|MadSci Network: Botany|
Plants use water in several different ways, including: 1. Water is a solvent for biochemical reactions. 2. Water is required or produced by many biochemical reactions. 3. Water flow helps transport mineral nutrients through the plant. 4. Water filled cells help support the plant, therefore plants deprived of water wilt. 5. About 95% of water absorbed by most plants is evaporated from the leaves (termed transpiration) because the stomata must be open to let in carbon dioxide needed for photosynthesis. Liquid fertilizer has mineral nutrient salts in it, and salts lower the water potential. Water moves from high water potential to lower (usually more negative) water potential. Therefore, you may expect that wilted plants will recover better when receiving plain water. However, plants also require mineral nutrients that fertilizer contains. If the liquid fertilizer is concentrated enough, it will certainly reduce the rate of recovery or prevent recovery. You also have to be sure all your plants are wilted to the same extent, which is not that easy to do. Reference Stern, K.R. 1991. Introductory Plant Biology. Dubuque, IA: Wm. C. Brown.
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