As you must know, a tree needs at least soil, light, and water to grow. But how do different liquids affect plant growth? Have you ever wondered about this? Fortunately, many experiments have been conducted to find the answer to this question. If you do not want to go through each issue individually, this article is the most detailed synthesis for you. Let’s scroll down for more interesting information.
How Do Different Liquids Affect Plant Growth?
Water is the source of life for plants. But do all solutions have the same effect? Check it out!
Why do trees need water? Here are some reasons you must know.
Obviously, daily watering (except for specific plants) is a must-do to provide cellular moisture and protection. This action also helps to prevent them from dehydration and wilting. Once your plants don’t get enough water, they will tend to be slack and unable to support their own weight.
Many people mistakenly believe plants absorb water directly. However, biologists have shown that water is only a carrier of nutrients from the soil. As long as the soil contains necessary substances such as nitrogen, phosphorus, or potassium, watering the plant means providing nutrients.
Moreover, plants need water to evaporate, which is also the self-cooling process of the leaves. Essential oxygen and carbon exchange also takes place during this time.
To check whether there is enough water for the plant, place your index finger about 2 inches in the surrounding soil. If it feels damp, you do not need to add more.
In short, water plays an important role in plant growth. But how about growing plants with different liquids? Let’s pay attention to the following sections to find out the answers.
Does sugar water affect plant growth?
Yes, of course. Unfortunately, there are more negative effects than you might think.
According to a University of Pennsylvania study, plants use sugar to induce the transition from sapling to adult forms. Through photosynthesis, plants can make their own glucose when needed.
Because of this, some gardeners wrongly think that adding sugar creates great support for the plant.
However, sugar additives (known as polysaccharides) have a more complex chemical formula. The plant can break down these substances to obtain nutrients from them.
Consequently, the sugar cannot enter the cell wall and stay in the soil. After a period of accumulation, high concentrations lead to reverse osmosis.
While trees are healthy and undergoing normal photosynthesis, sugar water only limits the root’s absorption. Additionally, this liquid can be a desiccant of plant-damaging arthropods such as ants and aphids.
In short, sugary drinks are not recommended for plants. In case it is absolutely necessary, only use a small amount. A three percent concentration is the best choice for providing extra energy throughout the process of pinocytosis. For this ratio, you can mix one teaspoon of sugar with a liter of water.
Besides, sugar is really useful in the case of cut flowers or trees that live outside the soil. The roots use sugar as a nutrient to make them healthier and even live longer.
In salty waters, you can only find some specific plants because salt adversely affects most of the rest’s absorption.
Almost all studies have shown that the root cannot metabolize salt. As a result, saltwater prevents trees from gaining hydrogen – an indispensable substance for survival.
However, a small amount of salt on leaves and stems does not cause immediate harm. Most salt evaporates after a short time leaving only a slight residue. The worst scenario is when saltwater is poured directly onto the stump and acted on in the two ways below.
The high salt content prevents water from entering the cells. As a result, plants are forced to synthesize more organic matter to compensate. This leads to suboptimal development because of the division of resources.
When accumulating for a long time, soil pH around the roots becomes gradually higher than the surrounding environment. This is the main cause of reverse osmosis, which can kill plants.
Another toxic agent in saltwater is ions (also known as soil minerals), including chlorine, boron, and sodium. Over a long period, the high mineral content inhibits photosynthesis. The long-term effect of excess salt is also prohibiting the development of new seedlings.
Unlike sugar, we do not recommend salt supplementation under any circumstances.
Is Milk Good For Plants?
Milk is one of the most important sources of nutrients for young children. But is milk good for plants too? We must consider both advantages and disadvantages.
Calcium, the main ingredient in all types of milk, prevents trees from stunting. You can also reduce the risk of blossom end rot in tomatoes, pepper, and squash by watering plants with milk.
There are beneficial proteins, sugars, and vitamin B in milk to help increase plant productivity. It is also considered a natural anti-aphid and anti-fungal agent that causes powdery mildew. Milk also reduces the spread of mosaic leaf viruses such as tobacco mosaic.
However, the effect of milk on plant growth still has downsides. The fats can be the source of the development of dangerous bacteria. If the roots absorb them, the plant will get unwanted diseases.
Besides, oxidized whole milk creates an unpleasant odor. At last, we warned about the harmful effects of sugar (one of the milk ingredients) on plant growth above.
To take advantage of all the benefits that milk can bring to the plants, you should follow the advice below:
Watering plants with milk
For best results, dilute the milk and water in a 1: 1 ratio and pour it in a spray bottle. The expired milk is not harmful to the plant in this case.
However, we do not recommend whole or skimmed dairy products. Instead, low-fat or fresh cow’s milk is the perfect choice.
Spray this solution on leaves and check again after 30 minutes. If there is still any residue remaining, you should use a wet washcloth and wipe it off to avoid fungal diseases.
After this period, it is forbidden to use chemical fertilizers or pesticides for at least a week.
Carbonated Water – How does soda affect plant growth?
You might be surprised if you find it beneficial. However, you also need to be aware of its detrimental effects in some cases.
As everyone knows, the main principle of carbonated water production is to pump CO2 into the water. Therefore, watering the plants with carbonated water is a good idea to accelerate growth and increase drought tolerance. The high concentration of CO2 allows trees to avoid opening the vents and reducing water evaporation.
Besides, scientists at the University of Colorado have confirmed that plants become greener thanks to substances available in carbonated water, such as sulfur, oxygen, calcium, and potassium.
Because these compounds have been under preparation, the chemical bonds are more easily broken down. As a result, trees are more receptive to this nutrient than before.
Is carbonated water good for plants? To sum up, the answer is YES, as long as it contains no sugar or flavors. As mentioned earlier, sugar has disadvantages that hinder plant growth.
If you still do not know how to properly use carbonated water for plants, here are some helpful tips:
Watering plants with carbonated solution
First, you should prepare a mixture of 50% carbonated water and 50% clean water. Keep the solution at room temperature because cold water can paralyze the root cells.
Drip this mixture into the stump to give the plant enough time to dissipate CO2 without altering the soil pH. Pay attention to avoid wetting the foliage.
The amount of this solution should be equal to the amount of clean water trees use every day. Then, you can make a gradual cut without worrying about withering.
How does orange juice affect plant growth?
Sad to say, it is similar to sugar and salt.
An experiment conducted in 1999 by a Clarion University student found that plants irrigated with orange juice performed much worse than usual. The reason is because sugars in this solution absorb water, block metabolism, and kill the plant after a while.
The consequences will depend on the amount of sugar available. For example, apple juice has less sugar than citrus juice, so the bad effect is lessened.
However, it is best not to use any juice for watering because of the acidity, which can disrupt the immune system over time. The short-term impact is immediately visible on stunted plants. Fungi, bacteria, and mold are the most common diseases.
If absolutely necessary, you must dilute the orange juice at the rate of 2 tablespoons per liter of water. Use just enough mixture to moisten, not to saturate the soil.
“How do different liquids affect plant growth?”. This article has just shown you the detailed answer. To sum up, not any solution is suitable for watering. Sugar and salt are considered poisonous to plant growth at all. In the absence of clean water, you can consider carbonated water and milk. However, it would be best if you were sure of the mixing ratio to avoid harming the plant.