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Nutrition in plants

Nutrition in plants

Living organism needs the energy to maintain and repair its organized structure also to maintain a state of order in our body. They take this energy from outside the body of the individual organism. This process of transfer a source of energy from outside to inside the body of the organism in the form of food, by a process called nutrition. In this article, we will read nutrition in plants.

  • There are different types of source of energy outside the body of an individual organism.
  • These sources of energy are broken down inside the body to finally converted to a uniform source of energy.
  • This energy is used for the various molecular movements needed for maintaining living structures.

Nutrition in plants (Autotrophic Nutrition):

nutrition in plants

Every living creature on this planet requires energy to keep growing, metabolic functioning, and completion of its life cycle. Human fulfils their energy requirement by food as we see every day. Plants also have cells, tissues. They also grow in size up the surface of the earth and down to it.  Have you ever thought how plants as a living organism fulfil their energy needs? Do they also need nutrients?

  • Yes, plants also need nutrients to perform various life processes.
  • The mode of nutrition is different for different organisms so that of plants too have a different mode of nutrition.
  • The type of nutrition possessed by plants is autotrophic mode of nutrition.
  • Different from animal, plant has a special capability that they synthesize their own food.
  • Plants use Inorganic substance (non-living substance) to produce organic substance (molecules).
  • The source of energy for plants is the non-living environment. They take it from sun, carbon dioxide and earth.
  • Plants have no hand to prepare food but they have chlorophyll which uses all this source to prepare food.
  • Food includes carbohydrates which on utilization provides energy to plants. Further, they also store these carbohydrates for later use.

Types of Autotrophic Nutrition:

There are two types of autotrophic nutrition:

  1. Photo-autotrophic nutrition: When a living organism uses sunlight to prepare their own food. These organisms are called photoautotrophs. Green plants and some bacteria are photo-autotrophs. Thus provides nutrition in plants.
  2. Chemo-autotrophic nutrition: When living organisms derives its energy from chemical processes. This process is called chemosynthesis. Nitrosomonas bacteria prepares their food through chemosynthesis.


Photosynthesis nutrition in plants

Plants are autotrophs (Auto = self, Trophic = nutrition) as they make their own food itself. It plays a major role in nutrition in plants. They possess photo-autotrophic nutrition.

  • The process by which plants synthesize their own food using sunlight, carbon dioxide, water and minerals is known as photosynthesis.
  • Source of light for plants is the sun.
  • Source of carbon dioxide is environment and humans releases CO2 during respiration, plants use this CO2 for photosynthesis.
  • Water and minerals are taken from the earth through the roots of plants.
  • Carbon dioxide enters the plant through stomata (tiny openings or holes mainly on leaves used by plants for the exchange of gases).
  • Oxygen is also released through these stomatal openings.
  • Excess water in the plants is also released through these openings and this process is called



  • It is Green substance/pigments in autotrophs that traps light energy from the sun, which then combines carbon dioxide and water into sugars in the process of photosynthesis.
  • Chlorophyll is vital for photosynthesis, which helps plants get energy from light.
  • It also makes plants green and healthy.
  • Chloroplasts in leaves contain Chlorophyll. They are present in the mesophyll cells of the leaves.

Photosynthesis Equation:

photosynthesis equation nutrition in plants

The balanced chemical equation involved in photosynthesis is:

6 CO2 + 6 H2O + light → C6H12O6 + 6 O2

By this process, plant synthesizes glucose and converts into different compounds like cellulose and starch. It stores in different parts of the plant for further use. This is the reason why the plants remain alive when there are long non-sunny days.

Questions based on Nutrition in plants:

  1. How do plants get their food?

    Plants make their own food so they are called autotrophs. They use inorganic sources like sunlight, carbon dioxide, water and minerals from the environment and utilize them in making food (organic substance). The leaves of the plant play an important role in making food. They store food in the form of starch for further use.
  2. What are the essential nutrients?
    The essential nutrients are Carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, water, fibres.
Also read,
Life processes Nutrition in animals
Respiration in plants Human respiratory system
Transportation in plants  Human circulatory system
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