Below you will find all the information you need to perform your very own osmosis experiment at home. Grab your lab coat, it's time to be a scientist!
In plant life, osmosis is the movement of water from the roots through the stalk or trunk, then through the stems or the branches, and finally out to the leaves. Look at the picture and notice the blue arrows which show the direction the water travels.
Plants need water to survive. But how do we know that plants are actually "drinking" the water? Watch the 30-second time-lapse video of our very dehydrated house plant to see what happens as water moves from the roots, through the plant, and out to the leaves.
Note: No, plants do not actually "drink" water, if you want to be formal, we would say the plant absorbs water through osmosis.
Look at the picture on the right. You will notice the leaves are hanging down. The plant, a houseplant I have fondly named Jim, is very thirsty! I know this because I cam use my eyes to see the droopy leaves. I can also use my hands to feel the dry soil in the pot.
When a plant has enough water, the leaves and stems won't droop like what you see in the picture. So what will happen when I water the plant? See the picture below for the result!
After watering the plant, you will notice it perked right up! The leaves no longer look sad and droopy.
When a plant has enough water, the pressure from the water works like a frame to keep the leaves and stems firm and standing tall.
By watering the plant, we see the result of the water plumping it up... OSMOSIS! How else can we test osmosis at work? Read on to find out!