Plants and trees are essential for all life on this planet and in fact play a pivotal role in helping to regenerate oxygen in the atmosphere and soaking up all the greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and others out of the atmosphere. Given this and the fact that we are currently facing global warming due to the accumulation of these gases in the atmosphere, it is evident that we need these very plants more now than ever before. Plants are living beings and like every other organism on this planet, it has its own life cycle. It’s time that we took a closer look at the same.
- Seed: As the plant grows up, it develops flowers which contain ovaries and when the ovaries are fertilized by pollen bought over by the wind or bees or through other means, they develop a seed. At this stage, the mother plant disperses the seeds either by using natural elements such as wind or by growing a sweet tasting fruit around the seed so that the animals that eat the same help spread the seed around. A few trees have even equipped their seeds with soft petals which act like wings, enabling them to fly off with a strong gust of wind. Plants use several creative ways to disperse their seeds and soon, the seed settles on the ground and starts to take root.
- Germination: All the seeds come with a strong coating, that’s strong enough to withstand most stomach acids. However, once the seed reaches the fertile ground and the conditions are just right, it starts to germinate. The process begins as the outer covering of the seed gets broken and the first root and leaves start poking out. It is at a delicate stage and needs to be protected against various threats such as tiny pests, organisms and natural elements. It is now a seedling, tiny and minuscule in size.
- Plant: As the seedling matures, it becomes a young plant; it often develops several natural defense mechanisms to better protect itself from several pests, for example, some plants develop thorns, other develop pesky odors and strong skin irritants and a few are known to be toxic as well. As it grows, it becomes stronger and grows more branches and leaves. Eventually, after reaching a certain peak, let’s call it adulthood, the plant starts to flower.
- Flowers: Most plants develop strong smelling flowers to attract various insects, ants and flies so that their flowers get pollinated and the life cycle can begin all over again. Some are known to use spores instead of seeds; these plants often carry big pouches which contain lots of spores and as these containers break, the spores are released into the wind which then carries them all over the region. And as the spores settle down, a new plant life begins all over again.
This is the life cycle of a plant; a species that none of us can do without so you may want to take the time to seed a few new plants around your house while you are at it, for the sake of our planet.