Whole Leaf Tobacco

Watered Seedlings with Club Soda


Canadian Hick
Dec 5, 2020
Parkland County, Alberta, Canada
So, many of my seedlings (about ready for transplanting now) went through a phase of slightly yellowing leaves and stunted growth. Out of the three types I'm growing (Shirley, Connecticut Shade, and Canadian Virginia), my Connecticut Shade seedlings were the only ones that looked as mature as they should. I tried using liquid fertilizer to spruce them up (it worked before), but I saw no visible changes after multiple days.

I hopped on google and came across some articles citing a 2002 study by The University of Colorado Boulder, which found that 'plants watered with club soda grew faster and healthier than plants watered with tap water'- not necessarily word-for-word, but that's the general idea. I haven't read the entire study, but a few articles I've read claim it found that plants in the same environment grew two or three times faster when watered with the fizzy stuff.
So I tried it, and it seems to work. My yellow leaves greened up, and all of my plants have grown significantly. I also started hardening them around the same time, however, due to current weather conditions I've had to put that on hold- this past week, the daily highs have been about 5C with lows below 0C, and it snowed once.

This is definitely a bit of knowledge I'm glad to have under my belt.
Here's the study: https://www.improbable.com/2018/07/09/the-benefits-of-watering-plants-with-club-soda-study/#:~:text=The research team, from University,to plants given tap water.

Here's one of the articles: https://www.hunker.com/12476437/the-effect-of-carbonated-water-on-plant-growth
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Staff member
May 25, 2011
near Blacksburg, VA
As with many such curious or startling articles, there is often an element of truth that, though not generalizable, may be applicable to a specific circumstance. For example, if soil is too alkaline for a particular category of plants, then adding mild, carbonic acid (soda water) will allow nutrients that are present in the soil to become available to the plants within that category. [Much of today's post-tobacco plant research is conducted on Arabidopsis. That is a cabbage relative. What is true for a cabbage may not be true for a carrot.]

My key to accepting published research, regardless of the venue, is to read the:
  • methodology (how was it conducted, under what circumstances, and by whom)
  • sample size (was it a series of 3 or a series of 30,000?)
  • controls (what were the "tested" samples compared to?)
  • statistical analysis (was "benefit" measurable in a significantly greater proportion of tested instances vs. controls?)
That means reading any research requires a lot more work than reading a journalist's opinion of the results. I certainly don't intend to be unkind with my skepticism, but do encourage everyone to begin reading a research article from a skeptical stance. And of course, science is not a system of dogma, but an approach to continually clarifying our understanding of the way things actually work.



Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2020
Not going to comment on the club soda but plants do appreciate high quantities of dissolved o2. This can be achieved with an oxygen stone and air pump, a fountain style pump or a vigorous shake of the water.
Fresh tap water will have decent o2 due to the aeration on the faucet (if you are lucky enough to have soft enough water you can keep those in and not kill your plants using said water)