How do Plants Make and Take Their Food?

            It is a well-known fact that trees and plants are also living beings like humans. They need food, water and air for survival. It is interesting to know how they make their food.

Process of Photosynthesis taking place in the leaves of  plants

            Plants derive their food both from the earth and the air. If you minutely observe their roots, you will find that the ends of these roots are like fibers, also called root hairs. They absorb water and minerals and transport them upward to the leaves through the trunk and the branches. It is the leaves which make the food for the plant.

            Leaves have pores that are filled with air. They also have a green coloring matter called chlorophyll. This chlorophyll acts as a catalyst; it uses carbon dioxide from the air and the hydrogen from the water present in the leaves, to make carbohydrates sugars using sunlight as energy. This process is called photosynthesis. In this process, oxygen and water are by-products, which are releases by the leaves of plants.

            Sugar is further converted into starch. From these carbohydrates, the plants can build up complex substances as foods, which it needs for life and growth. These substances include proteins, juices, oils fats, etc. the water fro which the plants take hydrogen for photosynthesis contains dissolved minerals required for building various parts of the plant body. These are compounds of nitrogen, sulphur, phosphorus, sodium, calcium, magnesium, iron, etc.

            Food not immediately needed for growth is stored in the plant including its seeds, fruits, tubers or bulbs. On germinating, the new shoot uses the food that is accumulated in the seed.