What Do Plants Need?

Contributor: Nichole Brooker. Lesson ID: 11514

Plants don't have brains like you do, but they need the same things to live! Without plants, we humans could not survive! Wow! Play an online game, and get some seeds ready for a fun plant experiment!


Life Science

learning style
Kinesthetic, Visual
personality style
Grade Level
Primary (K-2)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Plants are essential to all life on earth!

Watch this video to see why.

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Taking care of plants is necessary for all of us to live. Take a look at what they need to live and keep us alive!

Plants are anything that grows on the earth. Examples of plants are flowers, fruits, vegetables, grains, and trees.

Plants produce oxygen, making it possible for humans to breathe. They also are food for many different animals as well as humans. Without plants, some animals would have nothing to eat! That would be terrible!

Taking care of plants is very important. There are five different things plants need to stay alive.

  • Can you guess what they are?

Print the Graphic Organizer - KWL Chart from Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar and follow these steps.

  1. Fill in the "K" portion of the chart. This is all of the things that you KNOW about plants. Write down all of the facts you already know about plants.
  1. Also, fill in the "W" portion of the chart. This is what you WANT to know about plants.
  • What do you wonder about?
  1. Leave the "L" portion blank. You will fill this in at the end of the lesson.

Great job!

  • What are the needs of all plants?
  • Did you guess that plants need air?


Plants need air just like you need air. Just like you take in air through your nose and mouth, the leaves and roots of a plant can take in air for it to stay alive.

So far, you are a lot like a plant! For example, if you didn't have air, you would die. If a plant doesn't have air, it will die.

plant diagram


All types of plants need water. Outdoor plants get water from rain and snow. House plants that grow indoors need the owner to water them.

Farmers must water their plants when there isn't enough rain or snow. Again, you can't live without water, either!

Wow, you are starting to sound like a plant!

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  • Did you know the sun is a major energy source?

Plants suck up energy from the sun. Some plants need more sunlight than others.

Vitamin D comes from sunlight. Every living thing needs vitamin D to live!

sun on a plant


All living things, including you, need warmth.

  • Have you ever noticed that, during the winter months, plants don't grow?

That's because plants need warmth. Some plants can grow in scorching places, like deserts, and some plants only grow in warm but not too hot places.

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Plants need enough space to grow.

If they are too close together, their roots cannot get enough nutrients, in the form of food and water, from the soil. They also wouldn't get their fair share of the sun's energy.

On many farms, fields are planted in rows. The space between each row gives each plant enough space for its roots to spread.

The plants are not too close together so that each plant can get enough light.

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That is a lot of information about plants and their needs!

Go to the Got It? section to see what you remember!

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