MadSci Network: Botany

Re: Why will plants grow in Diet Coke and water and not other sodas?

Date: Tue Mar 7 18:39:14 2000
Posted By: David Hershey, Faculty, Botany, NA
Area of science: Botany
ID: 952399750.Bt

I think you are correct that it is the sugar. I looked at a bottle of 
generic soda pop and the label said it had 30 grams of carbohydrate 
(sugar) per serving and 8 servings per 2-liter bottle. That would be about 
120 grams of sugar per liter. That's a lot of sugar.
The dissolved sugar makes the water in the soda pop less available to the 
seed, and seeds need water to sprout. 

The Diet Coke contains no sugar. Instead, it has an artificial sweetener 
that is much stronger than sugar so only a small amount of the artifical 
sweetener is added to the Diet Coke.

If you did a followup experiment to test your hypothesis about the sugar, 
you could add different amounts of sugar to water and treat the seeds with 
those sugar solutions.  You could try 25, 50, 100, and 200 grams of sugar 
per liter. Seeds might sprout at the lower sugar concentrations but not at 
the higher ones.

Current Queue | Current Queue for Botany | Botany archives

Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Botany.

MadSci Home | Information | Search | Random Knowledge Generator | MadSci Archives | Mad Library | MAD Labs | MAD FAQs | Ask a ? | Join Us! | Help Support MadSci

MadSci Network,
© 1995-2000. All rights reserved.