Water

Why do plants need water to survive?

Water is one of the most essential things that a plant needs to grow apart from soil, sunlight, temperature and nutrients. Plants need water to synthesise food. They take in water as they capture sunlight and then transform it into food molecules. The water requirement of plants differs according to their type, age and amount of sunlight received.

About 90% of a plant’s weight is water. Water helps the plants to transfer minerals and food from one part to the other. On hot days, the water evaporates on the surface of the leaves, thereby cooling the plant. This is very similar to the effect perspiration has on our bodies.

Solvent

Water acts as a solvent by absorbing the minerals present in the soil along with water. These minerals cannot be taken in by the plant if they are in their natural state.

Photosynthesis

Photosynthesis is the process in which plants convert light energy to chemical energy and store it as bonds of sugar. The chemical equation involved in photosynthesis is:

6CO2 + 6H2O + (Light energy) = C6H12O6 + 6O2

Water molecules combine with carbon molecules to form glucose and oxygen.

Turgidity

Turgidity is the pressure of water in plant cells which is important for it’s survival. Water aids growth by expanding the plant cells.

Transpiration

Transpiration involves the exchange of water for carbon dioxide by plants. Leaves have microscopic openings on their surface called stomata. Plants stay alive by balancing the amount of carbon dioxide taken in and the amount of water evaporated through these openings. Plants can control the opening and closing of the stomata to regulate water loss and to absorb little amounts of carbon dioxide.

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