The Essentials That Plants Need To Survive Environmental Sciences Essay

God’s creation is full of many wonderful creations. Most of these wonderful creations are living things. Three broad groups of living things are animals, humans, and plants. There are many different types of creatures and living things in each group but that’s another topic. Humans and plants have quite a few basic components in common. In this paper, one will learn about how plants grow, what they need to grow, and the processes plants use to grow larger and survive.

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Humans need food and water to live. Plants need food and water as well but they also need sunlight to create energy in a different way that we use sunlight for our bodies. Humans, animals, and plants need to breathe, but animals and humans breathe in a gas called oxygen and breathe out a gas called carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is a mixture of one carbon atom and two oxygen atoms per molecule which forms the chemical CO2. Plants are just the opposite; they breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen.

So together we complete each other; we need each other to breathe which we need to do to survive.

Another essential for plants is a chemical called nitrogen, which is found in soil. Nitrogen is also found in our bodies but we do not need it so it is disposed of. It’s disposed through our feces and urine. The reason farmers and even people like you and me use manure is because it contains nitrogen to help the plants grow. Manure is a form of fertilizer. The beginnings of fertilizer started in the early to mid sixteen hundreds, invented by a man named Johann Glauber. The first ingredients in fertilizer were; saltpeter, lime, phosphoric acid, and potash. Later added was phosphate, which boosted the fertilizer industry so they moved into bomb factories after world war one ended. The idea to add phosphate was by a man named Sir John Lawes from the early eighteen hundreds to the beginning of the nineteen hundreds. The three main ingredients are; nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium but there are many other ingredients that change between each different type. Nitrogen is the key exponent in syntheses in plants involving proteins, nucleic acids, and hormones. There are other things that plants need but less of because soil already contains small amounts of them. The other materials are; calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. Some ingredients can be found naturally like seaweed, bones, guano, sodium nitrate, potash, and phosphate rock that form things that plants need. (Gale, 3)

The way plants produce food is though photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is where the plant uses water and carbon dioxide to produce oxygen and glucose. When we get hot we sweat but when plants get hot they evaporate water to their leaves to cool themselves down at their main heat receptors. The reason plants will wilt sometimes in heat is because they do not have enough water at that time to cool their leaves down and create food.

A reason plants need water is to move their nutrients around through their roots, stem, leaves, and flower or fruit, depending on what kind of plant it is. First photosynthesis happens. Photosynthesis is the process of turning light energy into chemical energy. There are two parts of photosynthesis: light and dark reactions. The light reaction occurs in the thylakoid membrane. This makes the light energy into chemical energy. The chlorophyll and other pigments like a beta carotene group together to create the reaction. The energy created by the reaction makes a chemical called ATP, (adenosine triphosphate). The dark reaction happens in a stroma inside a chloroplast which turns carbon dioxide into glucose (sugar). Light is not necessarily needed for a dark reaction. It does need some things that make a light reaction though, like ATP and NADPH. This dark reaction goes through a cycle called the Calvin cycle, which combines Carbon dioxide and ATP to make glucose. Very quickly some of these chemical combine to form glucose. Then the water travels through the plant in a dew form in a part of the plant called the xylem into something like capillaries. (Carter, 5-7) We also need water to do pretty much the same thing, move nutrients around our bodies. Our bodies are made up of mostly water, about fifty five to sixty five percent water, so we need to replenish it many times a day by drinking water or we will begin to become dehydrated, like plants begin wilt from lack of water.

How much water a plant needs depends on the climate, how old the plant is, and what type of plant it is. Water is also needed to maintain how much water there is in the plant cells. The water in the plant cells is in charge on how large and fast the plant grows. Too much water though will drown the plant. Too little will not fill its needs and it will cause it to wilt. Three ways to tell if your plant has the right amount of water for the plant to maintain its life: one, stick your finger in the soil of the plant about an inch and if it’s dry and hardened it needs water, if it’s soaked and watery it has to much water but if it is moist it is perfectly fine and should be continued to be watered the same amount of water. Two, hold the plant and pot in your hand, if it feels lighter in weight then usual it needs water so you should increase the water amount, if heavier in weight there is too much water in the plant so you should decrease the water amount. Three, if the soil is starting to push away from the sides of the pot the plant is in need of more water.

Water also helps maintain the plants temperature through the evaporation of the water in the plant. When the water on the surface area evaporates in takes in more water into its roots. It all works as a circulation system just like our breathing and plants breathing circulate. At the beginning of the water cycle the water goes through another circulation process. This process also involves evaporation. It starts with a body of water, then the water in that body of water evaporates. Then the water turns into clouds. Clouds are made up of water and air. In the cloud a process called condensation happens. After that the water comes back down in a process called precipitation. Just like all cycles, this cycle repeats and repeats and repeats many times a day all over the world. The main reason it is more likely to rain during cold weather is because the cold air in clouds cannot hold as much water as in clouds with hot air. Earth is approximately seventy one percent water. Only about three percent of that water can be used for drinking and watering plants. Water is made up of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom per molecule to form H2O (dihydrogen monoxide). Plants have almost the exact same essentials to survive as other living things such as humans and animals. One thing every living thing has in common is its need for water to maintain its life.

Work Cited Page

Armstrong, Shari. “How Does Water Affect Plant Growth?”.

10/6/09. 10/7/09.

Carter, J. Stein. “Photosynthesis”. 11/2/04. 1/11/10.


Gale, Thomson. “Fertilizers”. 2005-2006. 1/11/10.


Jeffery. “What do Plants need to Grow?”. 11/3/07. 10/7/09.


Whitehead, Cathryn. “Plants Need Water to Grow”. 9/4/05. 10/7/09.


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