Life Cycle of a Plant: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Jeremy Cook

Jeremy has been teaching in elementary education for 13 years and holds a master's degree in Education

Have you ever looked up at a tall tree and wondered how it got there? In this lesson, you will learn the basic life cycle of a plant, including how plants begin, grow, change and give life to new plants.

Where Does It All Begin?

Every plant, from the tallest tree to the smallest blade of grass, begins the same way--with a seed, an undeveloped plant inside a hard outer layer. Even that massive pine tree growing near the park began as a tiny seed. Seeds contain the beginning of new life for a plant. They come in many different shapes and sizes, and they all grow into the parent plant that they came from. Many seeds begin in the flowers of plants. Seeds are covered by an outer layer called a seed coat, which protects the delicate seed from harm.

Seeds come in many shapes and sizes.
Seeds

The seeds are spread by wind, water or animals to new places. When the seed finds a place to land, it begins to grow. This begins the plant's life cycle. A life cycle is a series of stages a living thing goes through as it grows and changes over the course of its life.

A Seed Grows and Changes

Once the seed finds the right combination of soil, sunlight and water, it begins to germinate. When a seed germinates, it begins to grow and starts the process of making a new plant.

The new plant breaks out of the seed coat and starts to grow into a small plant called a seedling. The seedling also begins to spread roots into the soil. Seedlings are small and usually have just a few leaves. They use the sun's energy to make their own food, and they soak up water from rain and nutrients from the soil. Seedlings may not look much like their parent plant at this point and have yet to develop flowers or fruit.

A seedling is small and delicate.
Seedling

As the plant continues to grow, it soon becomes a young adult plant. Young adult plants are thicker, taller and stronger than seedlings. They have more leaves and deeper roots. Young adult plants begin to look more like their parent plants, but they're still not old enough to have their own flowers, fruit or seeds.

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