Plants Basics, How Do Plants Grow?

Without the right conditions and some basic element plants will not grow and thrive well. Here are some basic elements that you need to know about for your plants to grow:

  • Water
  • Soil
  • Air
  • Sunlight
  • Correct air temperature
  • Correct soil temperature

These elements although necessary for plants, are needed in different amounts depending on the type of plant and where it’s from originally.

How much of each element a plant needs initially depends on the plant’s original habitat. Plants that are from rainforest areas will not thrive well in a desert and those that are from wet areas will not grow in hot dry areas.

Man however, has been able to grow plants outside of their habitat and so many plants have been cultured to adapt to new environments. Growers have successfully cross-pollinated plants in an attempt to make them hardy for their new environment.

This cross-pollination has resulted in several varieties of a particular plant which are now able to survive and thrive outside its original habitat. Cross-pollination affects the plant in several ways such as color of flower, flavor of fruit and the depth of the roots.

Stages of a Plant’s Growing Cycle

Plants go through a cycle as they grow which involves 7 processes.

  • Pollination
  • Fertilization
  • Formation of seeds
  • Dispersal of seeds
  • Germination
  • Constant growth
  • Pollination

Pollination

Reproduction in plants can either be sexual or asexual. Asexual reproduction happens when stem cuttings or root cuttings of the plants are planted and new plants grow from these. Sexual reproduction occurs through pollination and this is how most plants are grown.

Pollination is aided by animals or insects which carry pollen grains from male to the female part of the plants.

The flowers of a plant contain the sexual organs necessary for reproduction. When the pollen comes in contact with the ovule of the female plant the result is pollination. There are two types of pollination; cross-pollination and self-pollination.

Self-pollination occurs within the same plant, while cross-pollination is between two plants.

Fertilization

The flower of a plant is responsible for the development of the seed and reproduction. The flower consists of many parts but the main sections are the petals, sepals, carpals and stamen. The carpal is the female part while the stamen is the male part.

  • The petals are the colorful part of the flower that often carries a fragrance and attracts insects.
  • The sepal is the green structure resembling leaves that protects the flower in the budding stage.
  • The stamen is the part where pollen is produced and is made up of the filament and the anther.
  • The anther is a sac that contains the pollen and is found at the tip of the filament.
  • The filament is connected to and holds up the anther.
  • The carpal is made up of the stigma, the style and the ovary.
  • The stigma is the sticky, top of the carpel which collects the pollen.
  • The style is a tube-like structure that extends down to the ovary
  • The ovary is the female part of the flower that contains the ovule or egg.

Some plants contain the stamen which is the male part of the flower. Pollen grains travel down to the female part of the flower- the ovule-so that reproduction can take place. After the ovule is fertilized it becomes a seed, and the ovary containing the seed grows into a fruit.

Some flowers are called perfect flowers because they have both stamen and carpel. There are other flowers that are without carpel or stamen and they are called imperfect flowers.

Where a flower contains the four main parts; sepals, petals, stamen and carpels, it is said to be a complete flower.

Seed Formation

Seeds begin to form inside the plant. The growth of the seed will continue inside a fruit. When the fruit matures and ripens, the seed falls or is scattered by animals, wind, water or insects. This allows the seeds to germinate and begin producing new plants when the conditions are right.

Germination

This process takes place when new plants start growing from seeds and roots, stems and leaves are formed. Germination takes place when the seed is buried in soil or any other growing medium.

Sustained Growth

Plants are able to produce new plants all the time. Their ability to produce new plants depends on the needs at the moment. This happens in two ways; root or shoot system. Plants are able to have sustained growth because of processes such as transpiration, nutrient transfer and photosynthesis.

Pollination

The mature plant produces its own flowers necessary for pollination and fertilization and so the cycle continues.

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