The Importance of Water to Plants


Water is essential to every major process that goes on within a plant. Although over-watering can do more harm than good, a plant deprived of sufficient moisture is most likely doomed to develop poorly and die early. Many tropical and swamp-dwelling species won't grow in soil that is not kept damp at all times.


Photosynthesis uses the energy in sunlight to create nourishing sugars from water and air. Without the hydrogen found in water, these sugars cannot be manufactured and plants are unable to feed themselves.


Water is important in promoting the healthy growth of new cells within a plant's tissues. When water levels are too low, cells become small and weak and can't divide very efficiently.


Water serves as a bridge between roots and soil, allowing plants to absorb crucial nutrients.


Since plants spend so much time in the sun, they need a way to keep cool. Most species sweat water, which draws heat away from leaf surfaces as it evaporates.


Excessively dry soil slows underground growth, so ensuring that a plant receives enough water is the key to encouraging deep, vigorous root development.


Without water, stems loose their stiffness and thin leaves cannot remain rigid. The cells within these tissues must be firmly swollen with moisture to prevent wilting.


  • Michigan State University Horticulture
  • Sambal's Science Web

Who Can Help

  • "Guidelines for Watering Indoor Plants"
Keywords: Photosynthesis, watering plants, effects, importance

About this Author

Justin Coleman is a freelance writer based in Connecticut. Since 2007, he has covered a variety of topics, including biology and computers, amongst others. Coleman is currently a freelance nature and technology writer and wildlife photographer. When not working, Coleman tirelessly explores new areas of nature, history, philosophy, comparative religion, technology and sociology.