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

Bird nest fungus in Central Austin, TX.
August 21, 2012 - Hi, I live in Central Austin and have different types of ground cover (such as silver pony foot)in my garden and have noticed huge patches of bird's nest fungi in between and under. Every time it ...
view the full question and answer

Does music affect growth of necklace pod plants?
May 15, 2009 - Does music affect the growth of the necklace pod plants? this is for a science project! Please help!
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

Petals on Black eyed Susans not developing from Austin
September 04, 2012 - I just read Barbara Medfords response to undeveloped petals on perennial black eyed susans and was disappointed not to find a better explanation. I have had the exact same thing happen to mine, and I...
view the full question and answer

Albinism in plants.
May 16, 2010 - Greetings, I was wondering what you know of albinism in plants? I know I've found a few articles about it online. I discovered my only albino plant last summer. It was an albino dogbane plant grow...
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