How plants reproduce: types and importance of plant reproduction

In today's article we will talk about everything related to plant reproduction and we will also see how this fact is directly related to the good health of the whole planet. If you are passionate about the plant world, read carefully!

how do plants multiply?

Types of plants

There are more than 300,000 species of plants, which can be broadly classified into two main categories:

Types of reproduction

Not all species reproduce in the same way, although we can divide them into two main groups: those that reproduce sexually and those that reproduce asexually:

1. Sexual reproduction

Sexual reproduction is reproduction in which the union of male and female genetic material gives rise to a new being. In plants, it is the most common method of reproduction.

Almost all plants that multiply sexually, flower and produce seeds. Inside the ovary of a flower are male and female cells called gametophytes.

The process of reproduction is triggered when the plant is pollinated. Pollination occurs when insects or small flying animals such as hummingbirds, bees or flies transfer pollen from one plant to another.

Sexual reproduction takes place when pollen from a flower with a male gamete is deposited on a flower with a female gamete. The pollen will start to germinate, give rise to a new flower which in turn will produce seeds and so on.

Sexual reproduction can be of two types:

  • Autogamy
    In this case, the plant itself produces the male and female gametes. This form of reproduction, which is very common, for example, on islands or weedy places, allows the genetic characteristics of its species to remain intact, which is essential for the plant to survive and adapt to a given environment.
  • Allogamy
    We speak of allogamy when pollination and fertilisation take place between plants of different species. This causes the genetic code of both to intermingle, giving rise to new species. Nowadays, it is very common for nurseries to use this form of reproduction to create new varieties.

2. Asexual reproduction

Asexual reproduction occurs when an identical plant cell is created from a plant cell by mitosis. Asexual reproduction usually occurs in non-vascular plants, i.e. plants that do not have roots, stems or sap-conducting vessels.

There are many plants that can multiply asexually by one of these 4 processes:

  • Mitospores - The plant creates spores by cell division (mitosis). This is the usual form of reproduction in fungi and ferns.
  • Vegetative reproduction - In this case, the plant multiplies from a fragment of the plant itself. This type of propagation is widely used in floristry and gardening to obtain a larger number of units of a certain species. Vegetative propagation can be done in different ways: grafting, cutting a piece of the stem, dividing the root, etc.
  • Apomixis - Some plants have diploid ovules, which have the property of producing seeds without the need for fertilisation. This means that plants born through this system are identical to their parent.
  • Propagules - These are parts of the plant which, when separated from the plant, can create another plant identical to the original. Propagules may consist of multi-cells (buds, seeds, tubers, etc.), or of a single cell, as in the case of spores.

Essential requirements for optimal plant reproduction

The three essential elements that plants need to live are carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. In addition, they need to be nourished with minerals and nutrients which, in their natural habitat, they obtain directly from the soil.

In indoor plants, these essential nutrients (potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc and chlorine, among others) must be incorporated periodically in the form of fertiliser, so that our plants grow in optimal conditions.

The best time to propagate your houseplants is in early spring. plant your bulbs, tubers, cuttings or roots to enjoy new plants full of life and colour!

Importance of plant propagation

Due to the beauty and attractiveness of their leaves and flowers, plants are often considered to have a purely decorative function. However, nothing could be further from the truth, as their existence is vital for both animals and humans to obtain food and breathe.

In the home, plants are true natural oxygen factories, capable of purifying and regulating the humidity of the environment. this is why understanding their reproductive system and applying it to our indoor plants is an extra benefit for everyone!

Raising awareness from an early age of the importance of growing, maintaining and propagating plants is fundamental to preserving the environmental balance and our own survival as a species. the more vegetation there is around us, the better the air we breathe!

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About the author
Ame Rodríguez

Dedicated to creating an army of cacti, succulents, poodles and cats to help me conquer the world. In the little free time I have left, I play, write and dance.

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