Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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?

Share

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

QUESTION:

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

ANSWER:

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

Smarty Plants on air purification
September 14, 2005 - What plant purifies the air?
view the full question and answer

Native plant initiatives for universities in Southeast U.S.
April 26, 2005 - Hello, I am an undergraduate student majoring in botany at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, TN. I am a native plant enthusiast and would like to promote n.p.'s on campus. Do you kn...
view the full question and answer

Will recent freezes delay wildflowers from Dripping Springs TX
February 15, 2011 - What effect will the recent freezing temperatures have on the Texas Hill Country Wildflowers? Will it delay blooming? Thank you!
view the full question and answer

What are the native plants in Kerrville, Texas?
May 22, 2013 - What are the native plants in Kerrville, Texas?
view the full question and answer

Restoring the woods in Central Austin.
May 08, 2012 - I live in Austin, south central between Red Bud trail close to the low water bridge and Bee Caves road. My question: I want to make the wooded sections of my yard attractive. They have filtered sun...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.