Knowing the life cycle of plants, or also called the life cycle or biological cycle of plants , is very useful for agricultural and gardening practices, since it allows to make the most of the stages of the different types of plants, contributing to favor their growth and development and even their reproduction. It is also something basic about plant biology that should be learned and that is actually studied in schools.
At AgroCorrn we want to help you understand this process and, therefore, in this article we explain what the life cycle of plants is in a simple way and with examples and diagrams. In addition, we will talk about both the life cycle of plants with flowers and without them.
The life cycle of plants consists of the different phases and stages that the plant goes through throughout its life. This cycle varies depending on the species in question and its mode of reproduction. Thus, there are different types of plants that reproduce differently; specifically, by sexual reproduction or asexual reproduction:
- Sexual reproduction: most plants reproduce sexually. It is characterized by the existence of differentiated sexes, so that when the sperm comes into contact with the ovum of the plant, a seed will form that will give rise to a new plant.
- Asexual reproduction: this mode of reproduction is much simpler than the previous one, since the plant is capable of reproducing on its own, being able to divide and give rise to a new one.
The life cycle of plants with sexual reproduction – how they grow
It can be considered the first or last phase of the life cycle of plants that reproduce sexually . We can find different types of seeds, and these can have different shapes and structures. The seeds of angiosperm plants, for example, are contained within a fleshy coating, which we know as fruit, as in the case of apples. On the other hand, gymnosperm plants show bare seeds without any protection.
For a seed to germinate it must have the right conditions such as, have a good substrate, a suitable temperature, water and light. In this way, when the seed has appropriate conditions, it begins to germinate. The stem begins to develop towards the sky in search of light while the root begins to develop towards the ground to get nutrients and water.
In plant growth , photosynthesis plays a fundamental role. It consists of a process in which plants are able to transform sunlight, carbon dioxide from the air, water and nutrients into energy. Thanks to this energy the plant can grow. During this growth, the roots continue to grow, the stems develop and the first leaves and flowers emerge.
4. Reproduction or pollination
In flowers are the sexual organs of plants, a male part called the stamen and a female part known as the pistil . When the pollen contained in the stamens comes into contact with the ovule found in the pistil, it is considered that the plant has been fertilized and a new seed will be formed.
There are different mechanisms that favor this contact, such as the movement of insects or birds that alight on the flowers. The pollen tends to stick to its legs and when they land on the next flower it comes into contact with the pistil. This is one of the reasons why flowers have colorful petals and pleasant scents, in order to attract the attention of animals and attract them. In this other AgroCorrn article we talk about what pollinating insects are and their importance .
5. Seed dispersal
Once the seed has formed, it will be necessary for them to disperse in search of territories where they can germinate. This dispersion can be carried out thanks to the wind, water and animals, which can transport the seeds either stuck to their skin or even in the feces, when they feed on the fruits and then discard the remains.
The reproductive process of plants is repeated throughout their life, until they die, either due to environmental problems and circumstances or aging, thus ending the life cycle of plants .
The life cycle of plants with asexual reproduction
In the case of plants that reproduce asexually, the cycle is different, this process being much simpler.
In the life cycle of asexual plants , the new plant is born from another, being at first a small part or fragment of that plant and becoming a completely independent organism. Therefore in this case there is no need for the sexual organs to come into contact or for there to be a genetic exchange.
This reproduction can take place through grafts , fragments of the plant stem that are introduced into another stem of the same or of a different species, cuttings , stems that are arranged in moist soil where new roots or layers originate , which consists of burying part of a plant and wait for it to grow.