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Water and Plants

by Swapnil
Tags: plants, water
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Swapnil
#1
Aug16-07, 06:08 PM
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How much time does it take for a plant to start taking water up to it roots through the stem to its other braches once you have watered it?
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DaveC426913
#2
Aug16-07, 06:30 PM
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Sounds like a good experiment! Get a plant and some food dye and knock yerself out! Don't forget to let us know your conclusions!
jim mcnamara
#3
Aug17-07, 10:29 AM
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Dave's suggestion is how florists get carnations with interestingly striped petals, for example. It's fun, you should try it.

Soil water uptake rates vary a lot from species to species, time of day, ambient temperature, soil microstructure, and relative humidity.... some plants even get all their water from condensation on leaf surfaces - like Welwitschia mirabilis. Epiphytic orchids and plants like Tillandsia (Spanish moss) absorb water from dew or rainfall directly onto specialized aerial root systems.

If you take Plant Physiology - unless you are a Botanist I do not recommend it - you'll spend at least half a semester on plant/water relations. It ain't that simple.

But.

The basic model is easy to understand. For example, in order to actively move water, plants have to have open stomates or have spongiform tissue that is low on water. Most plants rate of water uptake at night is much slower because stomates are closed.

Swapnil
#4
Aug20-07, 04:04 PM
P: 460
Water and Plants

Quote Quote by DaveC426913 View Post
Sounds like a good experiment! Get a plant and some food dye and knock yerself out! Don't forget to let us know your conclusions!
Exactly how can I perform this experiment? What does food dye have to do with this?
russ_watters
#5
Aug20-07, 04:24 PM
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I'm pretty sure I did that experiment in elementary school. If you feed it colored water, it'll turn that color as the water gets sucked-up the stem.
Moonbear
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Aug20-07, 04:31 PM
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Quote Quote by Swapnil View Post
Exactly how can I perform this experiment? What does food dye have to do with this?
As Russ pointed out, you feed them colored water (the food dye is just a safe coloring to use). The food dye is taken up with the water. But, I'm not sure if that works through the roots. I've done this with cut stems immersed in dyed water. The roots might be better at filtering what they take up.
Swapnil
#7
Aug21-07, 08:26 PM
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Quote Quote by russ_watters View Post
I'm pretty sure I did that experiment in elementary school. If you feed it colored water, it'll turn that color as the water gets sucked-up the stem.
So if you have a red colored water and you pour it into the plant, would the whole plant turn red or just the leaves?
russ_watters
#8
Aug22-07, 05:38 AM
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Moonbear might be right about needing to cut the stem and put it in a bath of colored water (hey - it was 20 years ago!), but anyway....
So if you have a red colored water and you pour it into the plant, would the whole plant turn red or just the leaves?
The stem will slowly turn red as the water rises up through it.

Google finds many references to this: http://sps.k12.ar.us/massengale/wate...lery_stems.htm
jim mcnamara
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Aug22-07, 09:20 AM
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So if you have a red colored water and you pour it into the plant, would the whole plant turn red or just the leaves?
Dark blue works better. It's easier to see. Red makes the petals a more interesting color, if petals are a light color to start with. Use food coloring - the liquid dye that comes in little bottles. Some commercial dyes are not friendly to plant tissues.

The dye can work up through the stem and into the petals of a flower in a few hours if you use a cut flower. Moonbear is right - the cell membranes in root hairs may filter out foreign molecules, like dye.

More importantly, dyes bind to organic matter in the soil long before they get to the root hairs. If you grow plants hydroponically, you can add dye to the growth medium and the plant will suck up some of it, depending on the dye molecule.
Evo
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Aug22-07, 08:36 PM
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Quote Quote by Swapnil View Post
How much time does it take for a plant to start taking water up to it roots through the stem to its other braches once you have watered it?
If the roots aren't damaged it's immediate. I used to do a lot of work with roses which would come bare rooted. You put the bare roots into a bucket of water, they will start taking in water immediately.

As for other plants. Take a plant with roots and knock or wash off the dirt. Let it start to wilt, then place into tepid water, Usually within an hour the plant will look the same as before it started to wilt. Just be careful not to let it wilt too much, you'll just end up killing it.


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