In this article, we are going to give an answer to a simple question related to plants that are very common: How do plants grow? Although the answer may seem really simple, there are several factors and processes linked to this topic that are worth knowing and understanding.
Therefore, in this article, we want to teach you those little particularities about the birth and growth of a plant, or what is commonly known as germination. So, if you want to go deeper into the subject of how plants are born and how plants grow, continue reading this interesting post.
How do Plants Grow exactly?
When the environment where the seed is located has the ideal conditions, the life of the new plant begins. The process begins with the rupture of the seed coat and the appearance of the root. In a simple way, we can divide this fact into several stages that are key to understanding the process of plant growth.
In most cases, plant fertilization occurs thru a process called pollination. This starts with the fall of pollen from the stamens of the flower itself until it reaches the stigma of the pistil, either from another flower or from the same flower. The pollinating agents are very varied, from the wind or insects to people themselves.
Process by which the union of male and female plant cells takes place. Beginning with the arrival of the pollen grain to the ovary, which passes thru pollination, this is usually the most common method of plant reproduction.
How Plants are born
Germination is a natural process that implies that from a seed there is the expansion of a life form that starts out tiny, which we will call a seedling, and grows until it reaches the size necessary for its survival.
The seed is the sexual reproductive element created after the fertilization phase, in order to perpetuate the species. In addition, the seeds also perform fundamental functions, such as expanding thru multiplication and dispersal to more land near the main plant.
Therefore, the birth of a plant begins when the seed is placed in an appropriate medium for its growth.
Likewise, it is important to know that once the germination process, or hatching, begins, it is not reversible and cannot be stopped without the plant dying.
Inside the seed is the endosperm, which provides the necessary energy to start its evolution. The process begins by absorbing water and releasing a hormone called gibberellic acid. The resulting substance is absorbed by cells that can then form enzymes that change the endosperm, converting it into sugar or glucose. This glucose is the energy basis for the plant embryo.
As soon as the first leaves appear, the process of photosynthesis begins.
Below, we will explain the phases of plant germination, but first we recommend you take a look at this other post about the parts of the seed and their functions to understand everything better.
Germination and Development
At the beginning of this first phase of the seed’s growth, it is still in a state of dormant life. After the awakening or completion of this process, called germination, the birth of the seedling takes place.
Here, each specific species will need specific conditions of temperature, humidity, and light for optimal growth, both for the root and for the production of what we can call the first sprout.
Thus, the germination process of plants begins with the development of the embryo, which feeds on the substances stored inside it until it begins to expand and finally breaks thru the coating provided by the seed.
Therefore, we can speak of three key stages:
- Hydration: this stage is fundamental for the birth of the plant since, thanks to the moisture collected by the seed, it facilitates the breaking of the protective coating so that the first sprout appears.
- Germination: during this stage, the metabolic changes that the seedling needs for its correct development take place. Here, the hydration received decreases until, in many cases, it is completely reduced.
- Growth: Here the radicle, or first root, appears, thru which the seedling will begin to absorb water and other substances necessary to achieve the desired size for its survival.
What Do Plants Need to Grow?
Plants mainly need light as one of their main sources of energy for their development. They also need carbon dioxide, mineral salts, and water. Thanks to these energy sources, the various anabolic processes that produce reserve substances are initiated.
In addition, they need other nutrients taken from the soil as a basis for their growth. In this way, we can divide the nutrients used by plants into two main groups:
These are the nutrients necessary for correct morphogenesis and organogenesis. That is, the nutrients that are needed to perform most of the cellular functions. Within this group we find:
Also known as minor elements, they are used to complete the rest of the enzymatic reactions that are key to fulfilling the rest of the metabolic functions of plants. In this group, we find:
Thus, thanks to all these nutrients and environmental factors such as light and humidity, plants continue to develop and grow, continuing their life cycle.