All living things need energy to live, and energy comes from food. But, have you ever seen plants munching on pizza or eating a bowl of cereal? Nope. Plants get their energy in a different way. They use photosynthesis. Here’s how it works:
Plants take water from the soil through their veins, which are called xylem. The water goes to the leaves. The leaves take carbon dioxide from the air into the plant. The carbon dioxide mixes with the water. Energy from the sun helps this process along and turns the combination into a sugar called glucose. The glucose is plant food. It gives the plants energy to grow.
Fun Facts about Photosynthesis for Kids
- In the leaves of a plant is a substance called chlorophyll. Chlorophyll makes leaves green. It also traps the energy from the sun so the plant can use it.
- When plants take carbon dioxide from the air, they release oxygen. Animals use this oxygen to grow. We release carbon dioxide, which the plants use.
- Plants also need minerals from the soil to grow. Nitrogen helps them grow and make leaves. Phosphorus helps grow strong roots. Potassium helps the plant make fruit and it keeps them healthy.
- Plants need large amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. The soil doesn’t always have enough of these nutrients. Gardeners use fertilizer to give plants more nutrients. Fertilizers are sort of like vitamins for plants. Some fertilizers are made from chemicals. Others are made from natural things like cow manure. That’s right – poop has lots of nutrients for plants.
- Photosynthesis: the process of turning water and carbon dioxide into food
- Xylem: plant veins
- Glucose: sugar
- Chlorophyll: a substance in the leaves of plants
- Fertilizer: contains plant nutrients
Learn More All About Photosynthesis
Watch and listen to this video all about photosynthesis:
A video song explaining how plants make food, a process called photosynthesis.
Question: Can gardeners help plants grow?
Answer: Gardeners can’t control sunlight, but they can give plants good soil, fertilizer and water. These things help plants grow.
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