What is guttation?

Some plants have superpowers, such as purifying the air, reducing stress and stimulating creativity. Wonderful, isn't it? But did you know that plants also have some pretty weird quirks? Well, some plants have the ability to 'cry'.... They don't cry over a missed watering or when they lose a leaf, as you might expect. It's mainly something that is very useful to the plant and it's good to know what this actually is. Read on and find out.

gutation on leaf tip.jpg

Cry me a river

Drops may hang from the tips or edges of your plant's leaves. This happens because plants collect water in their roots. So when they need it, they can move it up the stem to drain it off. During this journey through the stem, some nutrients are absorbed along the way. Normally, the water and the small amount of nutrients would be released through the stomata, which are small holes on the leaf, but sometimes these stomata are closed. In most plants the stomata are closed at night, which is perfectly normal. This will result in the plant having to squeeze the water out of the edges and ends of their leaves. If your plant succeeds in this, this water will collect in tiny droplets at the edges. This natural process appears on every plant with a vascular system, so not only with houseplants. There are some plants that are well known for guttation. One of them is Alocasia, guttation is spotted very often on these plants. So if you have an Alocasia at home, you might have seen this happen on your plants before!

stomata blog gutation.jpg

Here you can see the stomata

Is guttation bad for my plant?

Fortunately this process is not harmful to your plant, it’s actually a sign of a very healthy plant! The only thing that can go wrong with guttation, is when you accidently have given your plant too much fertilizer. This can result in a build-up in the water with minerals from the fertilizer. When this sits on the leaves, it burns them. A sign of too much fertilizer could be small white deposits on the leaf tips. So just keep an eye on fertilizing your plant and you should be totally fine! Oh, and maybe keep in mind that guttation drops can leave stains on furniture, droplets can be wiped off directly from the leaves with a moist cloth to prevent this.

Is guttation a sign of overwatering?

Yes and no… It doesn’t have to mean that you’re providing your plants with too much water. Most important thing to remember is that your plant is super healthy when this process occurs, so the advice is not to get scared and cut back on watering right away. Just let nature take its course.

Guttation versus transpiration

Now you know that guttation happens through squeezing water out through the edges and tips of the leaves, but what is the difference with transpiration? This does actually happen during the day when the stomata is open, water will be released through these tiny holes and will evaporate into the sky. Same liquid, different process. Transpiration mostly occurs when the humidity is low or when the temperature is high and can only happen when the stomata is open during the day.

Plants keep surprising us with their many abilities! Gotten inspired to learn more about plants and their superpowers? You can read our other blogs to become a real plant-expert!


Emma è un'appassionata di botanica con un desiderio incrollabile di condividere con voi la sua vasta conoscenza delle piante. È sempre lieta di rispondere alle vostre domande, di fornirvi consigli per la cura e di guidarvi nella ricerca della pianta perfetta per il vostro spazio.

06 agosto 2023
Ciao, sono Emma, la tua guida!

Ciao, sono Emma, la tua guida!