There are many different types of plants, growing in many different environments. But there are some things that all plants need to survive. These common elements provide the plant with basic nutrients and with the ability to perform photosynthesis, the process of turning light into the food the plant needs to survive.
Plants require space to grow. The space a particular plant requires to grow is relative to the size of the plant's root system and how big the plant will grow above ground. Small spaces cause the roots of the plant to crowd, inhibiting growth.
Most plants require a certain temperature to grow. Temperature signals the plant to grow or to go dormant. Temperature needs vary among plant varieties.
Plants require sunlight to perform photosynthesis, in which the plant produces sugars it uses for energy to grow. Indoor plants do well with a window facing south or southwest. Some outdoor plants do well in full sun, which others require a certain amount of shade to prevent leaves and flowers from burning.
Plants require water both to make nutrients and to move nutrients through their body from the soil. Plants require differing amounts of water. If a plant has too much water, it could die.
Plants require the carbon dioxide in air in order to perform photosynthesis. Plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the air.
Nutrients in the soil are dissolved into water in the soil. Nutrients are used for food, and are important during fruit, flower or vegetable production. Gardeners use fertilizers to add additional nutrients.
Plant require a regular progression of time with the ideal conditions to grow properly. Most plants grow during one or two seasons of the year.