Hey Kids!

Welcome to Oxford Insta-Shade! We know how you love to garden and see things grow, so why not print picture below, colour it and bring it into our garden centre and collect your free gift just for colouring this picture! Yes, that's right, all you have to do is colour this picture and ask you mom or dad (or both) to drop it off at our garden centre and pick up your free gift.

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How Does a Plant Grow?

"Like humans, plants are living creatures. They eat, breathe, work, rest, and eliminate what their "bodies" don't need."

They don't eat soup or sandwiches; instead they have a diet of special sugars that they produce in their own little factories that are their leaves. To make these different sugars, their leaves need three special ingredients: water from the ground, carbon dioxide from the air and energy from the sun (sunlight). The processing of these ingredients to make food is called photosynthesis.

During photosynthesis, water is absorbed by tiny hairs at the tips of the plant's roots. These tiny hairs act like sponges and they drink the water out of the ground. This water contains the minerals the plant needs and is called raw sap. Raw sap is drawn in through little channels in the roots and up the stem of the plant and out to the leaves.

There is also elaborated sap in the plant. This is sap that contains the sugars produced by photosynthesis and it runs down the plant, feeding the flowers, the new shoots and the roots.

Since photosynthesis requires light, it happens during the day. The plant absorbs carbon dioxide from the air and gives off oxygen. During the night, sugar production stops because there isn't enough light, but the plant continues to grow and breathe. It absorbs oxygen and gives off carbon dioxide. But a plant absorbs six times as much carbon dioxide than it gives off, so plants are important for cleaning up pollution around the planet.

Time for a nap
At night when we sleep, our bodies rest. A plant also needs rest, but they don't sleep at night, they have to wait until winter. In winter, there is less sunlight so most plants take their time off from photosynthesis to rest. Leafy trees go to sleep or go dormant in winter by losing their leaves and, like humans, they don't eat when they're asleep.

Houseplants don't lose their leaves. Winter is when they sleep; they stop growing and rest. Let your plants rest in winter; water them less often and wait until spring to start fertilizing again.

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