What is Germination?

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Germination is the process by which a seed grows into plant. In botany and gardening, it is used to reproduce certain genre of plants. It also refers to the process of growing plants through seeding or sprouting. Unlike other process, it is considered as the most natural process of growing plants. Some plants can germinate without the aid of human beings. For instance, hyphae and fungi can grow on their own. Ferns can also germinate via their spores.

The germination process starts from the swelling of an embryo until it bursts open for sprouting. The food stored inside the cotyledons sucks up the water, which it will use to further its growth. The water is then stored as food inside the embryo. After a couple of days, a radical would start to appear followed by the pumule. The seed continues to absorb water until it gains fresh weight. Within two to three weeks of mineral-absorption, leaves would start to form. The seed disappears and is replaced by roots. The stem of the plant also starts to grow longer above ground to a full-grown plant. The optimal germination pH ranges from 6 to 7.5.

Germination requires elements to complete its process. These include water, oxygen, and temperature. Water serves as the main source of energy for the embryo to develop its dry weight. It supplies all the nutrients until its full growth. Oxygen functions in aerobic respiration. Temperature affects germination in two ways. Plant species that usually grow in cold temperature will not prosper in warm lands and vice versa. Moderate temperature allows the plant to normally develop its cellular metabolism and growth.

Germination may vary depending on the types of seed. Some can occur within a day but some can also happen only after a few weeks. Fruit bearing trees that are not grafted can take months to germinate.