Plants to grow

Discussion in 'Supporting Biology' started by JediiKnyght, Mar 12, 2020.

  1. Hi all

    I've been asked a question from the teacher in charge of our Science club, and I honestly have no idea...

    He wants to grow plants with his group. One of the activities he wants to do with those plants is microscopy, but beyond that he wants plants with interesting features, or that specific activities can be done with.

    I'm a Physics guy, and not exactly green fingered. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! (both for plants and activities)
  2. Geraniums are good, they can be grown from seeds (takes a while) or buy just one plant and then they can take cuttings and grow on.You can then use the leaves to test for starch Spider plantlets can be used for cloning. Tradescantia cuttings work really well and will grow roots within a week if placed in water. They can be used for looking at stomata under the microscope. Growing cress is really easy and the students can do the effect of light on the growing seedlings by placing the seeds in different levels of light. Growing any quick germinating vegetable seeds are fun e.g runner and broad beans, radish, peas etc but perhaps not quite the right time of year to plant them out afterwards. Cut white flowers put into different coloured dyes is a colourful practical for a science club especially if you cut the base of the stem in two and place each side in a different colour.
    NB_Chemistry, Jaytee and ClaireS like this.
  3. karen b

    karen b COMMITTEE

    I thought about spider plants, as their stomata are interesting. And you can look at their reproduction technique.

    Also variegated geraniums are useful when looking at starch in plant leaves. As Jamjam says they propagate very easily
  4. You might want to do a variety of plants. Mung beans grow really fast if they want roots etc, spider plants for the cloning (also good for stomata) Tradescatia is good just to look at under a microscope (as mentioned by Jamjam who's cat is just too cute). Sweet pea type plants are interesting in the way they support themselves etc. Floating pond weeds are good to watch as you see everything.

    All comes down to how long they intend to spend on this project.
  5. Are you talking window sill or green house? As if window sill then very limited to what has already been stated. Green house then tomatoes, hydroponics etc etc.
  6. cress/mustard on petri dishes and cotton wool/paper towels (to hold water) for germination and effect of direction of light. If you get a geranium then get a varigated one so you see that no starch is made in the non-green areas.
    From left to right - Tradescantia verbina (purple variety) Non-varigated geranium, Tradescantia (varigated green white stripes), 2 spider plants in flask, 2 varigated geraniums and last a non-varigated geranium.
    Tradescantia used for viewing stomata, geraniums used for testing leaves for starch (varigated shows no starch without chlorophyll), spider plants used for root tip squash
    Tech2015 and JediiKnyght like this.
  7. Hi, all. Please do keep the responses coming, if you have other ideas; I just wanted to pop a message up to say thank you for the replies so far, its absolutely brilliant. A great selection of activities for our kids! I have also come across a site showing how you can make DIY window farms, so that has some potential for increasing our available space allowing us to combine a lot of the ideas here.

    You guys are the best! not to get soppy, but I feel like less of a 'lone(ly) tech' with this forum!
    ClaireS and karen b like this.
  8. Once it's set up it can stay on as a long term project; at the moment we only have geraniums and some form of succulent, so it'll be nice to expand what's available for staff to use in lessons, as well!
  9. Wow, nice little windowsill garden you have there!
  10. Excellent point... at the moment a window sill, but now you've got me wondering if I can find somewhere safe to pop up a greenhouse (assuming someone will fund it, or I can find the materials #scouts #skillsforlife )
  11. A rigid plastic greenhouse would be safe for the kids but I don't think that any greenhouse is safe from the kids
  12. Polytunnels (plastic greenhouses) are safe and cheap
  13. Only thing you must consider is frost protection for some of the plants which will be a real bind unless you only use it may to october. - If using a laboratory window sill then that isn't an issue as the rooms are heated but light can be as you get it from a restricted direction - need a south facing window.

  14. Hi, if you don't mind can you please share the link for DIY window farms. Thank you
  15. Dod


    Potatoes in a pot.
  16. Oh yeah... I hadn't considered it being safe FOR the kids... :-D
    ClaireS likes this.