The main thing that distinguishes plants from animals is the fact that they can manufacture their own food. Just give them then right materials and the right condition then they can take care of themselves. That is one of the biggest advantage that plants have over animals and humans because we need to get food from the outside.
Photosynthesis– Plants make their own food by the process known as photosynthesis. They combine water and carbon dioxide and in the presence of enough light they convert it in into sugars that it can use. The carbon dioxide goes into the system by openings on the leaves of the plants. The water is gathered by the hair like growth on the roots. A special material called chlorophyll can be found on the leaves and this material is very important in the whole process of making food for the plants. While the whole process of photosynthesis is a very complex chemical process, it can be explained in a simplified way. You can think of the chlorophyll as the factory where the food for the plants are manufactured while the carbon dioxide from the air and water from the ground are the materials that are used for the manufacturing of the food. The sunlight is of course the energy needed in converting the materials. The process even has a waste product and that is oxygen. This is the reason why plants can be used to refresh air.The actual food manufactured through this process is a form of sugar and that makes plants very different from animals.
Food for Plants- Now you might be confused.If as we have just explained, plants manufacture their own food, then how come do we hear about plant foods? Actually the term might be misleading the actual name would be fertilizers. These materials are not absolute necessities for the survival of the plant but if they can help promote better growth and appearance for the plant if they are present on the ground. These are the most common components that you can find on a good fertilizer:
- Nitrogen- Although this element makes up the biggest part of the air that we breath, it has to be processed by the plants from the ground. It promotes fast growth of the plant and healthy looking leaves.
- Phosphorus- Phosphorus on the other hand is a material that helps the blooming of plants and then the development of fruit from those flowers.
- Potassium- This material helps plants to fight off disease to which they are very vulnerable and conditions of extreme temperatures.
These three materials when mixed together can make up the ideal plant food. The perfect mixture should be one part nitrogen, two parts phosphorus and one part potassium. Of course this ratio is not universally perfect for all plants. There are some plant types that might require a different ratio since they need more of one substance than others. Flowering plants for example might need more of phosphorus than vegetables that are valued for their leaves or roots.