Water Effect on Plants


Water has a profound effect on the health of plants, providing the basic conditions required to grow roots, leaves, stems and fruits. Countless biological processes within a plant are disturbed when water supplies dwindle, leading to weak development and possibly death.

Water is vital to all aspects of plant development. image by "green hope" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: spettacolopuro (Andrea) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.


Even the richest soil cannot directly transfer its nutrients to plants. Water dissolves soil-bound nutrients, making them available to absorbent roots.

Water contributes to proper cell division in plant tissues. image by "Onion cells" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: kaibara87 (Umberto Salvagnin) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.


Like all living creatures, plants grow when their cells can divide efficiently. Water is a crucial medium in which cell division takes place, fostering strong development of new cells.

Stems draw their strength from water. image by "S T A N D I N G . S O F T L Y" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: ♦ Kris ♦ (Kristin Bradley) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.


Water swells the cells found in leaves and stems, making them stiff and springy. Wilting and drooping results when there is not enough water to keep plant tissues engorged.

Trees and plants grow deep, strong roots in moist soil. image by "Deeper than you'd think" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: Matter = Energy (Fabian Winiger) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.


Uniformly moist soil encourages healthy roots to grow deeply into the ground, providing plants with a strong foundation and contributing to their ability to absorb nutrients.


Water contains hydrogen, a vital component of the sugars that plants produce to feed themselves. When water supplies diminish, a plant is robbed of the building blocks needed to nourish itself.


  • Michigan State University Horticulture
  • Plant-Care.com

Who Can Help

  • Watering Indoor Plants
Keywords: water, effects, plants

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.