Plants are exposed to various stress factors which might lead to structural damage and physiological function abnormalities. Drought is one of the environmental stress factors that reduce the productivity of plants. The aim of our study was to determine the influence of drought stress induced by mannitol (-0.5 and -1.5MPa) on selected physiological processes in Z. mays L. In the first stage we studied the effect of mannitol on the germination. In the second stage the effect of mannitol on the growth of plants germinated on distilled water and watered with mannitol in growth phase were measured. Mannitol, which decreased the water content in a concentration-dependent manner, had an inhibitory effect on germination and growth of seedlings and adult plants. Electrolyte leakage of cell membranes of the Z. mays seedlings showed high disturbances in the functioning of the membrane structures in the osmotic drought conditions. Similar results were obtained for maize roots, shoots and leaves in both treatment studies. Chlorophyll content showed only significant differences in plants from treated during the growth phase. Drought stress caused a decrease in chlorophyll content by almost a half compared to the control plants. Measurements of chlorophyll fluorescence of plant leaves from the second stage of experiments showed changes in fluorescence activity parameters Fv/Fm, NPQ, Rfd, qP, ect.; gas exchange measurements also showed changes in activity in each of the two phases.