Plasmolysis

Definition - What does Plasmolysis mean?

Plasmolysis occurs when a plant’s cells start to lose internal water. The water flows out of the cells in a process is known as osmosis. The result is a condition called plasmolysis.

A cell starts to shrink without adequate internal water. After prolonged water loss, the cell begins to collapse without any internal water for support. Complete cellular collapse is rarely reversible. When the cells start to collapse from water loss, the plant is usually doomed because its cells die.

MaximumYield explains Plasmolysis

Plasmolysis is reversible in the early stages if the plant is given water. Most gardeners first notice plasmolysis in their plants when the plants start to wilt. This is a clear indication that the plant is losing cellular water and the plant’s turgor ability is failing. If the plant is not provided with adequate water then it will perish.

Excessive salt exposure also causes plasmolysis, such as in coastal regions from coastal flooding. Many chemical herbicides also kill by weeds by causing cellular plasmolysis.

Plants that grow near roadsides may experience plasmolysis from exposure to winter road salts.

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