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What is guttation?

guttationWritten by Maarten Casteleijn | Last update: 07-11-2020

Guttation is a process inside the plant during which water on the leaf edges is driven out via special pores (hydathodes) as a consequence of high root pressure. This water largely derives from the xylem system of the plant and thus mainly consists of water, but could also contain small amounts of the nutrients and dissolved sugars. 

High root pressure and low evaporation rate

Guttation usually occurs as a consequence of a combination of high root pressure (which may be caused by different factors) and a low evaporation rate/too high humidity. This often occurs just after sunrise when the plant becomes active and the humidity is high. 


Guttation indicates that the tension between the cell wall and the cell content, or the turgor or cell tension is in order. Guttation only takes place when the cell vacuole is completely filled, because the plant will always first replenish any water shortages in the plant cells. Only then guttation takes place.  

Consequences of Guttation

Guttation is basically harmless, provided that the water drips from the leaf. If this does not happen and the water vaporizes on the leaf, then this may have a harmful effect because a layer of sugars and salts will remain on the leaf surface as small white spots. This is predominantly disadvantageous for the ornamentals sector. Another disadvantage of moist remaining on the leaf is that this may lead to the development of mold. Mold likes humid conditions. 

In some cultivations though, like strawberries, Guttation has a positive effect, because it ensures that calcium, that can only be transported through the plant via the plant's internal water flow, ends up at the top of the plant as much as possible.

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Maarten Casteleijn About Maarten Casteleijn

Maarten Casteleijn is a product specialist in plant resistance at Royal Brinkman. In addition to experience in horticulture, he also has experience in teaching and coordinating research in the medical sector. By combining his work experiences, he can look at a problem with different perspectives and think out of the box. Maarten says that his passion is reflected in his work experience: receiving and sharing knowledge. "I have a broad interest in innovation and sustainability. Together with the grower, I want to achieve a final zero discharge by increasing plant resilience". 

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