While most plants require salt as part of their diet, too much salt can result in an imbalance and in many cases may be toxic. Plants feed by pulling water through their root systems and distributing the water up the stem and out to branches, leaves and blooms. If there is too much salt--or other nutrients, such as nitrogen or phosphorus--present in the available water supply, the plant will struggle to pull the needed water and nutrients out of the soil and may display symptoms similar to drought. Soil salinity differs in regions across the country and can be difficult to change.
On some plants that have been exposed to too much salt water, the leaves may appear burned or dried out. The leaves turn brown around the edges and look as if they are suffering from drought.
Plants that are watered with salty water may droop or wilt. Stems with blooms or leaves may become almost rubbery and fall over from the weight of the bloom or leaf, or in some cases, the entire plant may wilt and eventually die.
An overabundance of salt in the water may cause a plant's leaves to turn yellow, and eventually appear burned. The yellowing will first be noticeable on the outer edges of the leaves, though the coloring of the whole leaf and stem will eventually change. If the salinity of the soil is not changed, the yellow leaves, which may initially appear healthy other than the change in coloring, will dry out and turn brown.