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How Does Soil pH Affect Plant Growth?

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by

Leanne Santiago

on 20 June 2014

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Transcript of How Does Soil pH Affect Plant Growth?

Procedures & Materials
Significance of the Research
To understand the importance of soil pH in relation to plant growth.
Hypothesis & Variables
If the soil pH is too acidic, the plants will turn yellow, not grow as tall, and will die.

Independent variable - soil pH
Dependent variable - height and color of the plants.
Control variables - amount of water or solution and sunlight the plants get each day.
Introduction - Background Research
Plants are essential to our food chain, economy, and eco-system.
Most plants prefer a neutral soil pH (7.)
Some plants grow better in slightly acidic or slightly basic soil.
Soil pH being too basic or acidic can cause iron chlorosis, seen by a yellowing of the leaves.
An entire crop could be lost due to a wrong soil pH
Conclusion:
Procedures
-Make sure to water the plants daily
-Make sure the plants have enough sunlight
-Make sure each plant receives the same amount of solution at the proper pH.

Materials
9 sunflower plants
9 Kentucky pole beans
Ruler
Plant pots
Potting soil
Acidic water (pH 9), neutral water (pH 7), basic water (pH 5 )
Data Collection
Over a 14 day period I measured and watered all the plants and checked for signs of chlorosis.
Errors & Future Research
Possible Errors
Lack of water on the weekends.
Temperature/humidity of the room.
Pots were too shallow.

Future Research
How would soil pH affect large plants, such as trees, different than small plants?
How does sunlight affect micro-organisms?
How does climate affect plant growth?
Data Analysis & Results
During this 14 day experiment, I found that the beans grew best in acidic soil, but sunflowers grew best in neutral soil. Basic soil proved to be the most destructive for both plants, especially the sunflowers that were dead by day 8.
How Does Soil pH Affect Plant Growth?
Sunflowers
Beans
Based on my experimental data with the beans, my hypothesis is rejected because the acidic soil caused the beans to grow the tallest.

Based on my experimental data with the sunflowers, my hypothesis is supported because the neutral soil proved to benefit the sunflowers most, while the acidic soil caused barely any growth and killed one plant by day 13.
By Leanne Santiago
pH Scale
Iron Chlorosis
Sunflower Observations
Full transcript