Watering Can Watering A Seedling In Soil
water plants
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Water is crucial to all life. Even the most hardy desert plants need water. So how does water affect plant growth? Keep reading to learn more.

How Does Water Affect Plant Growth?

What does water do for a plant? There are three potential situations with water: too much, too little and, of course, just enough.

  • If a plant's soil has too much water, the roots can rot, and the plant can't get enough oxygen from the soil.
  • If there is not enough water for a plant, the nutrients it needs cannot travel through the plant.
  • A plant cannot grow if it doesn't have healthy roots, so the proper balance of water is key when growing plants.

There are a few simple things you can do to check the amount of water in the soil and ensure that there is the correct entry of water in a plant. One of the quickest ways is to just put your finger in the soil, up to your knuckle. If the soil is moist, it has enough water; if it is dry, you need to water the plant. If the pot feels lighter than usual, or if the soil is pulling away from the sides of the pot, it needs more water and may even be in need of rehydration.

How Does Water Help a Plant?

How does water help a plant? What does water do for a plant? Water helps a plant by transporting important nutrients through the plant. Nutrients are drawn from the soil and used by the plant. Without enough water in the cells, the plant will droop, so water helps a plant to stand upright. Water carries dissolved sugar and other nutrients through the plant. 

So, without the proper balance of water, the plant not only is malnourished, but it is also physically weak and cannot support its own weight. Different types of plants require different amounts of water. With outdoor plants, you can't control the plants getting too much water if your area gets a lot of rain, so you need to make sure the soil has proper drainage. Too much water will affect plant growth just as much as too little.

Entry of Water in a Plant

How does water travel up a plant? The water a plant needs enters through the root system. The water then travels up a plant through the stem and into the leaves, flowers or fruit. The water travels up a plant through its xylem vessels, which are like capillaries that move the water into the different parts of the plant. What does water do for a plant in other ways? It helps the plant maintain the proper temperature as water evaporates. 

When moisture evaporates from the surface area, the plant draws more water up through the roots to replace what was lost, traveling through the plant's circulatory system. Knowing how water affects plant growth and what water does for a plant, it's easy to remember that keeping your plant properly watered is important to its health and looks.

Shari Armstrong

Shari Armstrong is a guest writer for Gardening Know How.