Abstract. Long-term effects of transpiration on growth and on long-distance ion transport were investigated in maize over a whole growth cycle. Maize plants were grown with nutrients supplied at adequate levels in hydroculture or in soil at 50–60% and at >95% relative humidity. Although the amount of water lost by the plants under these conditions differed by a factor 2 to 3, there was neither a decrease in growth (fresh weight and dry weight) nor in ash content of the ‘humid’plants. This was also found when the upper part of the shoot (70–150 cm) was tested separately. It is suggested that transpiration is not essential for long-distance transport of mineral elements in plants. Alternatives are discussed.