How do root vegetables like onions and potatoes grow after being uprooted?


If vegetables get nutrients from soil and the sun through leaves, how do potatoes and onions sprout eyes and leaves after they’ve been removed from the ground?

In: 6

Potatoes (tubers) and onions (bulbs) are actually forms of energy and nutrient storage for the plant. That means they can continue growing on stored nutrients until they run out or rot.

They store energy in their roots, similar to how seeds store energy. This is why they make for such a good food source. In the right conditions the vegetables will start metabolizing the stored energy in order to sprout a new plant. Once the first leaves are in place and the roots starts forming the plant have likely run out of energy but by then it collect its own energy.

Neither of those is really a root.

The thing we call an onion is the bulb of the onion plant. A bulb is a specialized variation of the plant’s stem and is used to store a lot of energy for the plant to draw on. An onion growing a green stalk on your kitchen counter is a living plant drawing energy from its bulb to stay alive and grow. If it was planted in the ground and had access to water and outside nutrients it could live longer.

The thing we call a potato is a tuber, which is an underground energy storage organ for the potato plant. It’s also one way that potatoes propagate. The tuber underground puts out more sprouts, which come up somewhere above ground and grow leaves to get energy from sunlight, and more energy is stored in more tubers underground. Again, a tuber in your kitchen cupboard is a living plant and can grow sprouts to look for sunlight.