How Does Water Affect Plants?

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Plants require water in order to survive.

Water is a basic for all plant life

Plants require water in order to survive.

Water is an essential element which all plants need for basic survival. Some plants require more water and some less, depending on their genetic makeup. But it's that right balance which each plant needs to help it function, along with soil and sun.


The process plants use to obtain water

It all starts with the basic water cycle. Condensation rises from bodies of water and clouds form. When clouds gain enough moisture, and are stored in the atmosphere, it is released, in the form of rain or snow, depending on the atmospheric and earth's temperatures. The water is absorbed into the ground. It can be re-evaporated or absorbed. The plant drinks the water through its root system and takes what it needs from the ground soil, or if it's potted, through the soil in its pot. The water travels through the root systems to all parts of the plant, including the stem, its leaves, and in some cases, the flowers and fruit.


Plant growth with too little water

Plants require the optimal amount of water for growth and survival.

What happens to a plant when there is too little water? First, a plant's growth is stifled. The plant may not appear healthy and its leaves, flowers and fruit may look wilted or shriveled. The plant may look dry and the leaves brown. The stems and branches can adopt a spindly lookl and may turn from green to brown. Death of the plant may be the final result if it's deprived of water for too long.


Plants which resist drought

There are, however, some plants which are drought-resistant. Drought is when inadequate moisture is in the ground based on the lack of precipitation. There are some plants in which the genetic makeup is programmed to survive this environmental condition and require less water overall. The Heather plant is one such plant. Privet hedges are also resilient to lack of water. And probably the most quintessential drought-resistant plant is the cactus.

Affects from overwatering

The cactus plant is a well-known species which resists drought.

Plants can have difficulty when they receive too much water, just as they do when they are given too little. Too much water results from rainy or snowy conditions in which the water does not properly absorb into the ground. The ground can become frozen and the water sits on the top of the ground. Or there may be too much water already in the ground, which is not being evaporated back into the atmosphere. Evaporation occurs from the warmth of the sun, as well as the basic and natural water cycle. Plants can also be over-watered artificially with a watering can or hose. What happens to a plant when it receives too much water? The same thing can occur when it receives too little water. It can wilt, turn brown, its flowers and fruit may also have the same result. Plants may also not develop and maintain proper root systems with too much water. They technically become lazy because they are receiving what they need and not really working for it. This can also result in the death of the plant since it loses its ability and desire to survive.