DIG THIS! SLO Landscape Strategies

Why do leaves look so vibrant after a rain?

Rainwater is naturally distilled through evaporation prior to cloud formation, and is thus one of our purest sources of water. It also contains small doses of fertilizer and is considered ‘soft’ because of its lack of calcium and magnesium. Soft water is easier for plants to absorb the nutrients from, so after a rain everything from creeping grasses to towering redwoods takes on a healthy, vibrant glow.

This abundance of soft, nutrient-rich water, coupled with the cooler weather conditions, makes the rainy season an ideal time for planting. In the summertime plants undergo transplant shock once they’re put in the ground. New roots dry out easily in the heat, and lack of water contributes to growth-stunting stress. The climate from late fall through spring, however, is a low-stress environment for new roots and shoots to take hold.