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?

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
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

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

Will molasses harm beneficial organisms in my garden?
April 06, 2009 - If I use molasses in the garden, I am hoping this will NOT kill the beneficial nematodes and my earth worms, or other good bugs such as lady bugs? Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Seed for Kosteletzkya virginica, salt marsh mallow
January 13, 2009 - I have a nursery in North Carolina. We are looking for a reliable seed source for kosteletzkya virginica salt marsh mallow. We are www.campbellfamilynursery.com
view the full question and answer

Purple leatherflower with white bloom
July 17, 2014 - A couple of years ago at the wildflower center native plant sale I bought a purple leatherflower according to the tag. This is the first year it has bloomed and the blooms are pure white. The shape ma...
view the full question and answer

Why do some flowers open during the day and close at night?
April 08, 2009 - My son is doing a science fair project on the California Poppies. We are trying to find the definitive answer on why the flowers open during the day and close at night.
view the full question and answer

Are freshwater sponges poisonous if eaten by a dog?
September 25, 2009 - Are freshwater sponges, native to Missouri, poisonous if eaten by a dog?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center