How do plants absorb water? Usually, we simply take this process for granted, but have you ever wondered how it actually works? We wondered this, too, so we did a little research. This article tells you what we discovered!

How do plants absorb water?

There are two processes involved in how a plant absorbs water: capillary action and transpiration.

Plants absorb water and nutrients through the xylem: a tissue made up of thin tubes located just below the surface of the plant’s stems. The molecules in this tissue attract water molecules from the soil, so that the water is pulled upwards. This process is called capillary action. It’s similar to what happens when you drink water through a straw.

In the case of plants, it’s solar energy that pulls the water upward. Sunlight evaporates the water on the surface of the foliage leading to a process known as transpiration. Transpiration occurs when this evaporation removes water molecules from the upper surface of the xylem tubes. This creates a vacuum that pulls water upward to fill the gap.

From plants to cut flowers

When flowers are picked, they become cut flowers and need extra care. To keep cut flowers fresh for a long time, it is important to cut their stems at an angle using a sharp knife. This should be done because the cut ends form a seal if kept for even a few minutes out of water. After that, they won’t absorb enough water to keep them nice and fresh. Cutting at an angle means a larger surface area for absorbing water from the vase. Don’t be afraid to make the stems somewhat shorter since a long stem could make the distance too long for the water to travel upward. Then place the flowers immediately in water – preferably lukewarm water.

Also read: How should I care for my Anthurium?