Maintaining a Balance: How Homeostasis In Plants Keep Them Healthy

Homeostasis In Plants

Science being the fascinating existence next to the entity itself explains how the universe plays out a blueprint of intricately molded activities to protect survival. 

The reason for survival for every organism (including plants) stays the same at a primal level; that is, the maintenance of constancy and the ability to combat changes. Homeostasis is where all these begin. 

And in this article, we’ll be explaining the entire process in detail. 

What Is Homeostasis

What Is Homeostasis

Homeostasis- the word might sound intimidating the first time you hear it. But let’s break it down. Homeostasis is the maintenance of a constant state of harmony and peace in the internal environment of any organism.

Just like you’d want to maintain friendship and understanding with your friends and family, the extracellular space of a biological being wanted to sustain a productive and tranquil dynamic; homeostasis is the way to do that.

How Does Homeostasis Help Plants Maintain Their Internal Environment?

There are three main components through which a plant can be benefitted from homeostasis to maintain its internal environment or milieu interior. 


Food or energy is the basic need for any organism. Photosynthesis is the process by which leaves of the plants can take up sunlight and convert light energy into heat energy. 

This process is the initial stage of homeostasis since the mobilization of energy kick-starts all other homeostatic processes that are required.


Photosynthesis deals with the abstract concept of energy. But plants deal with physical objects such as microminerals, microminerals, and water to enhance their physiological procedures. 

Plants have minuscule innumerous capillaries to absorb microscopical objects from the soil and use it to synthesize chemical materials and organic components (one of them being glucose).


The minerals and water that get inside the capillary cells, need the pull to be sent upwards and all around the body. Remember that energy production occurs in the leaves where there is chlorophyll, so no amount of mineral is going to be of any use in the trunk or branches.

To ensure the arrival of nutrients to the leaves, plants use a process called transpiratory pull. Now, to put it simply, you drink a large amount of water on a hot day because there is dehydration due to external causes. 

Similarly, a hydration situation in the body of the plant causes it to transport the objects the capillary roots have invited inside by using intracellular communication.

How Do Plants Maintain Homeostasis

How Do Plants Maintain Homeostasis

In the previous point, we talked about how homeostasis can be beneficial to plants. Now we will primarily focus on how plants maintain homeostasis.


Stomata is somewhat of a window. On cool days, you let in sunlight and warmth through the window. A plant uses stomata to regulate its temperature and processes that are dependent on temperature.

Stomata is an oval-shaped microscopic opening found on the leaves, cuticles, and lenticels of plants. They allow adequate light and environmental stimuli to enter in a controlled manner.

Stomata is usually open during daylight (peak time being around 10 am) and closes with dusk (4 to 5 pm). However, this opening and closing can vary greatly depending on the climate. For example, dessert plants open their stomata at night since daytime sunlight in dessert is too harsh.


Transpiration is called the necessary evil, as it is an incredibly important process that can turn out to be dangerous. This is a process similar to bathing. Plants release some of their bodily water in the form of vapor. This release helps to lower the internal temperature of a plant and acts as a cooling effect.

Nevertheless, excess transpiration can cause a plant to get severely dehydrated and can even lead to death. House plants thus require increased watering practice in the summertime.

Examples Of Homeostasis In Plants

Examples Of Homeostasis In Plants

This has been a topic of great interest to many, thanks to the evidence of how unique and beautiful nature can be. Here are some examples to better demonstrate homeostasis in practice.

Shedding of leaves

Fall and winter bring with them dry leaves strewn about everywhere. Plants prevent excess transpiration in non-humid weather by shedding leaves to make sure dehydration doesn’t ensue. 

Deciduous plants also shed their leaves at certain times of the year in tropical countries. Meanwhile, evergreen trees of rainforests don’t require shedding since rainforests are humid to begin with.

Desert plants such as cacti, therefore, have no leaves as it is dry all year round. Cacti keep the water to themselves by being a blob of flesh that has no route for water loss.

Color of leaves

Its common knowledge that white reflects light and black absorbs light. Since light and heat are fairly synonymous in the life of a plant, plants tend to change the color of their leaves to keep cool.

Plants in cold climates or shade thus change their leaves into brown, blue, or dark red to increase heat absorption. On the other hand, plants in hot climates change their leaves to white. Such an example is the dessert brittlebush that modifies its leaves into becoming silverish.


Plants have movements as well. The ones placed in shade will grow their branches toward sunlight while the roots will face away from the sunlight, known as positive and negative phototropism, respectively.

Another amazing example is the behavior of the Arctic Poppy. It will grow in the axis of sunlight to increase heat absorption. 

How Does Homeostasis Help Plants Survive In Changing External Environment?

How Does Homeostasis Help Plants Survive In Changing External Environment

Combating changes in the external environment is the greatest task of homeostasis. Since the external environment is changing every second, gyroscopic handling of such changes will ensure optimum well-being.


The vacuole is an intracellular organ like mitochondria, centrally placed in the plant cell. Plant vacuoles are significantly larger than that of animals for valid purposes. The hydration gradient regulates the contraction or relaxation of the vacuole wall. 

By becoming turgid and flaccid, vacuoles control the amount of water being absorbed inside the cells to carry out cellular functions.


Nothing is good in excess. Water, the most beneficial agent for plants can be deadly when available in abnormally increased amounts. When there is excess water in the soil, the capillary roots can get clogged and fail to absorb oxygen and nutrients.

This phenomenon is greatly seen during floods when crops are destroyed. Mangrove trees are a classical example of how excess moisture is battled. These trees are drowned in seawater for at least half a year, and they continue respiration by using pneumatophores.

Plastid modification

Plastid is another intracellular organ exclusively found in plant cells. They are of three kinds- chloroplast, chromoplast, and leucoplast. 

These are not specific to any plant species; rather any plant cell structure is capable of transforming into any of these three depending on the changes in the environment.

Chloroplast is found in leaves that are most potent for photosynthesis chlorophyll is present in them. Chromoplast usually makes the plant colorful and attractive, thus helping in pollination by vector. Leucoplast is white, found in parts of the plant away from sunlight, and is meant for carbohydrate storage.

What Challenges Does Homeostasis Present For Plants

Ion-mediated homeostasis presents a few challenges for plants. Iron, copper, and zinc are some of the chief nutrients that a plant requires. However, iron and zinc have toxic properties when absorbed in greater amounts. Most plants have an established system to adapt to the toxicity of these ions.

The electron transport chain of plant cells relies deeply on the oxidation-reduction properties of these ions. However, this very property can be harmful to aerobic cells because of oxidative stress.

This challenge is faced by creating a labile pool of free ions from which any ion can be mobilized depending on the need at that exact moment.

How Is Homeostasis Currently Being Studied

Homeostasis, despite being an integral part of biological science, is often neglected. Currently, few studies are being undertaken to understand the concept and challenges of homeostasis better. It’s the commonest practice to study homeostasis by integrating molecular and cellular biology and applying that information at the tissue level.

The feedback mechanism is another essential part of homeostasis that is being studied to explore the various methods of problem-solving from a biochemical point of view.

What Future Research Needs To Be Done On Homeostasis In Plants

Currently, the biggest issue for any scientific-minded person is combating climate change. It is important to remember that plants don’t have humans live, but the other way around. 

With global warming causing arctic caps to melt and deforestation reducing the number of plants, it remains a growing concern as to how the plants are going to cope with the harsh and hostile changes in climate.

Future research on homeostasis in plants must focus on these aspects and might need to depend greatly on genetic engineering.

Related Posts:

The Energy Factory of The Plant Cell: What Does The Mitochondria Do?

The Common Structure That Makes Plants and Animals Cells Work

What Organelles Can You Find in Plant Cells?

What is The Function of Vacuole In a Plant Cell?

What Do Leaves Do for A Plant? The Unsung Heroes of Plant World

Mohammed Rujel

Over the Years, I have gained a lot of experience in different aspects of gardening. I actively learned about plants and how to care for them, and also have a lot of experience in dealing with pests and diseases. My expertise is on teaching how to grow healthy plants and make them look their best.

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