, irrigate it if the soil feels dry.
However, if the plant is overwatered, don’t oversaturate the soil, or it may invite molds and gnat larvae.
Nyctinastic Movement is the process in which a plant closes its flower petals and folds or reorients the position of its leaves, responding to the changes in the day and night photoperiods and temperature.
Due to this process, the plant may appear to fold its leaves and droop or wilt. It also bestows the plant certain advantages.
- By drooping their leaves, plants can regulate their internal cellular temperature.
- This droopy appearance allows the plant to remove the surficial water from the leaves.
- It protects the plant leaves from pest attacks, discouraging insect herbivory.
However, day and night cycle is not the only reason plants droop at night. It also has to do with the cellular water content and the phenomenon of turgidity.
Check out this video to learn how to rescue a wilted or droopy plant!
Why Do Plants Droop At Night?
During the day, plants perform photosynthesis (sunlight-dependent food production), transpire water, and respire using small pores on the leaves called stomata. These stomata are made from guard cells that contain water.
Also, in the daytime, plants constantly draw in water from the soil for photosynthesis and transpiration using their roots.
But at night, due to the absence of sunlight, plants don’t photosynthesize. So they close their stomatal guard cells and transpire less than usual.
Additionally, plants don’t expend much energy to absorb water from the roots at night and only focus on respiration.
Hence, as a result, the leaf cells lose their turgidity and turgor pressure, become flaccid, and the plant appears droopy.
A similar phenomenon also occurs in the cells in the plants’ green and colorful parts (petioles, stems, sepals, and petals).
Other Reasons For Plants Drooping At Night
Pot or ground-growing plants that follow the Nyctinastic process and perform day-and-night respiration and photosynthesis droop at night.
However, plants may also wilt and sag down when they experience specific environmental disparities, which could happen even in broad daylight.
- Overwatering may cause plant roots to rot and cannot draw water. So, to conserve the remaining water, they droop.
- Underwatering causes the stomata to close in response to low soil water. Hence the foliage of the plant wilt.
- On the onset of cold weather (late fall to winter), chilly winds cause the leaves to lose their integrity and droop due to low temperature.
- Infestation of sap-sucking pests, like spittlebugs, aphids, thrips, etc., causes the plants to distort and droop.
- Intense sunlight increases the temperature, which plants cannot tolerate for long due to the specific sunlight duration and demands. As a result, they wilt.
To prevent drooping, you must care for your plant accordingly, considering its cultural requirements.
From Editorial Team
Your plants droop at night as they follow their internal sleep cycle. Hence, it’s nothing to worry about.
However, they may suffer from certain illnesses that you may overlook. So, it’s always important to keep a keen eye on them.