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OBSERVE PLANT WITH ROOTS NOT WATERED

This project requires two plants of the same kind and the same age. If they are not already in pots, we'll plant each one into fresh potting soil, in a fresh pot. Since we will test the difference between watering soil (roots) and watering the stem and leaves of the plants, the soil of one pot needs to be covered. Let's get some plastic wrap and put it around the bottom of the stem of the plant, over the soil, and cover also the edges of the pot. A tray that is larger in diameter (that means "around") than the top of the pot, will keep water from splattering onto the plastic and slopping onto the table where the pot is placed.

As usual, we'll mark the calendar on the date we begin this experiment. Every day, the soil of the plant without plastic needs to be checked to see if it is dry. If it is, we'll water it a little--just like we would water any regular plant. The other plant only gets to have its leaves and stem watered, but the same amount of water must be used for it as for the soil of the first plant. No water for the roots. It's sort of like taking a shower without getting your feet wet!

The results of this experiment should be noticed within a week or so. Why do you think it is that roots take water to the leaves and stems, but leaves and stems don't take water to the roots?

 
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