How Plants Move Water to Leaves


When you water your home garden plants or when it rains, water is absorbed into soil and travels throughout the plant to leaves. Plants are dependent on water for healthy growth and functioning, and the processes that transport water from soil to plant leaves are the basis of plant life. This significant experience feeds plants and allows them to create energy for their development.

Time Frame

Plants move water to leaves on a daily basis, twice a day. During the daytime, water and nutrients move upward from roots to leaves due to the process evaporation. During nighttime hours, sap rises again due to root pressure from the gathering of minerals in roots, according to General Hydroponics Europe.


Roots absorb water present in soil. Plant roots often have rootlets that act as small hairs. The greater surface area the roots have, the more water they absorb, according to the Michigan State University Extension. Water moves up the stem of the plant. During evaporation, the natural pores of the leaves open when plants take in air. As the pores, or stomates, open, water is released. As the plant loses water, the outward force brings water up toward leaves from roots. Additionally, as water flows into roots where there are accumulating salts or sugars, pressure builds. This pressure also moves water upward into leaves.


The movement of a plant's water to leaves is essential to growth and health. Photosynthesis is the process by which the plant converts energy from the sun into sugars that fuel the plant. Water is a necessary component of this process. Additionally, water transports necessary nutrients throughout the plant.


The nutrients and other elements carried in water are absorbed by your plant's cells. If your soil is in good condition or bad condition, your plant will still absorb water. Keep in mind the source of the water in your soil, how well-drained your soil is, whether your roots can readily absorb needed water, whether the pH level of your soil is healthy for your plant, and whether there are any dangerous toxins within your soil's water, according to the Michigan State University Extension. Since roots uptake water and move it to leaves, your plant can easily suffer injury from improper conditions.


Hydroponics is a way of growing plants that relies on the way in which plants move water to leaves. During water shortages or confined growth areas, hydroponics, or growing plants solely in water without soil, creates an alternative option. With a greatly decreased threat of pests and disease and a lack of weed invasion, roots do not need to seek out water. All nutrients and moisture are at the plant's disposal for immediate absorption. As the grower can easily adjust the content of the nutrients within water as well as the amount of water available to the plant, relying on the plant's natural mechanisms of moving water to leaves creates a successful growing method, according to the Virginia Cooperative Extension.

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About this Author

Tarah Damask's writing career, beginning in 2003, includes experience as a fashion writer/editor for Neiman Marcus, short fiction publications in "North Texas Review," a self-published novel, band biographies, charter school curriculum, and articles for eHow. She has a love for words and is an avid observer. Damask holds a Master of Arts in English and creative writing from the University of North Texas.