Learning About Gardening & Plants -  For Kids!


Botany, as a branch of biology, involves studying plant life. Botanists study the parts of the plant, how it grows, reproduces, adapts, and gets nutrition. Modern-day botanists study over 550,000 species of plant life. Botanists use a classification system to identify and categorize the many different types of species, including the nearly extinct. Scientists will use plants to study genetics. In fact, Gregor Mendel observed pea pods and their flowers to study how traits get passed down from one generation to the next.

Photosynthesis describes the plant`s process of absorbing light from the sun and creating nutrition; however, not all plants will go through photosynthesis. Plants have a cell wall with a membrane made of cellulose and chlorophyll. Plants range in a variety of sizes. There are microscopic algae to small mosses to gigantic redwood trees that grow over three hundred feet tall. Plants are found everywhere and survived through the process of natural selection to adapt in various climate conditions. Other life forms depend on plant life in order to survive, including humans. Plants are dependent on animal life also for survival, such as bees and insects.


Here are some places you can learn more about botany, plants, and gardening.......

Gardening Basics for Kids: Contains many active links to internet information about gardening for kids (in .docx format)

All About Plants: Interactive presentation that offers information about plants. Topics include plant growth, plant parts, and pollination.

Plant Life: This web page shows the various activities that a plant performs to survive. Click on a part of the plant to find out what it does.

Parts of a Plant: An interactive image showing different parts of a plant. There are also descriptions of the parts and their functions.

Plant Cells: Simple activity that teaches about plant cells. Just click on the labels to find out what each part of a plant cell does.

How Seeds Move: A kid-friendly botany article from Oracle ThinkQuest. It shows how seeds are spread from one place to another.

Understanding Germination: University of Illinois web page that offers facts about germination. It describes the various stages of germination.

What is Photosynthesis?: BBC web page explaining the process of photosynthesis.

Plant Nutrition: Learn about plant nutrition in this website. Topics include plant nutrients, soil testing, fertilizer label, and others.

Flower Anatomy: A good description of the various parts of a flower and their function. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

There are other ways a plant can be reproduced (without seeds). New plants can be created by rooting cuttings, grafting, dividing, or layering. These methods are used when a unique characteristic is discovered that can’t be reproduced by seed. The resulting plant is a clone or identical reproduction of the desired characteristic. An example would be foliage with different colors or color patterns called variegation, or a variety of fruit that has been developed but can’t be reproduced by it’s seed. This is another area of botany/horticulture that you might want to learn more about. This is a faster way to grow a new plant but not all plants can be grown this way and many can only be

shoegarden yuccaflowers

Left: a shoe garden

Center: a "fairy" garden

Right: decorating a yucca

grown from seed, so it depends on the specific plant. There are so many exciting things to learn about plants and gardening.


Have fun growing plants. The internet is loaded with kid's project ideas. A couple of them are pictured above . (photo credit - Felder Rushing)