Thursday, April 10, 2014

What plants need to keep growing: water, soil or both

With spring here in full swing we have been discussing how the plants outside are changing.  Some of the trees are covered in flowers; we are seeing lots of new leaves and shoots, and new plants are emerging from the ground.  We  have been focused on new growth for a while with our seeds from our Seeds BLAST but how do we keep plants growing?

We decided to do a simple experiment to investigate this question and asked if plants need water, soil or both to keep growing?

Using our test tubes from the lubricant BLAST we planted 3 plants (my girls chose pink wave petunias).  We gently removed the soil from the roots of one plant and place it in a test tube of water.  The next two test tubes were mostly filled with potting soil and the plants were placed in them with plenty of soil around the roots.

We watered the plants in water and one of the plants in soil daily.  We could see how much the water level dropped and tried to give both plants an equal amount of water. The third (right) we just left the soil.

We kept on checking our plants and talking about if there were any changes, how much water was absorbed and how our plants were doing.  After a few weeks this was our result:

The plants that had been receiving regular water were still looking good but the one that did not get any water was not fairing as well.  This was a great and simple way to show the girls why it is  important to water our plants.  It was surprising that the plant that had water only did not show much of a difference from the one that had water and soil but it may take us longer to see an effect.

  • 3 of the same plant (we used wave petunias)
  • 3 test tubes
  • water

  1. Take 3 test tubes: fill one with water and the other two with soil.
  2. Plant each plant into a test tube.
  3. Check daily and add water to the plant in water as well as one of the plants with soil.  Leave the third plant without any maintenance.
  4. Wait a few weeks and discuss the changes in the plants.

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