How do plants get their nutrients?

Green plants get nourishment through a chemical process called photosynthesis, which uses sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water to make simple sugars. Those simple sugars are then changed into starches, proteins, or fats, which give a plant all the energy it needs to perform life processes and to grow.

Generally, sunlight (along with carbon dioxide) enters through the surface of a plant's leaves. The sunlight and carbon dioxide travel to special food-making cells (palisade) deeper in the leaves. Each of these cells contain a green substance called chlorophyll. Chlorophyll gives plants their green color and traps light energy, allowing food-making to take place. Also located in the middle layer of leaves are special cells that make up a plant's “transportation” systems. Tubelike bundles of cells called xylem tissue carry water and minerals throughout a plant, from its roots to its outermost leaves. Phloem cells, on the other hand, transport the plant's food supplysugar dissolved in waterfrom its manufacturing site in leaves to all other cells.


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