Abstract Crop plants are exposed to several environmental stresses, all affecting plant growth and development, which consequently hampers the productivity of crop plants. Drought is considered the single most devastating environmental stress, which decreases crop productivity more than any other environmental stress. Drought severely affects plant growth and development with substantial reductions in crop growth rate and biomass accumulation. The main consequences of drought in crop plants are reduced rate of cell division and expansion, leaf size, stem elongation and root proliferation, and disturbed stomatal oscillations, plant water and nutrient relations with diminished crop productivity, and water use efficiency. Relative water content (RWC), leaf water potential, stomatal resistance, the rate of transpiration, leaf temperature and canopy temperature are important characteristics that influence plant water relations. Salicylic acid is considered to be an endogenous growth regulator of phenolic nature that enhanced the leaf area and dry mass production in corn and soybean. Salicylic acid (SA) as a potent signaling molecule in plants is involved in eliciting specific responses to biotic and abiotic stresses.