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"Crying Pothos"

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by Maine-ly Bees on September 06, 2006 09:00 PM
The strangest thing....I was getting ready for work the other morning and happened to look up on the shelf in the kitchen where I keep my pothos and all the leaves had a drop of water in the very tip. It looked like it had just been misted. Now each morning I look at it and it has the same thing. I wonder if it is collecting moisture from the air in my house? We do not have a humidifier, and we are not using our propane fireplace yet so I'm not sure where the moisture would be coming from. this seems to only happen overnight, by midmorning or so the leaves are all dry. I've had this plant for many years and this is the first time I have seem this happen. None of my other 40+ house plants are doing this. Has anyone else seen this before? I don't think there is anything I need to worry about I just thought is was strange.

Thanks for listening. David

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David Wallace
Owner/Operator, Maine-ly Bees
Bowdoinham, Maine
by margaret e. pell on September 06, 2006 09:55 PM
I have occasionally noticed this on the 'drip-tips' of my philodendron, too, after I water it. I have always assumed it has to do with transpiration, their naturally humid environment (place of species origin, not my house), and getting rid of excess moisture. How wet is the pot when you see this?

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may God bless the WHOLE world!
by Maine-ly Bees on September 07, 2006 12:52 AM
Not really wet at all. Honestly this is the most neglected plant in the house, but also the most forgiving. It's in a plastic pot with a good base of crushed stone so it only gets watered once a month or so, (if I remember it).

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David Wallace
Owner/Operator, Maine-ly Bees
Bowdoinham, Maine
by DowntoEarth on September 07, 2006 04:40 AM
Margaret is right! I keep the meaning on "crying Plants" in My Favorites.

Have you ever woke up in the morning to see your plants - crying - or dripping water from the ends of their leaves? Rest assured that this is not uncommon. Let's look at those - crying leaves - and try to stay away from being too technical.

What is this function called?
It is called Guttation - Some refer to this as transpiration, but what you are seeing is specifically called guttation. They are closely related, so lets look at transpiration and guttation.

Transpiration can take place through the exposed surface of cell walls but the greatest amount takes place through the stomates. These are specialized guard cells that control the size of tiny pores, stomata, for gas exchange and the release of water vapor.

We have the movement of moisture or sap from the roots to the leaves. This movement supplies the food-manufacturing cells with water needed for photosynthesis and to provide the moisture necessary for the dispersing of carbon dioxide into and oxygen out of these cells.

Various factors influence the transpiration rate. Photosynthesis, induced by light, has the effect of increasing the water pressure in the cells that border each stomate. The widening of the stomate increases water loss.

Low humidity promotes the dispersing of water vapor from the air passages inside the leaf into the outside air. A lack of water in the soil cuts down the water supply to the cells, thus limiting expansion of the cells.

Therefore the transpiration is highest on a bright, dry day and lowest at night or in drought conditions. It all gets down to the fact that the plant must get rid of the excess water in the leaves.

When leaves lose water as a liquid phase through special cells called hydathodes it is referred to as guttation.

These guttation "tears" appear at the leaf tips or margins and contain various salts, sugars and other organic substances.

This action can also lead to the penetration of unwanted bacteria that can cause plant disease problems. The use of some leaf cleaners and leaf shines can also plug up the hydathodes and cause browning tips.

One question that always comes up is will the - tears - hurt my floor, or carpet, etc.

I would recommend wiping up these tear droplets because you never know what is in the salts and sugars that could stain these objects.

I hope we haven't gotten too technical but - crying - plants is a natural occurrence.
by gardeningmomma on September 07, 2006 08:54 AM
I just noticed this on my poth today. I just assumed it was a drip or two leftover from when I had it out in the rain. That's rather interesting.
by TomR on September 08, 2006 09:43 AM
It's normal, mine does it. Not to worry!


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My memory's not as sharp as it used to be. Also, my memory's not as sharp as it used to be.

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