megvau
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Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 7:01 am

Wilting Purple Passion Plant

Help! My purple passion plant started wilting like it needed water. I watered it but it is still looking pretty sad. It's been a couple days... Any ideas? Is it past the point of return?

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Kisal
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Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:04 am
Location: Oregon

Wilting of the top growth of a plant is the result of a lack of water. There isn't sufficient water to keep the cells rigid. They begin to lose their shape and become limp, somewhat like a balloon as it loses air.

It could be that the plant needs to be repotted. When the roots are too tight in the pot -- root bound -- they aren't able to absorb enough water to support the top growth. The top growth will eventually die back to a level that can survive on the amount of water the roots can provide. So the first thing I would consider is how long the plant has been in its current pot. If it's a largish plant in a quite small container, it very likely needs to be moved to the next size larger pot.

If the plant isn't root bound, it could be that the it has suffered root rot from being overwatered or allowed to stand in water for more than 15 or 20 minutes. When some of the roots rot, the system can't provide enough water to support the top growth, so some of it dies back. If the root rot is advanced, the entire plant will die. Root rot is very difficult to cure. If it's advanced, it would be best just to take cuttings from your plant and root them, to start new plants.

Finally, it might be that you simply aren't giving it enough water, in which case the top growth will die back to a level that can be supported by the amount of water you give the plant. It shouldn't have to be watered more than once a week, unless it's growing in very hot and dry conditions.

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rainbowgardener
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Well, just to make things more complicated, too much water can also cause wilting. The plant starts drowning, oxygen isn't getting to the roots, because saturated soil keeps the air out.

You should be able to tell whether you have too much or too little water, by how moist your soil is. If the soil is wet or very moist, you need to back off and let it dry out a bit.
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