How Capillary action is the reason for living plants?

How Capillary action is the reason for living plants?

Capillary action is the reason why every plant or tree is still living in the world. It is a force that helps trees draw water and nutrients up from the ground to their stalks or trunks. It is a process through which liquids move up through a solid like a hollow tube. Capillary action is the reason why you can change the colour of flowers an overnight. It works opposite of gravity because here liquid goes upward against the gravity where gravity pulls things down.

Capillary action

Is this word new? Or have you heard about Capillary anywhere before? might be books? Capillary action is what?

Let’s go straight and find this action through different mind-blowing and amazing ways.


What is capillary action?

No, we are not going to tell you any stupid definition but will explain you by giving some genuine examples; those illustrations will empower you enough to generate your own views or definition on capillary action in the best possible manner.

We have 2 different experiments to create an understanding okay. Just go through the examples and find what does each example show or what exactly capillary action is or how does it take place? Let’s see.

Experiment: 1

What do you need

  • 1 empty glass
  • 1 glass full of water
  • 1 paper towel

We will see how that paper towel helps in filling empty glass taking water from another glass.

  • Take that paper towel and roll it tightly. Give it a shape of a rope.
  • Take your empty glass now and place it just next to the other glass full of water.
  • Now take your paper towel rope and dip in both the glasses from its two ends. Dip one end into the water and another end into the empty one.
  • You will see that the paper towel has just started soaking water from the full glass.
  • Soaked water is moving across the paper towel toward the empty glass.
  • It will take only a few minutes, the water will start filling in empty glass from the full glass through paper towel without losing any drop on floor or leakage.
  • This experiment is clear when the empty glass gains some water and full glass loses some inch or become less than before it was. It means the water traveled from one glass to another until its equal in both glasses.

You know why this is happening because of capillary action, the water is filling in the gaps of air that is there in the paper towel.

The capillary action did you understand?

Capillary action is when liquid like water moves through thin tubes or something which has holes like sponge or paper towels. It works against or opposite of gravity. How? Gravity pulls things down but here in capillary action liquid goes upward against the gravity like in above experiment paper towel soaked water and sent it in the upward direction and transferred it into another glass.

Did you get that? If not then let’s move to the other experiment.

Must Read: Plants can produce flowers but we don’t. Why?

Experiment: 2

A Flower changing its colour. Sounds fantastic

What do you need

1 white colour flower, a jar of water and some food colouring.

  • Take the jar of water
  • A white flower
  • Mix food colouring with it of any colour whichever colour you choose and stir it in well until it mixes completely with water and watercolour is changed
  • Now dip the white flower stem and leave it in the well-lit room for about 4-6hours completely
  • After passing these hours check it, now you can see the flower has changed its colour.

Here is a question for you.

How the colour of flower changed?

The flower drinks out the water here from the bottom of the stem all the way to the petals of the flower. This process is capillary action. Passing liquid in the upward direction using the stem as a narrow tube, therefore, coloured water reaches its petals and colour is changed within hours.

Hmm, fantastic now you can colour your flower as per your preference or choice.

This process can be seen in many other things like-

How do plants get water from roots to up to its leaves?

Do you know that whenever we water our plant, all the water gets collected at its root so how does it reaches to leaves and grow? Plants take the water from its root and move all the way up to its stem to its leaves through the same capillary action.

Now, do you understand what this whole capillary thing is? Capillary action is sometimes called as capillarity, capillary motion, and capillary effect or wicking. It describes itself as a power to pass water or any liquid to flow through narrow spaces in opposition to gravity. There is no use of gravity.

To understand more clearly and with another example you can watch this video

I hope you got the meaning of capillary action and how does it take place and ready to write your own definition on capillary action and its function.

Where capillary actions can be seen- there are many examples of capillary action. Plants use water from the ground through capillary action, cloth or paper absorbs liquid because of capillary actions, pen uses its ink, etc like many other capillary actions are there in our daily life.

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