Spanish lesson on plants: Learning photosynthesis

In this Spanish lesson on plants, you’ll learn how plants grow, how photosynthesis works, and how leaves change color. Plants are wonderful elements of nature to learn Spanish vocabulary.

The Spanish lesson on plants is categorized as: how do plants grow, photosynthesis (simple terms), and how do leaves change colors. Because plants, photosynthesis, and color change are important, they are included in this Spanish lesson on plants.

How do plants grow?

Many plants are trees, which can provide cooling shades during a hot summer day. Plants, regardless of the location where they grow, start as a seed with roots anchored in the soil.

With proper amounts of water and minerals, these roots will begin to sprout into a small plant. The stem of the plant will emerge from the seed with visible leaves.

These green leaves will sometimes provide flowers and eventually fruits. But not all plants will germinate into beautiful flowers or give fruits. To help you recognize the parts of plants in this Spanish lesson, print out the bilingual Parts of a Plant diagram.

spanish lesson on plants

How do plants survive? Photosynthesis in simple terms

For plants to obtain nutrients and grow, they perform a process called photosynthesis. The term photosynthesis comes from photo meaning light and synthesis meaning combination or putting together.

This biochemical process occurs in all living plants. Special light harvesting elements in leaves called chlorophylls are able to convert carbon dioxide and water in the presence of sunlight into sugar components.

Chemically, CO2 (carbon dioxide) and H2O (water) with the energy power from the sunlight convert to hydrocarbons and release O2 into the atmosphere. Oxygen in the diatomic form is released into the environment to be able to sustain life on Earth.

All aerobe creatures depend on oxygen. In this biochemical renewal process, green leaves use these carbohydrates or sugars as an energy source to grow.

In general, during the peak summer days, chlorophylls are able to produce plenty of sugars for plants, which many of them will have bright green leaves. As the fall and winter seasons take over, chlorophyll sugar productions begin to slow down, leaving the leaves with less food.

With less water access, chlorophylls have fewer resources to make sugars. Of course, shorter days also mean less sunlight. Hence, less water and sunlight can lead to fewer types of chlorophyll to produce sugars for plants. But trees and plants don’t completely degrade because lack of chlorophylls.

How do leaves change color?

In fact, plants have other pigments, which emerge as chlorophyll production decreases. Most of these pigments are present all year long, and wait until chlorophyll reduces in production, to be more prevalent in plants.

Much of the green color in leaves begins to disappear, as fall and winter approaches. Yellow, orange, and red colors begin to show up in leaves.

In particular, carotenoid pigments produce the orange to yellow color in leaves, while anthocyanin pigments give purple to red colors in leaves. Do you know that these pigments can also be present in foods?

Carotenoid pigments can be found in carrots, bananas, corn and other similar foods. Anthocyanin pigments can be found in apples, cranberries, plums, and other related foods. But how do trees lose their leaves in winter?

As winter becomes more predominant, many plants will abscise or cut off their leaves, branches, or fruits to conserve energy. As part of a survival tactic, plants and trees manage this energy in different forms.

Abscission is a process of a leaf or fruit to cleave off from a tree or plant. It is one method of energy conservation. Wind, freezing temperatures, and human nature can also make leaves to cleave off. As the life cycle of a plant begins its renewal process from winter to spring, new leaves, flowers, and fruits will emerge from this dormant stage.

I hope you learned the basic information of how plants grow in this Spanish lesson on plants. The following keywords in English and Spanish can help you put all you’ve learned together.


  • plants = plantas
  • tree = árbol
  • seed = semilla
  • roots = raíces
  • stem = tallo
  • leaves = hojas
  • flowers = flores
  • fruits = frutas
  • photosynthesis = fotosíntesis
  • chlorophylls = chlorofilas
  • oxygen = oxígeno
  • pigments = pigmentos
  • carotenoid = carotenoide
  • anthocyanin = antocianina

Barbara Mascareno

Barbara is an educational writer, teacher, and instructional designer. She loves to write K-12 education content, teaching strategies, bilingual education approaches, and foreign language.

Blog Categories

Get Your Free Spanish Sight Words Workbook

Subscribe to our Spanish Sight Words newsletter and receive a free workbook. The booklet consists of writing practiceclassroom labels, and activities.

Spanish Nursery Rhymes for Preschoolers

Subscribe and receive your Free Spanish Nursery Rhymes for Preschoolers Workbook.