What plants need to grow

Explainer Video

Tutor: Holly


What plants need to grow

In a nutshell

Plants come in all different shapes and sizes but they all need light, water, air, nutrients and space to grow. 

Before germination

Before a seed germinates it needs food and water in order to grow. The food is already stored in the seed and the water comes from the soil. When a seed germinates, they grow a shoot and a root. The shoot grows upwards towards the light and the roots grow downwards in search of water and nutrients. 

After germination

After germination, plants need more things to be able to grow.


Plants need light to make food. They use light, carbon dioxide and water to make the food they need to grow.


Plants need water to make their food. They soak up water from the soil through their roots and their stem transports water around the plant.


Plants take in carbon dioxide from the air. They use carbon dioxide from the air to make their food.


Plants need nutrients like minerals to stay healthy. They get the minerals from the water in the soil. Without these minerals, plants may go yellow and wilt.


Plants need room to grow. If the plants grow too close together they may not get enough light or water.

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FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

What happens when a seed germinates?

Before germination, what does a plant need to grow?

What are the five main things plants need to grow?


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