What does Germination mean?


Germination is a process. Through it, an organism grows out of a structure, most often from a seed. In general, germination could be thought of as anything that expands into something greater from a small existence. When it comes to seed germination, which is going to be focus of the following article, there is a list of conditions – both external and internal – that have to be met in order for the process to initiate and progress. How long it takes for germinations of seeds to occur depends not only on these conditions but on the individual seeds as well. Thus, usually, the number of days to germination for seeds is expressed as a range.

The Plant Life-Cycle

Everything under the stars has a life-cycle in Earth. Birth, growth, reproduction and death. At the beginning of this journey, plants start off as tiny seeds. Inside those seeds, there is an embryo, which is the “baby” plant, and the endosperm, which is what will supply the embryo with nutrition to make it grow. Outside the seed, there’s an extra protective layer, the so-called seed coat, an outer covering which keeps the embryo safe from harm.

Seed Growth: Required Conditions

In order for a seed to properly grow into a plant, in order words, to undergo the process of germination, there following conditions must be satisfied:

The seed absorbs water from the soil and provides moisture to the embryo. The plant cells inside the seed start duplicating and various enzymes get activated. Thus, the embryo starts getting its much needed nourishment.

The Birth of a Plant

The first signs of growth are tiny roots coming out of the seed, as the process of germination goes full-throttle. With more and more steady nourishment, the embryo quickly grows and eventually bursts out of the seed coat in search of sunlight, in order to start the process of photosynthesis. Signs of a growing plant are beginning to emerge, as the plant bursts open from the seed to bask in the sun’s warmth. Meanwhile, when the seed coat eventually falls off, the young plant’s roots grow downwards in order to anchor the seed underground – and to search for more food and nutrients from the soil. Its upper portion, the shoot, further grows upwards towards the light, sprouting out even more tiny leaves. This whole process, the birth of a plant from a seed is what germination is.

Germination: A short re-cap

Germination is the process through which a small seed gives birth to a plant, after it has been planted in soil and remained dormant for a certain period of time. If the necessary conditions are not met, a seed remains inactive until these conditions are satisfied so that the ground is suitable for the process of germination to occur.

Chief amongst these conditions is the availability of proper amounts of water, oxygen, temperature, nutrition and eventually light. After the aforementioned conditions are satisfied, the seed coat bursts open, and the organism grows simultaneously in two ways. Downwards, in the form of roots that aim to safely anchor the new-born plant underground and provide pathways for the transportation of further nutrition. And upwards, in the form of the plant’s shoot and leaves that aim to harness and utilise the sun’s energy for more development and growth.