why do plants wilt when they are not watered
If you think about tall trees over a 100 feet tall в water must be delivered to leaves at the top of the tree all of the time. If not, those leaves will wilt and die. When water escapes through the leaves into the air through transpiration, it provides a pulling force. This pulling force pulls water up and out a plant through tiny little tubes called the xylem. These tubes (xylem) can be thought of as pipes inside the plant that deliver water to all parts of the plant. They are highly effective at stacking up water molecules into long chains and pulling them upward and outward to the leaves of the plant. Xylem exists in all parts of the plant в roots, stems, leaves and everywhere in between. As water is pulled up the plant through the xylem, the water molecules are all tied together like a long chain (capillary forces). The pulling force created by transpiration pulls these long chains of water upward and outward to the leaves.
These chains of water create turgidity (meaning the plant is rigid, strong and upright; essentially the opposite of wilting). Plants do not have bones to keep them upright в they rely on this turgidity to keep them upright and strong. When the soil of a plant runs too low of available water, the water chains in the xylem become thinner and thinner due to less water. Effectively, the plant is losing water faster than it is absorbing it. When this happens, the plant loses its turgidity and begins to wilt.
Answer 1: All living things need water to stay alive, and plants are living things! Plants, however, need much more water than many living things because plants use much more water than most animals. Plants also contain more water than animals - plants are about 90% water. The amount of water a plant needs depends on the type of plant, how much light the plant gets, and how old the plant is.
When plants are not watered properly they wilt. This is because of something called turgor, which is water pressure inside the cells that make up the plant's skeleton. Water enters a plant through its stem and travels up to its leaves. When a plant is properly hydrated, there is enough water pressure to make the leaves strong and sturdy; when a plant doesn't get enough water, the pressure inside the stems and leaves drops and they wilt. Plants also need water for photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is what plants do to create their food, and water is critical to this process. Water enters a plant's stem and travels up to its leaves, which is where photosynthesis actually takes place. Once in the leaves water evaporates, as the plant exchanges water for carbon dioxide. This process is called transpiration, and it happens through tiny openings in the plant's leaves, called stomata.
The water from the leaves evaporates through the stomata, and carbon dioxide enters the stomata, taking the water's place. Plants need this carbon dioxide to make food. Transpiration - this exchange of water for carbon dioxide - only occurs during the day when there is sunlight. This is why you might find dew on plants in the morning. The plants contain a lot of water because all night long water has been entering through the stem and being pulled into the leaves where it can't evaporate. Since the water doesn't evaporate at night, the water has no where to go so it remains on the leaves as dew. When water evaporates from a plant during transpiration it cools the plant, in the same way the humans sweat to cool off in the heat. A mature house plant can transpire its body weight daily. This means it gives off a lot of water! If people needed that much water, an adult would drink 20 gallons of water a day.
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