Primary Science

Life Cycle Of A Plant – Germination

These are some questions you may ask about the germination of a seed.
What is needed in order for a seed to germinate? How does a seed obtain its food from? What happens when a seed germinates?

3 stages of a plant – the start of germination

A flowering plant goes through 3 main stages of development in its life cycle. The 3 stages are seed, seedling/young plant, and adult plant. The life cycle of a plant begins with a seed. (Some non-flowering plants, such as ferns, begin with spores.)

Germination begins!

The first stage starts from a seed. A seed will germinate under suitable conditions. For germination to happen, it will need W.O.W!

W Water

O Oxygen

W Warmth

You may be wondering, How About Light?!
Light is not needed for germination. Why?
Because at this stage, the seed has not developed its true leaves yet.  So there are no leaves to trap light and photosynthesize / to make their own food.

The answer is the Seed Leaf!
The seed leaf stores food and provides the developing seedling food for respiration, so the seed can release energy for its own growth.
The seedling continues to develop and grow and soon, its true leaves will appear and it will no longer depend on the seed leaf for food.
The seed leaf will reduce in its mass over time, as the seedling grows bigger and taller.
Let’s have a look at the structure of a seed.

As the seed uses up the stored food in the seed leaf for development, its roots will first appear, followed by its shoot.

Common questions about germination:

Why the seed does not need light for germination/ growth?


The seed does not have its true leaves yet so it cannot trap light to make its own food.

Let’s try out the following question:

Which one of the following graphs shows the changes in the mass of the shoot of the seedling and the seed leaves during the germination and development of a seed?

Yes, the answer is [2].
We hope this article has clarified any misconception about seed germination.
Stay connected for more such articles 🙂

Here’s another Primary Science article for you: Good & Poor Heat Conductors


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