Plant Reproduction






To observe sexual and asexual plant reproduction by saving seeds (sexual) and cloning succulents (asexual)


How do plants reproduce sexually?
How do plants reproduce asexually?
How can humans intervene in plant reproduction to manipulate plant genetics?


Asexual reproduction:
Succulent plants / geraniums / begonias or cuttings donated from nursery or teachers (I used succulents donated by teachers and nurseries) Mini pots
Potting soil (for cactus/succulents)

Sexual reproduction:
Indoor or outdoor plants that have both flowers and seed pods (I used potted Thai Basil plants) Magnifying glasses
Flower diagram
Small paint brushes


Have the materials set out in separate stations for sexual reproduction and asexual reproduction


How do plants make more of themselves? How does each sunflower work to ensure the continuation of its species? What about garlic, or potatoes?

Plants can reproduce by using two methods: ​sexual reproduction​ (combining the genetic material of two different individuals to create offspring) and/or ​asexual reproduction ​(offspring is created using only one individual’s genetic material).

For this lesson, your class will split up into two groups to explore the difference between sexual and asexual reproduction in plants.

Sexual Reproduction Station:

Show your group a garlic bulb – sprouting or not – and discuss how garlic is a form of cloning or asexual reproduction because you are duplicating the genetic information of one clove to make a bulb identical to it. Think back to planting garlic bulbs in the school garden. Do farmers eat their best garlic? No, they plant it! Why is it best to save your best garlic as your planting garlic?

Gather back together and discuss the pros and cons of each type of reproduction. Can anyone think of examples of plants that can use both forms of reproduction? Why would that be helpful?


Heredity extension: Discuss desirable traits in some example plants. Save seeds of plants with ‘desirable’ traits, and make arguments for saving different traits. What is artificial selection and how have humans changed the inheritance of traits?

Genetically modified organism (GMO) discussion: Why do GMO’s exist? What are some pros of using GMO plants? What about cons?

Taste test different types of the same plant, such as 4 different winter squash varieties, tomatoes, or mushrooms. Compare and discuss beneficial and harmful mutations of plants. How did we end up with the varieties of plants we consume today? Good segue into the Plant Domestication Game Lesson.