How Do Flowers Get Their Food?

Sunlight Powers Photosynthesis

Sunlight is captured by the chloroplast cells near the surface of the plants' foliage. The most important light to plants is the red and blue portions of the visible light spectrum as plants cannot grow properly or bloom without both these light waves. Red light is most critical to inducing the bloom period in plants by a process called photoperiodism, meaning the amount of red light waves the plant receives in a given 24-hour period.

Photosyntensis Engages Plant Hormones

The captured red and blue light waves trigger the activity of growth and regulate plant hormones and sugars that drive stem lengthening, root growth, germination and flowering. The five plant hormones are auxins, gibberellins, cytokinans, abscisic acid and ethylene. Plant hormones exist in plants in varying levels and combinations natural to the specific plant and its surroundings. Auxins are responsible for driving cell growth and bud development, therefore playing a key role in flowering.

Soil Nutirents & Plant Hormones Drive Growth

Plant roots absorb nutrients through moist soil, which is distributed by the plant's vascular system to sustain it. The plant hormones, which are partially made up of simple sugars, are also distributed throughout the plant and fuel foliage and flower production. Pressure in the plant's vascular system supported by water moves the nutrients up the stems to keep the plant vigorous and upright. As ethylene builds in the flower tissues they begin to fade and turn brown and the plant's nutrient resources are directed to another bloom or elsewhere.

Keywords: flowers receive food nutrition, plant nutrients, photosynthesis

About this Author

A communications professional, D.C. Winston has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals and film/broadcast media. Winston studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.