Of several herbicides tested on both monocotyledon and dicotyledon species, diuron [3-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-1,1-dimethylurea] was found to be the most effective in reducing transpiration in corn (Zea mays L.) plants; a reduction of 40% occurred. It was established that diuron was the active component in reducing transpiration, and not the additives in the commercial formulation (Karmex) used in this study. Foliar applications of low concentrations (0.035 to 0.56 kg/ha) of diuron effectively reduced transpiration in both cultivars (Pioneer 3780A and Pride 1108) of corn plants, at all stages of growth tested (from 3- to 10-leaf stage). This effect of diuron on reduced transpiration occurred when the supply of water or nutrients to the corn plants was either limiting or non-limiting. The reduction of transpiration of corn plants after treatment also prevented the leaves from wilting and becoming senescent. This effect was persistent over 16 days. Diuron treatment increased the water efficiency of the plants and this effect was more pronounced when water was limiting. Compared to the control, the treated plants used up to 68% less water for each gram of shoot dry weight produced. The increase in water efficiency indicates that transpiration was reduced more than photosynthesis.