What Makes Things Grow?

One of the most common questions that children ask especially when it comes to plants and flowers is ‘What makes them grow?’. It’s a question that has many different answers and here we aim to help dispel some myths and make sense of the growing process for children who like to garden.

What Makes Things Grow?

There are many things which go towards helping flowers and plants grow. A lot of them we as human beings take for granted and never give a second thought to. Here are some of them:

  • Sunlight
  • Heat
  • Rain
  • Soil
  • Pollen

All of these things are found in nature and play their own individual but very important part when it comes to gardening. Children’s gardening is not just about learning what flowers and plants to grow but also teaching them how they grow.


Photosynthesis is the process that all plants and flowers use to grow. The process consists of breathing in carbon dioxide and breathing out oxygen which we then use to breathe for ourselves.

The light from the sun is use to help the plants and flowers grow using a pigment in the leaves called Chlorophyll. Chlorophyll soaks up red and blue light but repels green light which is why the leaves on flowers and plants appear to be green in colour. This energy which is soaked up using the red and blue light is then converted into a starch or sugar which the flower or plant then uses to nourish itself.


Transpiration is the process by which flowers and plants use water to help them grow. Mixing the water they suck from the soil and also absorb from rainfall the flowers and plants mix it with the carbon dioxide they absorb from the air. This process releases oxygen back into the atmosphere which is what we humans breathe in.


Pollination is the process by which flowers and plants are encouraged to grow by nature. Bees, wasps and other insects carry the pollen from one plant to another thus allowing the growing process to begin. This is also why you may find plants and flowers in places where you might normally expect to find them.

All of the aforementioned processes are important to gardening in general but when it comes to children’s gardening these processes make for interesting and informative discussions as well as ideal learning curves. The processes of nature which may sometimes be common place to adults are something miraculous to children and this encourages them to want to learn more about nature as a whole and also encourages them to want to participate in gardening.

Photosynthesis and Transpiration are things that your child will undoubtedly come across during their schooling but if they can back these lessons up with hands on experience within the confines of their own home with their parents and other family members the learning process can become much more fun and rewarding.

There are many websites and books which deal with children’s gardening and also look at Photosynthesis and Transpiration in much more detail.

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