We all know that a plant grows from a seed. But do you know how it happens? You all must have seen a seed - it is a small thing with a more or less hard covering or shell. This hard covering called the seed coat contains a small plant that is in the early stages of development. This small plant, that remains at the embryo stage at this time, grows into a big plant or tree one day. In seed plants, the formation of the seed completes the process of reproduction (that starts with the development of flowers and pollination).
Inside the seed coat, the plant is enclosed as a small embryo, usually with some stored food. The seed coat in the mature seed can be a paper-thin layer, as in a peanut, or thick and hard, as in honey locust and coconut. The seed coat nourishes the embryo or baby plant and protects it from mechanical injury and from drying out. Seeds are an important development in the reproduction and spread of flowering plants.
The plant comes out from the seed only when it gets some favourable environmental conditions. These are :
This coming-out or sprouting process of the embryo within the seed is called germination. There are three distinct phases of seed germination: water imbibition; lag phase; and radicle emergence.
In the first phase, the embryo within the seed absorbs water, which causes it to swell. It swells and swells till a time comes when the seed cannot contain it anymore. The swelled up little plant breaks the seed coat and comes out in the open. This coming out, however, depends on the nature of the seed coat which determines how rapidly water can penetrate and reach the plant. subsequently initiate germination. it also depends on how much water is there in the environment and the area of contact the seed has to the source of water.
Do you want to see how a seed grows into a plant? You can try it out yourself. It's simple. You will enjoy the process and it will also be a great learning experience for you.
What you need:
1) A gardening pot,
2) Seeds of any plant,
3) Fertile and moist garden soil and
What to do:
1) Take a small cup or a pot of convenient size and material.
2) Add some moist fertile soil from the garden into the pot.
3) Place some seeds into the pot and water it regularly.
4) Place the cup or the pot in sunlight so that the seeds get enough exposure to the sunlight.
Note: Do not pour too little or too much water into the pot. Water is one of the most essential ingredients for seed germination, and adding too little water can cause the seed to dry out. Too much water is also harmful for some seeds, as imbibing too much water too quickly can kill the seed. So keep a balance.