En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - February 19, 2008

From: Bennington, NE
Region: Midwest
Topic: General Botany
Title: Why is water used for plants.
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Why is water the most popular thing for watering plants if is so plain?


Water isn't a popular thing for plants, it is a NECESSITY. Plants, like all living things, are made of cells, and cells require water to function. Water is also necessary to carry out photosynthesis, the process by which plants make food from sunlight and water. Water is also involved in maintaining the plant's structure. When plants don't have enough water the cells collapse and the plants wilt (see the answer to a previous question for more information) and my ultimately die. Water is not only necessary in itself, it also carries vital plant nutrients (for example, nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and postassium (K)) to the roots of a plant.

So, you see, plants absolutely NEED water. Water taken up by plants may contain other substances like the nutrients listed above. Some people water their plants with a liquid fertilizer—water with added nutrients—and this may make the plant grow faster or larger, but the water itself is a necessity. Without water plants would die.


More General Botany Questions

USDA Hardiness Zone of Rancho Bernardo, CA
October 01, 2009 - What plant zone is Poway, Rancho Bernardo CA?
view the full question and answer

Is it safe to eat vegetables grown in the same bed as foxgloves?
August 12, 2012 - I have foxglove in my flower beds and have planted tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and cantaloupe in the flower bed and now I am concerned about the shared root system. Also, my tomatoes are touching the...
view the full question and answer

Simple flowers vs. compound flowers
August 23, 2008 - Please, give the characteristics of a "simple flower" as distinct from a compound flower which has rays and "disk flowers". What type of flower is the flower of a chive,which seems to be composed...
view the full question and answer

Key for Verbesina virginica
June 16, 2014 - Are the stems of Verbesina virginica hairy? My in-laws have what I believe is Verbesina virginica (blooms in September here in VA) and another wild flower that blooms before it and is yellow. I'd l...
view the full question and answer

Possible reasons for yellow heads for Indian Blanket
December 13, 2005 - I had Indian Blanket flowers that had almost pure yellow heads. Will the seeds of these flowers produce plants that will have yellow flowers?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center