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The Impact of Poor Landscape Drainage On Plants

February 5, 2024by Peter Hudson

Having an efficient drainage system is important when maintaining a healthy yard. If your drainage system is not functioning properly or if you don’t have one in place, you significantly increase the risk of issues such as standing water, erosion, and foundation damage. These factors can create an unhealthy environment for your plants, making it challenging for them to grow and thrive.

Poor drainage primarily affects plants through the soil, leading to a condition where the soil becomes excessively wet, creating a “clay-like” consistency. The presence of excessive water in the soil results in saturation, limiting the plants ability to access oxygen. Oxygen is important for root health and plays a big role in regulating water absorption.  

Saturated soil impacts oxygen availability to plants roots, disrupting the photosynthesis process and lowering the plant’s overall health.

Here are some ways saturated soil impacts plants:

  • Root Suffocations

Plant roots require oxygen to perform cellular respiration, which gives the plants energy. When water is not drained properly and the soil becomes saturated, there is an extreme lack of oxygen intake. The roots become weak due to the lack of oxygen they are receiving. 

  • Disease Proliferation

Constant moisture in poorly drained soil creates a breeding ground for fungi. Saturated soil conditions can encourage the development of root rot. Root rot weakens the plants, making them susceptible to decay. Other diseases like damping-off, are likely to thrive in these wet-soiled environments. Improper drainage can lead to diseases and a decline in the plant’s overall health. 

  • Poor Structural Stability

Poor drainage affects the health of plants and compromises structural stability. Excessive water in the soil can weaken the root system, making it more prone to uprooting during heavy rains or floods. The instability not only endangers the affected plants but can also affect surrounding areas such as fences, garden walls, or even the home’s foundation. 

  • Reduce Nutrient

Apart from nutrient depletion, saturated soil can affect the plant’s ability to take up nutrients. Areas with poor drainage create a barrier that restricts the movement of essential nutrients to the roots. So, even if the soil has its nutrients, the plant may struggle to completely absorb them, leading to nutrient depletion, making the overall plant unhealthier.

To completely reduce the impact of poor landscape drainage on plants, it is important to implement effective drainage solutions such as installing a drainage system or updating the current drainage system you may have.  

For all landscape drainage needs, please contact us by calling or emailing us. We would be happy to assist you in any landscape drainage issues you may be experiencing. 281-494-3700 or 

Check out our drainage page: Drainage Correction


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