Fast Plant Life Cycle

The entire life cycle for Fast Plants(TM) is extremely short, and under ideal growing conditions of continuous light, water, and nutrition, plants will produce harvestable seeds approximately 40 days after planting.

Click on the days in the Life Cycle below to learn more about the life cycle . . .

Note: The days listed here are a general guide. The rate of growth may vary depending on temperature, soil type, humidity, light, and other environmental factors. Refer to the Troubleshooting page if you think your plants are growing too slowly.

Day 0
Each seed contains a tiny, new plant, called an embryo. The outside of the seed is called the seed coat. A seed can remain quiescent (sleeping) for years, as long as it stays dry and cool.

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Day 1-2

A day or two after planting and watering, the tiny seed germinates. During germination, the seed takes up water and swells until its seed coat cracks. The radicle (embryonic root) emerges first, followed by the hypocotyl (stem) and two cotyledons (seed leaves).

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Day 2-3

The hypocotyl pushes through the soil, pulling the cotyledons along with it. No longer needed, the seed coat drops from the cotyledons to the soil.

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Day 4

Aboveground, the hypocotyl elongates as the plant reaches upward for light.

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Days 5-13

Above ground, the true leaves, stems, and flowers originate at a point at the very top of the plant, called the shoot meristem (growth tip). Each part emerges gradually, then it grows larger 窶 and the growth is measurable from day to day.

Stems elongate at the internodes, which is the space between the nodes (where the leaves attach). The elongation allows the plant to grow taller and spread out the leaves and flowers so they are in the best position to do their jobs. Stems allow food, water, and minerals to move throughout the plant.

Leaves contain many pores (called stomates) on their surfaces that allow the plant to ?breathe? by uptaking carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air, and then expelling oxygen (O2). A green pigment, called chlorophyll, causes the leaves to appear green and captures energy from light. When CO2 and water are combined in the presence of light, the plant makes its own food, called carbohydrates (or sugar). This amazing process is called photosynthesis.

Underground, the roots grow downward. Roots anchor the plants into the soil so they don?t blow or wash away. Root hairs absorb water and nutrients from the surrounding soil and bring them to the rest of the plant. Most of the water is not used for photosynthesis, however; water is used to cool the plant as by evaporating from the leaves.

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Days 14-20

The flowers bloom! At the growth tip, new flower buds begin to appear. Each bud is protected by four green sepals. Once a flower opens, the sepals are hidden beneath four bright yellow petals. The flower?s center boasts a single pistil, which is the female part of the flower. The pistil is surrounded by six yellow stamens, which are the male parts of the flower. Each stamen is covered with millions of powdery, yellow pollen grains.

The bright yellow petals may catch your eye 窶 and the eye of insects. The petals form a beacon that lets insects know that there is food available. Hidden deep inside the flower are nectaries, which produce nectar. Nectar is a sweet, sugar-rich substance that insects love to eat. That?s why bees and butterflies are attracted to flowers 窶 they're hungry!

In exchange for food, insects pollinate flowers. When an insect moves from flower to flower looking for nectar, pollen from each flower gets caught in the insect?s body hairs and is transferred to other flowers. After pollen has landed on the tip of another flower?s pistil, it grows a tube down into the pistil, where the eggs are housed. Sperm (from inside the pollen) are then able move down the tube until they reach the eggs and fertilize them. The fertilized eggs then become the embryos of new seeds through a process called embryogenesis.

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Days 21-40

As the seeds mature and ripen, the outside of the pistil swells to become the seed pod (or fruit) that encases several seeds. The leaves and flowers slowly wilt and fall off, one by one.

After the seeds have dried out completely, they are ready to be planted or stored. Inside each seed is a tiny embryo, waiting for water and warmth so it can germinate into a new plant, and another life cycle can begin.

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