- May 25, 2011
- near Blacksburg, VA
These are excerpts from an interesting article on some recent research.
BobU Nebraska Research said:...what home gardeners and nursery professionals have often learned through hard experience: Transplants do better when water is withheld for a few days to drought harden them before the move.
[The researchers]...compared the reaction of plants that had been previously stressed by withholding water to those not previously stressed.
The pre-stressed plants bounced back more quickly the next time they were dehydrated. Specifically, the nontrained plants wilted faster than trained plants and their leaves lost water at a faster rate than trained plants.
"The plants 'remember' dehydration stress. It will condition them to survive future drought stress and transplanting," Fromm said.
Arabidopsis [the mustard-family plant that they tested] forgets this previous stress after five days of watering, though other plants may differ in that memory time.
"If I was transplanting something, I would deprive it of water for a couple of days, then water overnight, then transplant," Fromm said.
[Michael Fromm, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln plant scientist ]