Plants are one of the most abundant and important organisms that we can find on planet Earth. In fact, the life of animals depends entirely on them, since they constitute the base of the food chain, so without them ecosystems as we know them would be impossible.
If you want to know What do plants need to liveas well as learning why they are so important and special for the rest of living beings and in general for our entire planet, keep reading EcologíaVerde and we will tell you about it.
What makes plants special?
Plants, unlike animals and fungi, are autotrophic organisms. This means that they get their food, as well as everything they need to live, from the environment around them, and not from other living organisms. In this way, they constitute the base of the food chain, since they support herbivorous animals, which, in turn, feed carnivores. In this way, they constitute the foundation of any ecosystem.
In fact, one of the main characteristics of plants is photosynthesis. This is the process through which plants transform light into energy that is used to carry out any other type of vital process. This process takes place in the leaves, where chlorophyll accumulates, which is the substance that gives them their characteristic green color and is responsible for converting solar energy into chemical energy that can be used by these organisms.
Is light enough for plants to live and grow healthy?
light is one of essential elements that plants need to live and grow healthy. However, although it is the most characteristic element due precisely to photosynthesis, to say that plants only need light to live would be exaggerated and wrong.
In fact, plants need to take in many kinds of substances from the environment or environment in which they are found, as well as doing it in the right amounts. This means that an excess of light will be as harmful as a deficit of it. In addition, it must also be taken into account that all plants will not be the same, which means that, depending on the species and the particular characteristics of each specimen, it will need more or less light and certain or other care.
What does a plant need to live
These are the basic elements that plants need to live and grow well, in general, since each species may need more specific elements or quantities.
In the first place, it cannot be overlooked that a plant will need a series of particular substances with which to feed and build its cells. These substances are minerals of a very diverse type (nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, etc.). These minerals are taken from the soil in which the plants grow, that is, they do so through the roots. The roots are the part of any plant that remains underground and, although we do not see it, it is essential for its growth, since it is through the roots that the plant will take the greatest amount of the substances it needs to to live.
In fact, the roots are covered with a series of microscopic villi that are responsible for absorbing the minerals they find in the environment, usually in the soil that surrounds them. However, although it might seem that what plants need to live is the soil, this statement is wrong, since what they need is not the soil, but the minerals present in the soil. A good example that this is the case is seen in hydroponic crops. These types of crops submerge the roots of the plants in a mixture of water with the minerals they need to develop. Therefore, it should not be forgotten that, in reality, what plants need are minerals and not the soil itself.
In this other EcologíaVerde article you can learn about the best soil for plant growth.
The other of the fundamental elements that plants will absorb through their roots is water. Water is one of the most important elements, since it is essential for any living organism. In the case of plants, the absorption of water is done through the roots, also through the villi that are responsible for taking minerals from the environment. Precisely for this reason, irrigation is always done on the ground near the roots and not on the stem or leaves, since the function of these parts of the plants is different.
Here you can find out which is the best water to water plants.
On the other hand, another of the elements necessary for a plant to live is air, which it takes in through the leaves. The air that plants take in is different from the air that animals breathe. In fact, the waste of some is useful for others and vice versa.
Plants, at least most of the time, take CO2 from the air in order to complete the process of photosynthesis that we have already mentioned. In this process, a chemical reaction is carried out through which the CO2 molecules are broken, which ensures that the plant obtains the carbon it needs and releases O2 molecules, the oxygen that animals breathe, into the environment. . Likewise, some plants act in reverse during the hours of darkness. In this case, they take in oxygen from the air and expel CO2 so that, when they are exposed to light again, they resume the usual cycle of absorbing CO2 and releasing O2 into the environment. However, this part of plant respiration represents the least important part of their process, so, although it is important to know about it, it is relegated to the background compared to the process they carry out when they photosynthesize.
Finally, the other element that plants cannot live without is the light itself, which is absorbed through the leaves and which, in combination with CO2, completes the process of photosynthesis that takes place in the chloroplasts, small parts of the plants. leaf cells that store chlorophyll and are responsible for carrying out the process of photosynthesis. Although most of the photosynthesis carried out by plants is carried out from sunlight, it is important to know that any type of light is useful for a plant to complete its photosynthesis.
However, it is true that the artificial light that can be found inside a building is usually insufficient for most plants to be healthy. In this way, it is important to place indoor plants near the windows, where the amount of light is always greater, which allows them to grow normally and look healthy and strong.
We recommend you also read this other EcologíaVerde article about the importance of sunlight for living beings.
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