The polymers in potting soil in the photograph above have many different characteristics that allow it nurture a plant. The hydrophilic nature of the polymers in potting soil permits water to flow and transmit to the roots and other areas of a plant. The term hydrophilic literally means “water loving.” Substances that are hydrophilic are known as hydrophiles. Hydrophiles are molecules or other substances that attract readily to water and most of time, dissolve in water. Hydrophilic substances attract and dissolve in other polar molecules as well. Some hydrophilic substances include sugar and salts.