Fastest Growing Plants for a Science Project

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Science projects that show the different parts and phases of life of a plant require a plant that grows quickly. You can choose from a large variety of fast growing plants: among them are beans, sunflowers, cress and mustard.

Choosing one of these plants will ensure a fast germination and growth that is perfect for a science project.


Bean sprouts grow in a matter of days
••• mung bean sprouts image by Maria Brzostowska from

Beans (Phaseolus spp.) are very easy plants to grow, and they also grow quickly for science projects.

To sprout beans, all you need is take a container — like half of a plastic soda bottle, or a clear plastic cup — and some potting soil. In order to see the progress of the beans growing, plant them right up against the edge of the container. This lets you see the different structures of the plant as they develop.


Sunflowers are a fast-growing and beautiful choice
••• sunflower and sunflower seeds image by Andrey Chmelyov from

Sunflowers (Helianthus spp.) are among the fastest growing plants which makes them ideal for school science projects. Interestingly, when fully grown, they have 1,000 to 2,000 petals per flower and their "heads" move in the direction of the sun!

While growing, they require a good deal of sun and water, but during germination they can survive in less than ideal circumstances. The easiest way to sprout a sunflower and watch it grow is simple to plant it in a container with potting soil. However, if you only need to watch the germination process, you can germinate a sunflower seed between two pieces of paper towel in a re-sealable plastic bag.


Cress is both easy to grow and good to eat
••• garden cress image by Zbigniew Nowak from

Cress (Lepidium sativum), also called garden cress, is an extremely fast-growing herb.

Often sold in the supermarket as sprouts, cress requires almost no effort to grow, and can be grown without soil. This makes it an ideal choice for a quick and easy school science project.

To germinate cress, use a clear tray with a flat bottom. This can be a plastic clamshell container from the supermarket that contained berries or salad, for example. Wash the container thoroughly, and rinse the cress seeds as well. Next, lay a wet paper towel in the bottom of the container, and cover it with seeds. Close the container but leave some means of air circulation, keeping the inside of the container humid. In a matter of days, you will have sprouts!


Mustard sprouts can also be grown quickly.
••• senfkörner image by Silvia Bogdanski from

Much like the botanically related cress, mustard (Brassica spp.) seeds will also germinate rather quickly. Sprout mustard seeds in the same manner as cress. Or, of you are looking to grow these plants for the long haul, germinate them in potting soil and watch them grow from sprout to flower. If you keep them alive long enough, mustard plants will give you seeds all over again!

While there are many different kinds of plants you can use for your school project, these are four of the fastest growing.

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