The life cycle of a plant
Baby plants are kept inside seeds, just like chicks are kept inside eggs. When a seed is planted in the ground and is watered it will start to grow. This is called germination.
The baby plant breaks through the seed and grows roots and a stem. A young plant is called a seedling.
Leaves start to grow on the stems. Leaves are needed to absorb the sunlight and make food for the plant.
The plant grows and gets bigger and bigger. Some plants grow buds which become flowers. When flowers are pollinated they turn into fruits which have seeds inside them.
Do you remember what’s inside a seed? ...a baby plant! When the seed is planted the cycle starts all over again.
What do plants need to grow?
Like humans and animals, plants need water and food to survive, but they also need other things. Here’s a list of the things plants need to grow strong and healthy:
Water - plants absorb water with their roots. If a plant doesn’t have enough water it will die.
Soil - plants anchor themselves to the ground with their roots. They absorb nutrients and water from the soil.
Air - Plants take in carbon dioxide and let out oxygen. If the air is very polluted and filled with harmful gases, it can make it difficult for the plant to take in the carbon dioxide they need. Dirty air can also block out sunlight.
Light - plants need light to make food for themselves in a process called photosynthesis.
Space - plants need space to spread out their roots and leaves. If plants are squished together, it can be difficult for their leaves to get enough sunlight for photosynthesis, and for their roots to get enough nutrients from the soil. Plants that don’t have enough space are often smaller than average.
Temperature - different plants grow in different parts of the world. Some prefer hot, tropical climates and others prefer damp, cool places.
Time - some trees take years to grow into adults while other plants only need a few weeks or months.
What are fertilisers?
Fertilisers are chemicals added to plants to help them grow.
They can be added to the soil as a liquid or solid or sprayed over the plant. Fertilisers are usually made up of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
Manure (animal poo) is also used as a fertiliser.
Did you know?
- If a plant doesn’t have enough light it can grow tall and thin in search of sunlight.
- Bamboo is the fastest growing plant.
- The tallest trees in the world are redwoods.
- Watermeal or Wolffia is the smallest flowering plant. It’s the size of a grain of rice.