Photosynthesis is the name of the process where plants take energy from sunlight, water and carbon dioxide to make food for themselves.
What do plants need for photosynthesis?
Plants need 3 things for photosynthesis:
3. Carbon dioxide
Each plant needs a different amount of water and light. Some plants like to be in the shade and only need a little water. Other plants like plenty of direct light and need lots of water.
How do plants breathe and drink?
Plants breathe, drink and get energy just like we do. But they don’t have mouths or lungs, so how do they do it?
Instead of mouths, plants have roots to suck water up from the ground. Instead of lungs, plants’ leaves have hundreds of tiny holes in them called ‘stomata’. These holes let plants breathe. Stomata are so small you need a microscope to see them.
Humans breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide but plants breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen. It’s the opposite to us!
This is why plants are so important for the planet. They help make oxygen which we all need to stay alive.
What makes plants really special though is their ability to soak up the sunlight. To do this they have a special substance in their leaves called chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is what gives plants their green colour.
Once the plant has water and carbon dioxide, it is ready to convert them into food with the help of the energy from the Sun.
Did you know?
In the autumn, plants prepare for winter by producing less chlorophyll. This changes the colour of their leaves.