THE EFFECT OF DIFFERENT
ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS ON THE
GROWTH OF SUNFLOWER PLANT
2ND GRADE, Ms OLIVIA BAKER’S CLASS
First Missionary Baptist Church-Child
Development Center And Academy
3509 Blue Spring Road NW, Huntsville, AL 35810
Tel: (256) 852-8873
INTRODUCTION AND PURPOSE
Sunflowers are unique in their ability to provide energy in the
form of nourishment and vibrance, an attribute which mirrors
the sun and the energy provided by its heat and light. As gifts of
radiant warmth, sunflowers are the happiest of flowers, and
their meanings include loyalty and longevity. The Dakotas,
Minnesota, Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, Texas, and California are
the major producers of sunflowers. Environmental conditions
such as light levels, temperature (heat), moisture (water), soil
fertility, disease pathogens, and soil pH favor the growth of this
plant in a process called photosynthesis. It is against this
background, that the purpose of this project is to look at the
conditions necessary for the growth of the plant. In order to do
this, ten sunflower seeds each (see fig. 1) were planted in five
containers with the same growing medium (soils) labeled A, B, C,
D, and E respectively (see fig. 2-6 and table 1), and each placed
in a different environmental condition (see fig. 7-11 and table 1).
They were observed for a two weeks period (03/01-03/15/2011)
to see which ones actually support the growth of sunflower plant
(see fig. 12-16).
Which environmental factors favor the growth of
Does temperature (heat or cold) have an effect on the
growth of sunflower seeds?
Does the degree of light or darkness have an effect on the
growth of sunflower seeds?
What is the most appropriate weather that suits the
growth of these seeds?
Sunflower needs all necessary environmental factors to
grow to maturity.
Temperature (heat or cold) has an effect on the growth of
Light and not darkness is necessary for the growth of
Weather plays a huge impact on the growth of sunflower
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: MATERIALS AND
Ten seeds each were planted in five containers filled with the
same growing medium (soils) for all and labeled A-E on
03/01/2011 at 5:00 pm (see fig. 1-6).
The samples were then watered and placed in five different
environmental conditions (see fig. 7-11) as outlined below:
Sample A (Green) was placed inside an uninsulated garage
but heated with a light bulb (40 watts) and door closed
where temperature fluctuates throughout the study
period (see fig. 7).
Sample B (Red) was placed in a dark shoe closet in the
basement facing north with a temperature of 72˚F for
the entire period (see fig. 8).
Sample C (Yellow) was placed in the kitchen window sill
facing west with the blinds removed all through and
having a temperature of 74˚F (see fig. 9).
Sample D (Blue) was placed in the bathroom close to a
window sill facing north with the blinds removed all
through and having a temperature of 78˚F (see fig. 10).
Sample E (Turquoise) was placed outside in front of the
porch where temperature fluctuates but light remains
normal (see fig. 11).
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN CONTINUED:
PROCEDURE FOR DATA COLLECTION AND
The samples were watered at 5:00 pm every other day
throughout the two weeks period (03/01-03/15/2011).
All the samples were observed and monitored closely three
times a day at 6:00 am, 4:00 pm, and 8:00 pm respectively
(see fig. 7-16). The essence of this is to note the changes in
the growth rate of the plants (see table 1).
To confirm the samples with the best and worst growth rate,
measurements of the longest and shortest plants in each
growth medium was taken for the different environmental
conditions and recorded (see fig. 12-16).
Descriptive analysis (percentages) of the growth rate per
sample was also used to determine the environmental condition
that is most favorable for the growth of the sunflower seeds
(see fig. 7-11 and table 1).
On 03/15/2011 at 5:00 pm, the final results were organized
and report written (see fig. 17 and 18).
RESULTS AND CONCLUSION
Sample A showed growth rate of four seeds on 03/08/2011
and one on 03/12/2011, giving a 50% growth rate. This did not
thrive well because the environment was too cold for the
seeds to grow (see fig. 7 and 12, and table 1).
Sample B showed growth rate of four seeds on 03/04/2011
and one on 03/09/2011 respectively. Despite being in a dark
room, it had a 50% success growth rate. Three days after
their growth, they could not receive adequate light levels,
hence becoming leggy, weak, pale yellow, and eventually died
(see fig. 8 and 13, and table 1).
Sample C showed the best growth rate of seven seeds (70%)
on the same day (03/04/2011), and all the plants had the same
length (see fig. 9 and 14, and table 1). This occurred because
the kitchen was large, airy, and supported the best heat that
encourages the plant’s growth.
Sample D had the next best results of five seeds that grew on
03/04/2011 while two others sprouted on 03/09/2011 (70%
growth rate), but the lengths of the plants were slightly
different (see fig. 10 and 15, and table 1). This occurred
because the bathroom was too small, with stuffed air, but
supported more heat that made the plants to increase in
length searching for adequate light.
Sample E had the worst results as three seeds each sprouted
separately on 03/10/2011 and 03/12/2011, while one grew on
03/13/2011 respectively, for a total of 70% growth rate (see
fig. 11 and 16, and table 1). These seeds took so long to sprout
because they were exposed to extreme outside cold that does
not support the growth of the seeds. But five days to the end
of the project, the weather warmed up to support their
Therefore, it can be confirmed that the hypothesis which
states that “Sunflower needs all necessary environmental
factors to grow to maturity”, is true. Also, temperature (heat
or cold) has an effect on the growth of sunflower seeds (see
fig. 7-16, and table 1).
Furthermore, the hypotheses that “light and not darkness is
necessary for the growth of sunflower seeds, and weather
plays a huge impact on the growth of sunflower seeds”, are all
true (see fig. 7-16, and table 1).
Although this experiment proved to be true, there seems to
be some factors that have caused changes to the
experimental results such as:
o The duration of the experiment was too short and the
climatic condition was not favorable. Sunflowers grow in
well drained loamy soils. They can tolerate clay and sandy
loam but will not flourish in wet soil. That is the reason
why samples A and E showed very slow growth rate.
o They thrive well in harsh environment. That is why in
Kansas, even though it’s the state flower, the sunflower
has achieved weed status, so heat and dryness is no
enemy to this strong grower. All the samples were in wet
soils and the environment was cold.
o Lastly, there are other conditions that have to be
considered in addition to the factors examined and
discussed that are needed in the growth of the plant.
These are: buying the right seed, planting the seed right,
growing the plants late and watered only in very dry
conditions, and enjoying the process.
• Gober Jim (2011): List of Things That Affect Plant Growth or
Seed Germination. eHow Contributor. Accessed online on
March 2, 2011. www.ehow.com/facts.
• Green Samantha (2011): The History and Meaning of
Sunflowers. eHow Contributor. Accessed online on February
26, 2011. www.ehow.com/facts.
• Reynolds Laura (2011): How to Grow Sunflower Seeds. eHow
Contributor. Accessed online on February 26, 2011.
Researcher wants to appreciate the efforts of her kid sisters,
Rita and Ava, for their assistance given throughout this research
project. May God bless my dad and mum, Amen.