Water and Plants

  • Thread starter Swapnil
  • Start date
  • #1
459
5
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?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
DaveC426913
Gold Member
18,908
2,414
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!
 
  • #3
jim mcnamara
Mentor
4,027
2,460
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.
 
  • #4
459
5
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? :confused:
 
  • #5
russ_watters
Mentor
19,809
6,206
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.
 
  • #6
Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
11,490
52
Exactly how can I perform this experiment? What does food dye have to do with this? :confused:
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.
 
  • #7
459
5
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?
 
  • #8
russ_watters
Mentor
19,809
6,206
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/water_movement_in_celery_stems.htm
 
Last edited:
  • #9
jim mcnamara
Mentor
4,027
2,460
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.
 
  • #10
Evo
Mentor
23,153
2,773
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.
 

Related Threads on Water and Plants

  • Last Post
Replies
10
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
34K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
5K
Replies
12
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
957
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
16K
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
8K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
2K
Top