Nutrition in Plants | Modes of Nutrition

Nutrition in Plants

Plants, just like animals, need food to grow, survive, and carry out their life processes. However, the way plants obtain their food differs from that of animals. Let’s explore the various aspects of nutrition in plants.

Mode of Nutrition in Plants:

Plants have two main modes of nutrition – autotrophic and heterotrophic. Autotrophic plants, such as most green plants, produce their own food through a process called photosynthesis. On the other hand, heterotrophic plants depend on external sources for their food.


Food Making Process in Plants: Photosynthesis is a vital process for autotrophic plants. They use sunlight, carbon dioxide from the air, and water from the soil to produce glucose (a type of sugar) and oxygen. Chlorophyll, present in the plant’s green parts, captures sunlight and facilitates the conversion of these raw materials into food.

Free vector photosynthesis

Other Modes of Nutrition in Plants:

Apart from photosynthesis, plants also have other modes of nutrition. Some plants are saprotrophs, which obtain nutrients by decomposing dead organic matter. These plants play a crucial role in the recycling of nutrients in ecosystems. Additionally, there are parasitic plants that obtain nutrients by living on or inside other plants, and symbiotic plants that have a mutually beneficial relationship with other organisms.


Saprotrophs, such as fungi and some bacteria, break down dead plants and animals, extracting nutrients from them. They play a vital role in decomposing organic matter, releasing essential elements back into the soil, and facilitating the nutrient cycle.

How Nutrients are Replenished in the Soil:

As plants absorb nutrients from the soil, the soil’s nutrient levels can deplete over time. However, nature has mechanisms to replenish these nutrients. When plants and animals die, their remains decompose, enriching the soil with organic matter and releasing nutrients. Additionally, organic fertilizers and human interventions, like composting, can also replenish soil nutrients.

In conclusion, plants have fascinating ways of obtaining their nutrition. Through photosynthesis and other modes of nutrition, plants ensure their survival and contribute to the overall balance of ecosystems. Understanding these processes helps us appreciate the vital role of plants in sustaining life on Earth.

A parasite is an organism that lives on or inside another organism (host) and obtains nutrients from it, while a saprotroph is an organism that decomposes dead organic matter to obtain nutrients.

To test the presence of starch in leaves, you can perform iodine test. Apply iodine solution to the leaf, and if it turns blue-black, it indicates the presence of starch.

In green plants, the process of photosynthesis occurs. Plants use sunlight, carbon dioxide from the air, and water from the soil to produce glucose (food) and release oxygen.

Cuscuta is a parasitic plant with a yellow, slender, and branched stem.

A plant that is partially autotrophic is a pitcher plant.

The pores through which leaves exchange gases are called stomata.

Farmers grow fruits and vegetable crops inside large greenhouses to create a controlled environment for better growth and protection.

Greenhouses provide stable temperature, humidity, and protection from pests, diseases, and adverse weather conditions. This allows farmers to extend the growing season, increase crop yields, and have better control over the quality of their produce.

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