Water. We all need it. Plants, insects, animals, humans – without water, we would perish very quickly. But have you ever stopped to think about how exactly water plays its part in the growth of green plants?
Water dissolves plant nutrients in the soil. Nearly all of the nutrients necessary for plants to survive and thrive are in a solid form unable to be absorbed by a plant’s roots. When these nutrients become immersed in water, the water molecules surround the nutrient molecules (i.e. dissolution) rendering them more readily able to pass into plant roots to then be transported to every living cell that makes up that plant’s structure
Water plays an important role in plant biological activities. We all know that photosynthesis occurs when light strikes the chloroplasts in plant cells, but water is also necessary for this important chemical process to occur, as shown in the chemical equation below.
6CO2 +6H2O → C6H12O6 + 6O2
Water is also necessary for building and breaking down DNA and various plant proteins.
Water is important as a source of hydrogen. Plants cannot absorb hydrogen from the atmosphere. They can only get the hydrogen they need through the water in the soil.
Water is needed to keep plants cool. Without water, a hot dunny summer day would be the finish of most, if not all plant life on this planet.
In nature, plants get the water they need from rain, snow, surface drainage water, and underground water. In our gardens, we need to supply the majority of the water that plants need, as rain, underground water, and surface drainage water on their own can’t supply enough to meet the plants’ needs. And garden plants don’t grow in snow. So remember this the next time you pour water out of a can or turn the hose on your garden plants. You’re not just giving the plants a drink. You are sustaining the biochemistry that is the very foundation of plant life.