Why Do Plants Need Sunlight? Fun Plant Facts For Kids

Ritwik Bhuyan
May 17, 2024 By Ritwik Bhuyan
Originally Published on Oct 13, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi
One sunflower rising above the rest.

The light energy of the Sun provides the much-needed nutrients to plants that help in plant growth.

We all know plants make their own food as plants use carbon dioxide from the air and mix it with water from the soil. The light source to power this process of photosynthesis is provided by the Sun.

The light from the Sun is an important part to stimulate the growth of any plants, be it in the desert or in a forest, helping to keep the overall balance in the ecosystem. The light energy trapped by a plant's leaves is the main source of gas to fuel plant growth in any circumstance.

A plant needs the light energy from the Sun to produce chlorophyll which itself is the chemical that makes the leaf of the plant green. Water, carbon dioxide, minerals, light from the Sun, and chlorophyll are the things green plants need to use the energy from light.

To survive, some plants even need the light intensity to be controlled.

Like food and water for animals, plants need the light from our Sun as food. Otherwise, without the molecules in the leaf, the plant will simply die.

Chloroplasts absorb light energy in the process of photosynthesis. This sucking in the light by chloroplasts creates multiple reactions, producing sugars for the plants.

Sugar helps ignite the growth in plants. Do you know why we see plants green in color?

The chlorophyll reflects the green light while absorbing the red and blue light.

We know plants have always formed a strong relationship with us and animals alike. The oxygen we and animals breathe is given by plants in most parts as they take in carbon dioxide and convert it to oxygen.

Some plants can even grow in low light or artificial light and do not always need the bright light of the Sun (with enough photons). We will read how solar light energy helps keep the world in check.

If you enjoyed this article, why not also read about why do plants need nitrogen and why do plants need water here on Kidadl?

What is photosynthesis?

As we have already discussed, photosynthesis is a process where a plant uses the energy of light, water molecules from the ground, and gas from the air to produce glucose. This is the food and source of nutrition for plants.

The light source the plant needs are trapped by the leaves with the help of the green pigment known as chlorophyll present in the leaves. For the process of photosynthesis to occur, plants absorb carbon dioxide from the air through the stem and leaf, take water from the earth using the roots, and light energy from the Sun.

The light energy helps in triggering chemical reactions, breaking down the carbon dioxide and water molecules and producing sugar and oxygen. The sugar is then converted in a process to energy which helps in plant growth.

This process is conducted by the chlorophyll abundant in the cells of a plant's green leaf. Oxygen is released into the air by the same holes carbon dioxide entered.

The electrons and protons react further within the plant.

Lights are no longer required and this process is called a dark reaction. The protons and electrons are passed through a transportation chain.

This actually permits the plant to produce carbohydrates by combining hydrogen with carbon. The light intensity is required to contain the quality of the plant's leaves.

Do all plants need sunlight?

There are many plant species that do not need the light from the Sun to survive. Leaves, as we know, convert light energy into food which is used by the plants to grow. This is photosynthesis.

What if we say there are some parasitic plant species that don't need the Sun at all. There are a lot of plants that have no chlorophyll at all. These plants take the energy produced by light from other plants going through photosynthesis.

These plants are called achlorophyllous. They suck everything from the host plants like a parasite and are involved in obligate parasitism. Some even lack branches, leaves, and stems and look like disfigured mushrooms.

Soybean plants on the field in the rays of the sun.

Why do some plants need less sunlight than others?

Sunlight is essential for most plants. Plants, as a whole, have adapted themselves to different forms of light, quality of the light, and quantity.

A plant's chloroplasts are adapted to receive less carbon dioxide to make sugar in low light conditions. For plants, light is just light, whether it comes from an artificial source or the bright light of the Sun.

Bright light gives enough photons and the plants can grow easily with it. With different areas, there are different sunlight intensities, and plants have evolved enough to not get affected by the geolocations. Plants that live in forested areas can easily survive in our homes as a similar environment is seen with less light intensity.

In forests, the light is blocked by trees and in our homes, by the glass in the windows. These are low-light plants or house plants we keep.

Why do some plants need no sunlight at all?

Most plants are known to convert light energy and all subsequent components into glucose to stimulate growth in them and maintain the blooming quality of the species.

There are others that take this stimulation and steal it for them. Although light conditions matter for most plants, some don't need any light at all. They in fact take the nutrients from the plants with chlorophyll, undergoing photosynthesis and can grow without any light stimulation.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for why do plants need sunlight then why not take a look at are birds warm blooded, or are black diamonds real.

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Written by Ritwik Bhuyan

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English

Ritwik Bhuyan picture

Ritwik BhuyanBachelor of Arts specializing in English

A skilled content writer, Ritwik holds a Bachelor's degree in English from Delhi University. He has refined his writing abilities through his past experience at PenVelope and his current role at Kidadl. In addition to his proficiency in writing, Ritwik has pursued his passion for flying by achieving CPL training and becoming a licensed commercial pilot. This diverse skill set highlights his commitment to exploring multiple fields. Ritwik's experience in the aviation industry has provided him with a unique perspective and attention to detail, which he brings to his writing.

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Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi

Postgraduate Diploma in Management

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Sakshi RaturiPostgraduate Diploma in Management

Sakshi has experience in marketing strategy, social media planning, and recruiting industry experts for capstone projects, she has displayed a commitment to enhancing their skills and knowledge. She has won multiple awards, including a Certificate of Appreciation for Creative Writing and a Certificate of Merit for Immaculate Turut, and is always seeking new opportunities to grow and develop.

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