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Primary Growth

Last updated: July 10, 2017

What Does Primary Growth Mean?

In botany, primary growth in vascular plants results from the production of primary tissues by a plant's primary meristem. The primary growth stage of a plant essentially leads to the elongation of the plant body.

The primary growth of a plant can also refer to the prime location that a plant uses in order to produce new growth.

Plants utilize primary growth in order to gain length or height, and secondary growth to increase their thickness.

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Maximum Yield Explains Primary Growth

Primary growth in plants includes the process of how a plant initiates all of its new growth. Primary growth in a plant is the result of rapidly dividing cells that are triggered by seasonal temperatures and suitable moisture levels. Primary growth occurs because of these dividing cells that are in the meristem or at the shoot tips.

The growth of the lateral meristems, which can include the vascular cambium, and the cork cambium in the case of woody plants, is what thickens the stems during the secondary growth.

The primary growth is the initial process that develops the plant from a seedling into a fully mature plant. The secondary growth, which, in a sense, develops the leafy body of a plant, may occur during or after the primary growth.

For example, a vine begins to send out leafless shoots, which is the primary growth. Along those stems, leaves will eventually form, and this is the secondary growth process.

In one more example, the primary growth of a tree occurs at the ends of the branches, causing them to grow outward. It is during the secondary growth stage that the bark fully forms and hardens.

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