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
29 ratings

Friday - February 20, 2009

From: Miami, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: General Botany
Title: What is more important for plant growth; sunlight, water, soil or what?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

What is more important for plant growth generally. Sunlight, water, good soil what ? please write back I need an answer I am 13 doing a science project.

ANSWER:

Generally speaking, there are five basic needs for all living organisms: an energy source, a source of carbon, liquid water, mineral elements, and an appropriate temperature for growth.

Since plants are autotrophs, they can provide their own energy source by using sunlight to combine carbon dioxide with water to form carbohydrates. The mineral elements are usually obtained from the soil. So while all of the factors are important, its hard to say that any one factor is more important than the other.

In the case of hydroponics, we can grow plants in a controlled environment and substitute artificial light for sunlight, and use a nutrient solution in place of soil, but there has  to be water for the plants to grow.

 

 

More General Botany Questions

Plant cloning or genetic engineering
February 23, 2012 - Can you take one genome (strain) and take a clean cut and put onto another plant another strain?
view the full question and answer

What caused purple heartwood in my Tuliptree?
June 15, 2009 - My Tulip tree was hit by lightning and all bark from the base of the tree up to 50 feet was blown off. The tree also sustained a significant crack through the trunk. When the tree was cut down, we...
view the full question and answer

Can Condalia hookeri (Brasil or Bluewood condalia) self-pollinate?
May 07, 2014 - Good morning Mr. SP, I see from your description of Condalia hookeri that this species has bisexual flowers. Do you know if it is self-incompatible?
view the full question and answer

Information about glucose concentration in plants for Science Fair project
October 24, 2007 - I am a high school student enrolling in science fair. MY topic is as follows, "Can a plant be removed from the sun and put in dark and still survive if I directly inject glucose into the stem/roots (...
view the full question and answer

Wild Native Hybrids and Cultivars?
June 14, 2010 - It is my understanding that hybrids can occur with or without human intervention whereas cultivars always involve human intervention. Strictly speaking does this mean native wildflowers can never be ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center