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U2L3: Plant Growth Lab

Background: Factors in the plant’s environment, such as the amount of sunlight and water, play a role in
the health and life span of a plant. Green plants need sunlight to carry out photosynthesis. This process
allows the plant to make food that can be used later for growth and reproduction. Without light, the
plant cannot make food, and it cannot grow. This experiment will demonstrate whether or not light is
needed for a plant to grow.

Hypothesis: I believe that the radish seeds, the plant I chose, will grow and thrive to around nine
centimeters by day ten of the experiment. I also believe that the growth will be fast paced, reaching a
centimeter by the second or third day.

The independent variable in this lab is: The amount of sunlight/darkness the plant gets.

The dependent variable in the lab that I am measuring is: The height and growth of the plant.


1. Certified Organic Radish Seeds

2. Plant Pots

3. Garden Soil

4. Water

Procedure: List the steps below of how to do this experiment. Add as many steps as needed.

1. Fill six plant pots with soil.

2. Put seeds into filled plant pots, around two times the length of the seeds deep.

3. Put three of the plant pots, with the seed, beside a window that has enough sunlight.

4. Put the other three plant pots, with the seed, on my nightstand.

5. Water plants every other day for a course of ten days.

Data Use a few seeds/plants for each group. I listed 3 for each group as an example. Use more if you
Try using a few plants Length of the Plant (in centimeters) Observations
for each group.
Write any observations you make for each
Plants Day
Day 2 Day 4 Day 6 Day 8 plants other than length such as color,
10 health, etc.

Plants L1 1.2 3.3 5 cm 6.7 8.5 Plant is very healthy and growing well. No
in the cm cm cm cm issues with color or health.
L2 1.3 3.4 4.8 6.4 8.3 Also healthy and growing well. Looks
cm cm cm cm cm similar to the plant above.
L3 1.2 3.1 4.3 5.9 6.8 This plant seemed to have some trouble
cm cm cm cm cm with height. The color was fine, though.

Plants D1 0.6 2.5 3.1 4.2 4.9 Immediately, I could tell the growth
in the cm cm cm cm cm between light and dark plants were
dark drastically different. All three dark plants
showed a difference in growth.

D2 0.4 2.3 3.8 4.5 5.1 This plant had a change in color. It seemed
cm cm cm cm cm more yellow than the others did.

D3 0.7 2.6 3.7 4.3 5.3 This plant, like the other two dark
cm cm cm cm cm radishes, was also very small compared to
the light ones.

Conclusions: (Answer the 3 questions below and also write down any other conclusions in this

1. What is/are the main factor(s) that determine(s) that your plants will grow into bean
plants (or other fast-growing plants that you used for your experiment) and not some
other type of plant (genetics, environment, or both)? Explain your answer. Genetics are
the main factor that will determine if your plant will grow into what originally desired.
Although the environment can affect the growth or color of the plant, it overall cannot
determine the kind of plant it is as a whole.

2. What is/are the main factor(s) that determine(s) the height of a plant (genetics,
environment, or both)? Explain your answer. Both genetics and the environment can
determine the height of a plant. While the environment, if negative towards the plant,
can make the plant not grow to a moderate or tall height, genetics can do this as well.
This is because, if the plant’s parent had genes that cause the plant to be shorter than
usual, then the child plant could also have those traits.

3. Use specific data from your experiment to defend or refute the following statements:
Plants continue to grow throughout their lives by producing new plant material.
Photosynthesis is required for this process to occur. All plants stop growing or keep
growing depending on the genes of the plant and it’s environment. So yes,
photosynthesis is needed for this process to occur, but it oftentimes cannot occur due
to the environment around it. If the plant is in an environment that is it in its favor and
has traits that helps the plant, as well as the plant itself naturally having healthy genes,
then it can grow easily. If not, photosynthesis cannot occur and the plant will not grow.