The most curious among you may have already wondered how do plants grow How is it possible that a tiny sprout ends up growing a tree several meters tall? Although the answer may seem simple, many processes and factors influence the development of this plant.
So that you can better understand all that this entails, in this article we are going to explain to you how plants grow, commenting on all the phases. We will talk about their birth, their growth phases and what they need to develop.
How are plants born?
Before explaining how plants grow, it is important to understand their birth. This phenomenon is known as germination. It is a natural process by which a seed gives rise to an initially tiny life form. This new being is called a seedling and tries to grow to the size it needs to survive.
But let’s go back a bit. What exactly is a seed? Well, it is the reproductive sexual element produced after fertilization, which is a phase that we will talk about later. The main objective is to perpetuate the plant species, but it also fulfills a function of dispersion and expansion by multiplication. Therefore, the birth process of a plant begins when the seed is in a suitable medium for its growth. It must be said that once the process of birth, or germination, has begun, it cannot be stopped or reversed without the plant in question dying.
As for the structure of the seed, its interior houses the endosperm. This element provides the energy that evolution requires from seedlings. To start the process, it must absorb water and release a hormone called gibberellic acid. The substance that derives from this process is absorbed by the cells, which thanks to it can begin to form enzymes whose objective is to modify the endosperm to convert it into glucose or sugar, which will be the energy base whose plant embryo will need. Once the first leaves appear, the plant begins the process of photosynthesis.
How plants grow: phases
Now that we know how they are born, let’s see how plants grow. As we have already mentioned, if the conditions of the environment in which the seed is located are ideal, it gives life to a new plant. This process begins with the breaking of the seed, giving rise to the root. The whole procedure of plant birth and growth can be easily divided into different phases, which we will discuss below to understand how plants grow.
In most plant species, pollination must take place for fertilization to occur. This process begins when the pollen falls from the stamens belonging to the flower until it reaches the stigma. found in the pistil of the same or another flower. The pollinating agents that transport pollen from one plant to another are very varied. It can be insects, birds or even the wind. If you want to know more about this process, I recommend that you take a look at our article which explains what pollination is.
Now let’s see what fertilization is. It is the process by which the union of female and male plant cells occurs. It starts when the pollen reaches the ovary, which happens through the process of pollination. In plant reproduction, this is the most widespread method.
What is plant fertilization?
germination and development
At the start of seed growth, it is in a dormant state. Once the germination process, which we commented on at the beginning, is complete, what we initially call a seedling is born. For this to happen, and also for this new living being to continue to develop, each plant species will need different specific conditions in terms of humidity, light and temperature. This is essential for the root and the first shoot.
In this way, germination begins with the development of the embryo. This initially feeds on the substances that are stored inside. Once it begins to grow, the seed coat breaks down. Thus, plant development can be divided into three stages:
- Hydration: During this first stage of plant birth, the seed collects moisture until its husk finally breaks, giving rise to the first shoot. So it’s a fundamental process.
- Germination: Then germination takes place. At this point, the necessary metabolic changes occur for the seedling to grow properly. During these phases, the hydration decreases considerably, often leaving nothing behind.
- Increase: Finally, there is the growth of the plant. At this stage, the first root, or radicle, appears. Thanks to it, the plant will be able to absorb nutrients and water to grow and develop until it reaches the size necessary for its survival.
What do plants need to grow?
Like us, Plants also need various elements to grow and develop. Let’s see what they are:
- Light: It is one of its main sources of energy. It is necessary for its development.
- Water, carbon dioxide and mineral salts: These energy sources are necessary so that various anabolic processes can be initiated by which reserve substances are created.
- Macronutrients: They are necessary in order to be able to carry out organogenesis and morphogenesis correctly. Among them are phosphorus, potassium, nitrogen, magnesium, calcium and sulfur.
- Micronutrients: They are needed to complete other enzymatic reactions that help metabolic functions. Boron, manganese, copper, zinc and iron belong to this group.
Thanks to all these nutrients and other environmental factors, such as humidity and light, plants can grow and develop and ultimately continue their life cycle.