Water and Light, or, Can I Feed My Plant LaCroix?
We get a lot of plant care questions at Tula, and every once in a while we hear something so unusual that we can't help but stop in our tracks. The latest was this one: 'Can I feed my plant LaCroix?'
My knee-jerk reaction was to say ‘no way’ to LaCroix, which seem like beverages geared solely toward human consumption. But with a little research and to my pleasant surprise, that initial reaction transformed to a more educated understanding.
There is no such thing as a dumb question. Everything is worth exploring.
But first (!), let’s cover a few basics of what a plant needs to survive, grow, and thrive indoors. The simple breakdown is that plants need air, water, sunlight, and nutrients. Here’s the breakdown, for anyone who needs a biology 101 refresher.
Air: When a plant photosynthesizes they use carbon dioxide to make food, and as a result, release oxygen. So yes, plants do breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen!
Water: During photosynthesis, water helps to release energy that the plant has stored. Think of water and water pressure as a major vehicle in promoting healthy stem and leaf growth. And we can thank the roots for carrying the water and nutrients through a plant to facilitate this growth.
For example, in 2002 two college students conducted an experiment in which they fed one plant regular water and the other soda water over a 10-day period. The plants were given the same sunlight and planted in the same soil. They found after 10 days, the plant that was given the club soda grew faster than the plant given regular water. Now how could that be?
Another factor for soda water is that carbonated drinks have higher pressures. Could it be that when introduced to plant roots the nutrients are also passed through the plant at a higher rate? Remember our plant basics and that water pressure helps promote healthy growth? Just a thought…
In conclusion, a little dose here or there of carbonated or sparkling water won’t hurt your plant and could in fact, promote faster growth. But stay away from feeding your plants flavored sodas.
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