How do salt levels affect indoor plants?.Indoor plants are more affected by salt build up than plants grown in the ground because of fertilizer build up. Unlike plants that grow in the ground, indoor plants do not benefit from rainwater that washes off the salt build up. So, how do salt levels affect indoor plants?
Salt breaks down into two chemical components in the soil: sodium and chlorine. Each harms a plant when it's absorbed into it. When chlorine enters the sap of the plant from the roots, it gathers in shoots and prevents buds from opening. It also transmits to actively growing leaf margins and contributes to leaf scorch.
On the other hand, when sodium is absorbed into the plant, it blocks the absorption of nutrients such as magnesium and potassium, which are critical in the absorption of chlorophyll. Without chlorophyll, plants cannot undergo photosynthesis to manufacture sugars and starches for growth.
Salt water acts as a blockage material. Salt that stays at the roots forms brine that is more concentrated than plant sap. The result is that the salt blocks the absorption of water through osmosis.
Osmosis is the process in which plants absorb water through semi permeable membranes (tissues within the plants roots) at high concentration levels and move the water to a location with lower concentration levels. As plants obtain their water through the soil via their root system, the water moves freely and other chemicals and minerals pass through very slowly. When fresh water is available to the roots, the stem of the plant pulls the water through the roots, up through the stem and out to the leaves. However, when salt water is the available source, the roots and soil tend to play tug-of-war for the water. The plant uses stored energy to pull the water to the roots, but at the same time the salt pulls the water from the roots. After repeated exposure to salt water, a plant will wither and die.
So, how do salt levels affect indoor plants? Most of the time, it kills them. So keep them away from salty solutions.