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Children's Guide to Flower and Plant Growth

There are many types of plants in the world. Have you ever thought about how they grow? Plants need several things to grow. Some of these depend upon the type of plant. The location where the plant grows also determines what it needs. Many plants need sunlight, water, and nutrients in dirt to grow healthy. Plants grow in life cycles. Understanding a plant's life cycle helps you know more about the world you live in.

Water and nutrients from dirt are important for healthy plants. Plants use water to bring nutrients, or food, from the dirt to their leaves. If plants do not have water, they cannot eat. This makes water the most important ingredient for healthy plants. It is important to know the right amount of water a plant needs. If a plant has too much water, it will wilt. A plant with not enough water will not get the food needed to be healthy. Plants use a process called photosynthesis to make their own food from the nutrients and water they take in.

There are different types of plants. These include flowering and non-flowering plants. Many trees are non-flowering plants. Ferns are another popular non-flowering plant. Every plant needs to reproduce, or make more plants. Not every plant reproduces the same way. Many non-flowering plants reproduce by using spores.

Flowering plants need pollen to reproduce. Understanding pollination is important when learning about plants. Plants that have flowers reproduce when they release pollen and are pollinated. Examples of flowering plants include roses, daisies, and tulips. The parts of a flower are important for reproduction. The roots, stems, and leaves support the flower. Pollen is made in the plant's anther, inside the flower.

Pollen is the soft, powdery substance in the center of a flower. Pollen is used to create a seed. Many flowers have male and female parts. They use them to create seeds but need pollen to complete the process. You may have heard about the birds and the bees. The birds and the bees help spread pollen from plant to plant. This helps plants reproduce and make more plants. Birds, bees, and even wind help move pollen to the pistil part of a flower. When pollen moves down the pistil, a seed begins. Seeds hold new life and help plants reproduce. Without birds and bees moving pollen, seeds would not form. Pollen is very important in a plant's life cycle.

Not every plant looks the same before it's grown. Some grow only from seeds, while others grow from bulbs. You may have seen seeds inside an apple. But have you ever seen an onion? If you have, then you have seen a bulb. Sometimes, people plant bulbs instead of seeds and get plants. A bulb is like a little storage box. Bulbs have food and nutrients stored inside. When you plant a bulb, the new plant has the food needed to grow inside of it. Tulips, lilies, and daffodils grow from bulbs. Some bulbs grow in spring, and others grow in summer. When a flower makes a bulb and seeds, it will grow faster from the bulb. That means if you want to grow a plant faster, use a bulb. Sometimes, you can separate a bulb and make more than one plant.

Flowering plants start by forming roots. The roots grow under dirt and become stronger. Once the roots are strong, the stem grows through the dirt. Leaves grow off of the stem. The stem and leaves continue to grow. Next, a flower will start to form. Over time, the plant gets stronger and taller. The flower will get bigger and the petals will open. When the flower grows big, it makes pollen. When pollen spreads from flower to flower, it is called pollination. When pollen gets to a flower, it travels to the flower's ovary. When it reaches the ovary, it fertilizes cells. This is called fertilization. When a flower is fertilized, it makes seeds.

Seeds carry the life of the plant. Not all seeds stay in one place. When seeds move from one place to another, it is called dispersal. Seed dispersal helps plants spread to different areas. Sometimes birds carry seeds in the air then drop them in other places. Wind helps spread seeds over areas, too. The seeds grow and create new plants. This continues a plant's life cycle.

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