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How Do Different Types of Liquid Affect Bean Plant Growth?

By Jamie Conrad ; Updated September 21, 2017
Plain, simple water is still a stand-by for healthy bean plants.

Bean plants are often included in gardens due to their simple cultivation and the versatility of the fruit they produce. These plants lend themselves to growth in a variety of liquids, while becoming stunted or even dying when exposed to others. Depending on the results you wish to achieve, whether boosting growth, increasing health or removing unwanted plants from your garden, there is a liquid to meet your bean plant needs.

Liquid Nutrients

Beans grown in soil or hydroponically in solution use up the growing medium's nutrients over time. These nutrients must be replaced regularly to ensure proper growth and development of your bean plants. Liquid fertilizer contains essential nutrients your bean plants require and enrich the soil when applied. Liquid nutrient solutions used in hydroponic systems create a nourishing environment for bean plant roots with no soil necessary. Both of these liquid nutrient options produce healthy, productive bean plants.

Sweetened Water

Sugar water has a negative effect on bean plants. Plant roots are designed to absorb as much pure water as quickly as possible while absorbing impurities slowly to filter them out. Bean plant roots recognize sugar as an impurity, thus decreasing the amount of water a bean plant absorbs. While bean plants usually prefer a drier soil, the lack of water intake due to sugar actually kills the plant over time. Molasses is a natural sugar, however, and plants process it easily. When added to water, it provides plants with nutrients and even boosts the ability of fertilizer, increasing the fertilizer's benefits to your plants.

Pure Water

Plain tap or rain water is really the only liquid bean plants need to survive and produce. These types of water contain trace nutrients and the hydration your plants require. As mentioned previously, plants are designed to absorb pure water. Distilled water is extremely purified to remove any impurities, making it an ideal choice for bean plants. Since this water is highly purified, it is also highly digestible to plants, meaning their water intake is at its maximum potential, and plants are able to grow and produce at their best.

Carbonated Water

Carbonated water is simply distilled water with carbon dioxide added. However, the process of adding carbon dioxide also adds other nutrients including calcium and magnesium. This makes the water nutrient-rich and highly digestible to plants. Bean plants watered with carbonated water run the risk of over-fertilization, so limit the use of carbonated water to once weekly. Sources of carbonated water include club soda, soda and plain carbonated water. If using soda, remember that it contains sugar, negating the benefits of the carbonation for your bean plants.

Salt Water

Salt is a desiccant for all plants, meaning it draws moisture from the plant. Like sugar, salt in water is recognized by plants as an impurity. As a result of being watered with salt water, plants take in less water over time and absorb some of the salt in the water they do take in. This means that the plants begin dehydrating due to lack of water intake. The bean plants also dehydrate from the inside out due to the salt they absorb from the water. Salt water is deadly to your bean plants.