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7 Things a Plant Needs to Grow

germination of cress image by Maria Brzostowska from Fotolia.com

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.

Room

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.

Temperature

Most plants require a certain temperature to grow. Temperature signals the plant to grow or to go dormant. Temperature needs vary among plant varieties.

Sunlight

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.

Water

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.

Air

Plants require the carbon dioxide in air in order to perform photosynthesis. Plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the air.

Nutrients

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.

Time

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.

Things That Can Affect Plant Growth

A plant's culture refers to its needs for survival and growth, consisting primarily of soil, light, water and climate conditions. Soil conditions include the type of soil, its drainage ability and pH level. Azaleas (Rhododendron spp. ), When it comes to water, plants have high, medium or low water needs. Plants that have a low tolerance for soluble salts, such as the mango tree, are affected by even light applications of a fertilizer containing abundant salts, such as compost with animal manure. Grow enough plants and insect attacks become a way of life. The trick is dealing with them quickly. The damage they inflict can kill newly growing plants and mature plants alike. Much like insect damage, rodents dining on plants prevent the plant from extending up and out with new growth due to the energy it must use to repair itself. Diseases leave ugly markings on plants and trees and in some cases result in defoliation. When disease strikes young plants, it can stunt growth or kill new growth as soon as it appears.

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