Importance of Water in Plant Life


Water is essential in the cultivation of plants and is necessary for food production, transfer of vitamins and nutrients and healthy foliage. Although the amount of water required by a given plant varies from species to species, the complete absence of this life-giving substance will eventually stunt growth and cause early death.

Sprinkler systems keep lawns adequately watered in dry climates. image by "The wet path / El sendero mojado" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: pasotraspaso (Jesus Solana) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.


On the microscopic level, plants grow when the cells in their tissues divide. Without adequate amounts of water, this process produces new cells that are small and weak.

Healthy leaves are engorged with water. image by "Veins" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: kaibara87 (Umberto Salvagnin) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.


The stems and leaves of plants require water to remain firm and rigid. Stems will droop and leaves will wilt if they become too parched.

Plants use sunlight and water to produce food. image by "Sun Rays" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: John-Morgan (John Morgan) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.


Plants produce their own food, using the energy from sunlight to generate nutritious sugars. Without the hydrogen found in water, these sugars cannot be assembled and the plant will starve.


The vitamins and minerals required for healthy plant growth cannot be absorbed from the soil unless they are dissolved in water.

Deep, full roots require water to grow. image by "Deeper than you'd think" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: Matter = Energy (Fabian Winiger) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.


Plants rely on deep, dense roots to absorb water and nutrients. Without enough moisture in the soil, roots cannot develop fully and plants will exhibit little or no growth.


  • Michigan State University Horticulture
  • Sambal's Science Web

Who Can Help

  • Watering Plants
Keywords: water, importance, plants, life

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.