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The effect of vitamin D on plant growthFeatured science projectScience project video

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Complexity level:
8
Project cost ($):
20
Time required:
5 days to prepare, 10 days for science fair project
Material availability:
Easily found
Safety concerns:

none

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Abstract

This science fair project was done to observe the effectiveness of vitamin D on the growth of plants. The science project involved watering radish, green bean and chili plants with different concentrations of vitamin D solution.

Hypothesis

A higher concentration of vitamin D will help plants grow more quickly.

Background

Vitamins and plant growth

Vitamins are important for plant growth. Vitamins are made up of organic compounds and help plants to grow by providing them with essential nutrients. Vitamins also help plants to improve their immunity against plant diseases. The type of vitamins required to enhance growth will depend on the type of plant.

Vitamin C or ascorbic acid helps to maximize the growth of plants. Plants actually require vitamin C for them to mature. Vitamin C also helps plants with the process of photosynthesis. It also helps provide the plants with protection from ultraviolet rays, and helps the plants cope with climate changes. Interestingly, it also helps reduce plant stress!

Vitamins D2 and D3 also help to enhance plant growth. Vitamin D3 helps plants to absorb calcium into the stems. It is also very useful in plants that are pruned (grown by cutting their stems to allowing the roots to grow). Vitamin D is important is helping the plant grow roots under stressful conditions.

Scientific Terms

Vitamin C, vitamin D2, vitamin D3, organic compound, nutrients, immunity, diseases, photosynthesis

Materials

The materials required for this science fair project:
- 30 small plastic pots
- enough soil to fill the 30 pots
- vitamin D tablets
- 10 beakers
- 1 measuring cylinder
- 50 radish seeds
- 50 green beans
- 50 chili seeds
- 1 digital weighing scale
- 1 spatula
- 1 black marker pen
- 1 long ruler

Procedure

1. For this science fair project, the independent variable is the concentration of vitamin D used to water the plants and the type of plant used – radish, green beans and chili plants. The dependent variable is the growth height of the plants. This is determined by measuring the height of the plants with a ruler. The constants (control variables) are the number of plants in the pot, the size of the pot and the amount of soil in the pot.

2. The pots are prepared by filling  soil in  30 pots. The pots are labeled as radish 0 to radish 9, green bean 0 to green bean 9, and chili 0 to chili 9. Five seeds are placed in each pot according to the label  on the pots. More seeds can be placed in each pot and the additional germinated plants removed on the 5th day. The pots are watered every day with tap water and the seeds are allowed to germinate over the next 5 days.

3.  Ten beakers are labeled as 0 to 9.  Vitamin D tablets are crushed and 0.1 gram is added to beaker 1, 0.2 gram is added to beaker 2, 0.3 gram is added to beaker 3 and so on until 0.9 gram is added to beaker 9. The beaker labeled 0 will have no vitamin D. 100ml water is then poured into each beaker and stirred  with a spatula.

4. The plants are watered using the water from the beakers for the next 10 days according  to the number on the beaker and  on the pot. For example, the pot labeled as “chili 5” will be watered using water from beaker 5 with a vitamin D concentration of 0.5grams/100ml water.

5. After the tenth day, the height of the 5 plants in each pot is measured. The height of the 5 plants in each pot is totaled and divided by 5 to obtain the average height and.

Observation

The results showed that increasing the concentration of  vitamin D in the water used for watering the plants, helped to increase the growth rate of the radish, green bean and  chili plants.

Plant type

The average height of the 5 plants in each pot after 10 days (mm)

water

0.1/100ml

0.2/100ml

0.3/100ml

0.4/100ml

0.5/100ml

0.6/100ml

0.7/100ml

0.8/100ml

0.9/100ml

Radish

54

57

59

61

64

66

69

72

75

78

Green bean

69

72

74

77

79

82

84

85

87

89

Chili

47

49

52

55

56

59

61

65

67

69

The graph below represents the result of our science project experiment.

vitamin D and plant growth experiment

Conclusion

The hypothesis that  higher concentrations of vitamin D  help make  plants grow more quickly, has been proven to be true.

Plants normally obtain the vitamins and nutrients that they require to grow, from the soil and their surrounding environment. Fertilizers are normally added when the nutrients become lacking in the soil. Adding  fertilizers definitely helps to improve the growth and health of plants.

Also consider

The science fair project can be repeated with different vitamins like vitamin C and vitamin B.

Try to repeat the science project experiment using minerals like iron, phosphorous, zinc and calcium.

References

Which vitamins help the plants to grow best? - http://www.ehow.com/list_6117470_vitamins-plant-growth-best_.html

Do plants need vitamins? - http://www.ehow.com/facts_5021521_plants-need-vitamins.html

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