This photosynthesis simple explanation is good for gardeners to understand, just so we know the very basics of how a plant eats and what we can do to help.

Photosynthesis Simple Explanation Transcript

Today I am going to give you a photosynthesis simple explanation.

Basically because that’s all I know is a simple explanation. I thought it would be useful for me when I was studying gardening initially to know the basics. And so that’s all I know, and that’s all I need to know as a gardener.

So you have your plant, a very nice plant. It has nice green parts, it has leaves, and photosynthesis takes place in all the green parts of the plant. So if you have herbaceous perennials, even the stems can be photosynthesizing, but the leaves, that’s really what the leaves are for.

Then you have below ground beautiful roots and they are necessary to take up water which is where a lot of the water from a plant comes from, the underground. So water is needed for photosynthesis, that’s the first thing.

The second thing would be some air. Really it’s carbon dioxide that the plants need. They’re taking carbon dioxide and they take in carbon dioxide all throughout their body. They will take in carbon even in their roots so it’s not only from the air, but that’s carbon dioxide (CO2).

And then they need energy and the energy comes from the sun, comes from the visual light spectrum, the same thing we see.

Energy comes down here and that energy allows the chemical reactions to occur, and so there you go. You’ve got your water, your H2O, and then you have photosynthesis.

So carbon dioxide, water, energy makes it all happen and then what happens? Well, basically that oxygen is given out again, which is why I can breathe. That’s all I need to say there.

And then a little bit of water is given off as well during this process. It’s worth while saying that. It comes out from the leaves and then the carbon goes into the plant and the plant gets a little bit bigger.

And basically, it’s sugar that it creates – carbohydrates, various kinds of sugars. And this is really how a plant eats. This is how a plant gets bigger.

You know what else it needs, it needs a little bit, like maybe 5%, a little bit of minerals from the soil – proteins, minerals – and so it’s gonna take those up.

And they’re almost like a catalyst, a little thing that’s needed to make this whole reaction happen. And so that is how a plant eats and then it grows and it gets bigger.

It does this all on its own and so then this is how I get huge muscles because I get to eat the plants and so does most everything else. Most organisms on the planet rely on this photosynthesis whether they eat plants directly or whether something comes along and eats me, ultimately it’s relying on that photosynthesis for food.

So plants are pretty amazing and that’s all I wanted to do is give this photosynthesis simple explanation. I hope I didn’t jump all over the place too much. Any questions?


  1. Robert Foster on February 25, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Hi Phil,    Given that sunshine fuels the exchange;  A plant takes carbon dioxide,minerals,and water from the environment and gives back food and oxygen.   Which makes them pillars of the community :). You’re right…as gardeners that’s all we need to know.   I recall grinding away trying to understand the minute details of photosysthisis but now choose awe and reverence for the gift.  I’m so intriqued by these new methods of uncovering the various impediments to vibrant health.  Discovering what’s missing from our soils and what specific plants are looking for.  You’re doing a great job disseminating new information.   Thanks 

  2. Robert Foster on February 25, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    It might have been nice to at least spell photosynthesis correctly…but so goes the world with out spell check.  I enjoyed the t-shirt  “Bad spellers of the world, UNTIE ”

  3. Tracey on February 25, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Thanks Phil. For our clients whose eyes glaze over with technical explanations, your video is perfect.  Nice and simple –  the role of inputs into perspective – I like it.   

  4. Phil on February 25, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Thanks guys, I was hoping somebody would care. Sometimes I think I get too far away from hands-on stuff, but I just find this kind of thing so interesting and I like to share it. Glad you find it interesting, too.

  5. Morgan on February 25, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    Yay! Science! I was able to understand photosynthesis pretty well because its a big focus. But what I had trouble with was respiration. It took me a while before I realized that plants have to break down the carbon they fix. I really did not get why plants need oxygen in the root zone until that light bulb went off.

Leave a Comment