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Watching and learning how plants grow

Ever wondered how a giant oak tree can grow from a little acorn? Learn how plants grow from seeds, then join us in planting a seed and watching each day as it grows.

Welcome to the Plant Club! Here you can learn how plants grow from seeds. Then sow your own seed, download our plant diary and keep track as it grows.

You can share any pictures of your developing plants with us on @NHM_Learn.

How plants grow

This story reveals what happens, both under and above ground, as a seed grows into a flowering plant that eventually produces seeds of its own.

If you grow your own seed, you'll know what to watch for at each stage.

You can also download the stages (PDF 405KB), to print out and cut up.

Seeds are baby plants. They are full of stored-up energy, waiting to help the plant to grow.

1. Seeds are baby plants. They are full of stored-up energy, waiting to help the plant to grow.

When things are just right, (not too warm, not too cold) and there is just enough water, the seed will begin to sprout. This is called germination.

2. When things are just right, (not too warm, not too cold) and there is just enough water, the seed will begin to sprout. This is called germination.

A root might grow first so it can bring water and nutrients into the seed from the soil.

3. A root might grow first so it can bring water and nutrients into the seed from the soil.

Now, with the water, nutrients and energy stored in the seed, the plant is ready to grow more.

4. Now, with the water, nutrients and energy stored in the seed, the plant is ready to grow more.

In some plants, a shoot will appear before the roots.

5. In some plants, a shoot will appear before the roots.

The shoot will soon become big enough to pop up through the soil.

6. The shoot will soon become big enough to pop up through the soil.

The roots will grow downwards to support the growing plant.

7. The roots will grow downwards to support the growing plant.

The shoot will grow upwards toward the light.

8. The shoot will grow upwards toward the light.

Leaves start to grow and the plant is now ready to make energy from the Sun.

9. Leaves start to grow and the plant is now ready to make energy from the Sun.

The stem, leaves and roots get bigger and bigger!

10. The stem, leaves and roots get bigger and bigger!

11. When the plant is ready,small buds might grow.

11. When the plant is ready,small buds might grow.

Soon, these buds will open and bloom into flowers.

12. Soon, these buds will open and bloom into flowers.

Flowers are beautiful and help the plant to make new seeds.

13. Flowers are beautiful and help the plant to make new seeds.

Some flowers need the help of busy insects and other animals to make this happen.

14. Some flowers need the help of busy insects and other animals to make this happen.

These seeds might grow into a new plant and the cycle starts again.

15. These seeds might grow into a new plant and the cycle starts again.

Watching your own plant grow

If you'd like to plant your own seed and watch it grow, then you can download this plant diary (PDF 270KB) to record what happens.

The most important thing you will need is patience. Seeds wait for everything to be just right before they start to grow. This might take a few weeks or a few months. Plants that can grow quickly include sunflowers and runner beans. Or you could try growing cress seeds, which are very quick to sprout.

If you don't have any seeds nearby, try seeds that might already be in your food. Seeds from peppers, tomatoes and chillies are a great place to start.

Don't forget to share any pictures of your developing plants with us on @NHM_Learn.