Phase Two: Roots and The Sprout

The Second Phase of the plant life cycle is when the plant begins to grow roots and begins to sprout leaves and a stem.

Roots are an essential part of the plant life-cycle. Without the roots, there would be no way for the plant to absorb water and get it up to the leaves. Most roots are located underground though some remain above the ground a little. Roots help with the process of photosynthesis by bringing more water to the plant after photosynthesis uses some of the plant's water. The water is absorbed through the root hairs. Roots also hold the plant tightly in the ground and keep the soil from being washed away.

There are 3 different types of roots: taproots, fibrous roots, and prop roots. Each one has it's own purpose in making a healthy plant/environment.

Taproots are used to reach deep into the ground to soak up water that can be used for photosynthesis. Prop roots are used to keep a plant "propped up" even in high winds. Because some of their roots are above ground, the plants will need a lot of water to keep in top form. Fibrous roots are probably the most useful to both the plant and to the environment. They keep soil from washing away and help hillsides to stay intact. Grasses and trees are probably the most useful of these types of roots.

Phase Two Vocabulary Definitions:

Oxygen - A gas that has no taste or smell. All living things need oxygen to survive. Plants make this when they go through photosynthesis.

Carbon Dioxide - A gas that plants use to make food. Plants get this from the air.

Photosynthesis - The process by which green plants use carbon dioxide, water and sunlight to make their own food. The word photosynthesis means "to put together with light". When all these are put together they make sugar and oxygen.

Taproot - Plants like carrots and dandelions have these. It consists of one big long root and tiny ones branching off that.

Fibrous Roots - Plants such as grass and violets have these. They are good to keep the soil from washing away.

Prop Roots - Plants such as corn have these. They are good at giving extra support to the plant. They are also visible from above ground.

Root Hairs - They are like hair. They come our of the root like a branch. They absorb water and food for a plant.