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How Plants Grow with Different Kinds of Liquids

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Plants require a basic combination of ingredients to grow. The primary needs of plants include sunlight, air, water and soil. In addition to the basics, you can help plants grow even larger by adding extra nutrients to the water. Experiment with your plants and see how various liquids affect your plants' growth.

Water

Water is the ultimate liquid for plants. It provides moisture for cell structure and strength and is a carrier for the nutrients the plants take from the soil. As long as the soil contains all the basic nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potash, water is the only liquid plants require for healthy growth.

Salt

There is a reason why very few plants grow in and around saltwater. Saltwater, even in small concentrations, is deadly to plant cells. Unlike sugar, salt cannot be used by the plant’s cells. As saltwater enters the plant cells, all other moisture instantly leaves through the cells permeable membrane. This process results in plants literally dying of thirst. As for the plants that do grow in salt water, these plants have developed specialized systems in their roots that filters out the salt and saves the fresh water in water bladders.

Milk

The National Dairy Council will tell you time and time again that milk is a necessity for growing strong children. It would only make sense that it could grow strong plants, too. While plants can survive on milk, milk also contains compounds that the plants cannot use. Substances such as fat and sugars are left in the soil. Over time, bacteria feed on the substances and multiply. These bacteria can accidentally be absorbed into the plant’s roots and promote disease.

Sugar

Believe it or not, small amounts of sugar are actually good for your plants. Specifically, a sugar concentration of 3 percent easily absorbs into the plant’s roots and gives your garden an energy boost. This boost occurs throughout he process of pinocytosis, or cell drinking. Beware, however, because any larger amounts can cause the plant’s cells to lose water and begin shriveling.

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