What are the stages of a plant's life cycle?

Plants are able to reproduce in two different ways - sexual reproduction and asexual reproducion.

Sexual reproduction involves pollen from one flower fertilising the egg of another to produce a seed.

Only one parent is needed in asexual reproduction and the offspring are exact copies.

Find out about sexual reproduction in plants.

Sexual reproduction in plants happens in a cycle-like pattern. Flowers come from seeds, and they create seeds too. All flowering plants go through the following life cycle.

  1. Germination is the process by which a plant begins to grow from a seed. Roots form under the soil. The stem, leaves and flower emerge above the soil.
  2. Pollen produced by a flower is carried by insects or blown by the wind to another flower. This process is called pollination.
  3. When the pollen reaches another flower, it travels to the ovary where it fertilises the egg cells to make seeds. This process is called fertilisation.
  4. These seeds are scattered by animals or the wind. This process is called dispersal. Some of the seeds will grow into new plants.
Not all plants produce flowers. These are called non-flowering plants. Ferns and mosses are examples of plants which do not produce flowers. They grow from spores instead of seeds.

Asexual reproduction

Some plants can also reproduce without an egg cell being fertilised to produce a seed. Instead, these plants produce an identical copy of themselves. This type of reproduction is known as asexual reproduction.

Plants can reproduce asexually in a number of different ways. Some plants produce bulbs, like daffodils and snowdrops. Others, like potatoes produce tubers. These sit under the soil and develop into new plants the next year.

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