What do Plants need To Grow?

Image Credit: Flickr User Fritz Flohr Reynolds, via CC

Have you ever wondered why trees and plants grow in some places and not in the others? Why do some pieces of land have many trees, while some have almost none growing on them at all? Let us explore.

In order to grow, plants need several things.The most important one is warmth. Just like we need the warmth of our parents love, the plants need the warmth of the sun. You must have seen that almost nothing grows in very cold places. Can you now guess why the North Pole and the South Pole have almost no vegetation?

Plants need a good supply of water. A very few plants can survive with little or no water, e.g. cactus. Again that explains why dry deserts have no plants.

Plants need soil to put down their roots firmly and grow. But, how do they grow on rocky mountains then? Well, a few plants that do grow on the rocky mountains find soil in the cracks of the rocks – and that is where they put in the roots. If the soil is too hard it is difficult for the plants to put in their roots, so most of the places the farmers have to loosen the soil by ploughing the field.

Are these three things enough for the plants? No, they also need food before they can grow.


Take the example of a sunny beach. The beach is warm; there is plenty of water and loose soil, still not many plants grow on the beach. Why? The beach soil has no food for the plants. Plants need to grow in places where other plants have died. These old plants get dried, and the wind and rain make a powder out of them. That powder is the plant food! Really!

Have you heard of a special powder called fertilizer? It is that food that farmers put to make the soil ready for new plants to grow.

Can you tell me what kids need to grow?

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