Plants often look greener after it rains, especially when they have stayed for long without getting irrigated. You might be left wondering what is in rainwater that makes them appear greener. What makes them greener is not in the rainwater.
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What Makes Plants Appear Greener After Rain?
When plants mature, their roots die to give room for the development of others. When they die, bacteria and fungi decompose them, releasing carbon and nitrogen. The roots cannot absorb the nitrogen in its natural form. They can only absorb it when it has dissolved in water. When it rains, the nitrogen dissolves in rainwater and gets absorbed by the plants.
There are also traces of nitrogen in the air. When it rains, the rainwater carries some traces that get absorbed by the roots.
Nitrogen is responsible for giving plants their green color. It makes the most substantial part of chlorophyll, which gives green plants their color. That is why they will always turn green after rain or irrigation. However, the nitrogen available in natural form cannot be sufficient for proper plant growth. Supplementing it using fertilizers ensure that the plants remain green all seasons, whether it is raining or not.
Apply the fertilizer around the soil surface near the roots. Water your plants after application to enable them to absorb it. If you leave it that way, it might burn the roots and damage your plants.
If your plants are not getting sufficient nitrogen, they will start losing their green color. Their growth rate also becomes stunted. The leaves on the lower sides of the plants are usually the ones affected first, and the problems spread to other parts of the plant.
They will also start falling off, and the stem and twigs will turn purple. To provide your plants with the right amount of nitrogen, apply foliar fertilizers or those that contain ammonium sulfate or urea. You can also use organic products, such as coffee grounds.
You can also test the chlorophyll content of your plant using a chlorophyll meter. If it is very low, it is likely that the plants are not getting enough nitrogen.
Other Minerals Essential for Proper Growth of Plants
Plants need phosphorous to mature since its responsible for the development of tissues. Plants that do not have enough of it will often take too long to produce fruits, and may never produce them. They are also more prone to diseases since they are not mature and strong enough to resist them.
The signs of phosphorous deficiency in plants include stunted growth. The roots may grow weak, and the plants may fail to produce flowers. Plants may also start turning purple. Rock phosphate is an organic source of phosphorous.
Always ensure your plants have enough phosphorus from their early stages, as damages caused by phosphorus deficiency can be irreversible. You can also replenish phosphate levels using inorganic fertilizers. Compost helps plants absorb phosphorous available to them more effectively.
When plants do not get enough potassium, the leaves will start getting discolored, just like in a lack of nitrogen. When they are growing on loose soils such as sand, they are at a high risk of getting potassium deficiency. When rain or irrigation water goes through the soils, it carries with it potassium and other plant nutrients. Always replenish your soils with fertilizers containing potassium, as they require the minerals in large quantities.
Potassium plays a great role in the exchange of gasses in a plant, as it controls how the stomata close and open. It also facilitates the movement of water other essential nutrients to the parts where they are required. Lack of sufficient potassium also leads to stunted growth, as the plant does not get the necessary nutrients for tissue development.
Although plants require zinc in small amounts, it is essential for proper growth. It helps plants tolerate extreme weather conditions like too much cold. It also plays a great role in forming chlorophyll during photosynthesis. When plants do not get enough zinc, their leaves may become curly, and be smaller than usual. They may also develop brown patches. The deficiency may lead to great losses, if not detected on time.
Soil testing is the most effective way to determine the levels of zinc in soil, especially when growing plants like cereals, fruits, and vegetables.
If your soil does not have enough zinc, add fertilizers that have it, and increase yields. There are also foliar sprays that contain zinc. Apply the right amounts by following the manufacturer instructions.
Magnesium plays several roles in the growth of a plant throughout its entire growing period. It helps in the formation of chlorophyll and cell division. Plants growing on magnesium-deficient soils may develop purple patches on the leaves, and have stunted growth. Sandy soils are more prone to magnesium deficiency, as the minerals get carried away through leaching. Add compost to such soils to improve their water retention capacity. Applying fertilizers rich in magnesium is also another option. Epsom salt also helps the plant to absorb the nutrients available.
Testing the levels of magnesium in the soil by conducting soil tests often is helpful, as its deficiency can go unnoticed.
Plants don not require a lot of iron, but that does not mean they will thrive without it. Plants that do not get sufficient iron will have yellow leaves, with green veins.it is an essential element, as it helps in the transportation of oxygen throughout the plant. It also facilitates DNA synthesis.
If you usually add lime on your soil from time to time, it can easily have an iron deficiency. A very high PH makes it impossible for plants to absorb iron, even when it is readily available for them. Always test the soil using a soil testing kit to determine the levels of iron, and add a fertilizer containing it to fix the problem. You can also spray a liquid iron on the plants.
Plants turn green after rain due to the absorption of nitrogen, a vital plant element. There are also several other elements that help the plants thrive, and without them, the plants will not grow properly and may also die. The deficiency of an element may be hard to detect. Conducting a soil test is the only sure way to tell what is missing in the soil.
When adding fertilizers to the plants, always follow the directions for usage. If you add inadequate fertilizer, it might not be of any help. Adding excess is not good either, as it might lead to the death of the plants.
Why Plants Love Rainwater
- Rainwater is free of salts, minerals, treatment chemicals, and any other compound has commonly seen on groundwater. Meaning rainwater is 100% soft water.
- Gardeners know that plants need soil pH to on its best and rainwater contains a little amount of natural acidity.
- If you could collect some rainwater anywhere around your house it would be a huge help for your plants as rainwater contains some organic materials that are good for plants.
- Rainwater contains nitrates, the most important macro-nutrients that plants need to thrive.
Frequently Asked Questions
Plant roots may get burnt by excessive fertilizers, and eventually die. Always read the usage instructions of fertilizers before applying it on the plant to avoid problems.
Leguminous plants like beans and peas will fix nitrogen on the soil.
Nitrogen is an essential element for the proper growth of plants, but if it is in excess, it might kill them. Plants absorbing too much of it turn dark green.
Plants will turn green when irrigated, too, as the water will help them absorb the nitrogen in the soil.