WHAT DO PLANTS NEED TO GROW?
- Let’s start by investigating photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the process through which plants make their food. They use the carbon dioxide in the air, sunlight, and water to make a sugar called glucose. This sugar is a plant’s source of energy.
- Plants also need 5 things to be able to grow and stay healthy:
- Water – plants absorb water through their roots. Water is used to move nutrients through plants. Water is also used in photosynthesis.
- Light – plants use energy from light (usually sunlight) to make glucose through photosynthesis.
- Nutrients – plants need these substances to help them grow and be healthy.
- Space – plants need room to grow. They need this space so their roots can continue to spread out in search of nutrients and water and so their leaves can get enough sunlight.
- Air – plants need carbon dioxide, a chemical in the air, for photosynthesis.
- Watch this video of an experiment investigating how seeds and plants act with and without some of the things they need to grow.
Watch this video to learn more about photosynthesis.
PARTS OF A PLANT
Think about what you know about the parts of a plant listed below before you look at their functions.
Flower – these are the reproductive parts of plants. They attract pollinators that pollinate and fertilize the plant. Flowers produce seeds so new plants can grow.
Fruit – part of the flower develops into the fruit. This surrounds the seeds and helps protect them.
Seeds – these are cases with little plants and plant food inside. The seed coat, or the outside of the seed, protects them.
Leaf – the leaves of the plant are where photosynthesis happens. This is the process through which plants make the sugar they use as their energy source. They make this sugar using sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water.
Stem – the stem stabilizes the plant and transports water, nutrients, and sugar throughout the plant.
Roots – this is the part of the plant that anchors it in the soil. Roots also absorb water and nutrients that the plant needs from the soil.
REGROW VEGETABLES FROM VEGETABLE SCRAPS
Learn how you can regrow green onion, celery, lettuce, onion, garlic, ginger, and/or carrots.
Things to keep in mind: the plants will die if they don’t get enough water and they will also die if they get too much. Plants’ roots spread out as they grow so if your plant is in a small container it may end up dying because its roots don’t have enough space to stretch out. Plants will also die if they aren’t getting enough nutrients; this will eventually happen if you don’t transfer the plants to soil. Make sure you also keep in mind that not every vegetable will regrow, this may be due to factors outside of your control.
It’s not easy to regrow plants. It is best to try to regrow a few vegetables even if they’re all the same kind (ex. multiple green onions).
Here are detailed instructions to go with the video.
Green onions after 1 week
Green onions after 2 weeks
VEGETABLE AND SEED ART AND WRITING
COLOR A VEGETABLE
Check out this webpage to find vegetable coloring pages. Find and color some of the vegetables we will try to plant like a carrot, onion, celery, garlic, and/or lettuce.
Plants begin as a seed, start growing, turn into a mature plant, continue growing, and then reach a point where they stop growing and are fully mature.
Stories have similar phases to those that seeds have. Write a story about the things that have happened in your life or make up a story by attempting to copy the phases plants go through.
Get details about how to write a seed story by clicking the buttons to the left. Share your writing by tagging us #ypsiwrites!
PLANTS RESPOND TO STIMULI
Watch this video and see what happens. Do you see the plant bending toward the light? This is called “phototropism”.
Plants respond to the presence of water, light, and gravity. Their stems will always grow up and their roots will always grow down. Plants need water and light to grow so their stems and leaves bend toward light and their roots grow in the direction of water sources. To learn more about tropisms watch this video.
COOKING WITH VEGETABLES
- 1 ½ cups of rice
- A stalk of celery
- An onion
- A carrot
- A clove of garlic
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 6 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
- Parmesan cheese (optional)
Dice the celery, onion, and carrots. Mince the garlic clove.
Heat up a large soup pot with olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the garlic and other vegetables. Sauté these vegetables until they are tender and the onions are starting to turn golden brown.
Add the broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the rice, cover and turn the heat down to medium low. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Turn off the heat. Add salt, pepper, and a generous helping of parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
LEARN MORE ABOUT VEGETABLES AND PLANTS
Play these fun games to test your knowledge about growing plants and what different parts of a plant are and do!
READ A BOOK
Here are few to choose from!
Vegetables by Sally Hewitt
The Ugly Vegetables by Grace Lin
Investigating How Flowers Grow
All of these can be found at the Ypsi District Library!