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Little Gardeners’ Academy

Learn about your garden and how things grow.

Fun Facts

Did you know?

Butterflies taste with their feet!

Taste receptors on a butterfly’s feet help it find its host plant and locate food.

The leaves of the Mimosa plant go to sleep, just like humans do.

When it’s dark, the leaves close up and when the sun is up, the leaves open again!

In Costa Rica the plant is called “Dormilona” which means “Sleepy Head”!

The world record for the longest carrot is a gigantic 19 feet and 1.96 inches! That’s nearly 6 metres long!

Butterflies can’t fly if they’re cold.

Butterflies need an ideal body temperature of about 85ºF to fly and since they’re cold-blooded animals, they can’t regulate their own body temperatures.

Some plants are carnivorous and like eating insects and spiders. Just like the Venus Flytrap!

Science of Seeds

What is a seed?

A seed is a small plant in embryo form, complete with its very own food store and protected by a tough outer skin. It is the part that can grow into a new plant.

Most plants grow from seeds. Seeds come in all shapes and sizes. They can be small, like cress, medium, like sunflowers, or large, like chestnuts.

What is seed germination?

Seed germination means “begins to grow” and it is the first stage of growth of any plant. Seeds remain dormant (asleep) until they come in contact with water. They begin to awaken as water is absorbed. As water is taken in, the seed expands until the coat splits, allowing the air to get to the seed. The oxygen in the air helps the baby plant burn the food packed inside the seed, allowing it to start growing.

What happens next?

The plant’s root is the first to emerge from the seed, growing downwards and ‘fixing’ the plant within the soil. The root also helps the baby plant to absorb water and nutrients from the soil. Next, the young shoot begins to grow, and then its first leaves begin to appear. Once the seedling has sprouted its new leaves, the plant is able to begin making its own food. This is done with the help of sunlight through a process called photosynthesis.

And now the baby plant has everything it needs to grow big and strong!

What plants need to keep growing

Plants, like people and animals, need “food” to provide energy. People and animals get their food by eating it whereas plants make their own food by using air, water and energy from the sun. That’s why plants need light, warmth and water to grow well.