How to explain the difference between sexual & asexual reproduction in plants

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How to explain the difference between sexual & asexual reproduction in plants
Seeds result from sexual reproduction. (seeds image by Ingmarsan from

Plants produce offspring through both sexual and asexual, or vegetative, reproduction. While the processes differ greatly, understanding the role both play in the plant life cycle helps gardeners who want to save seeds and propagate plants.

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Asexual Reproduction

Asexual reproduction requires only a single parent plant and results in offspring identical to that parent. Asexual reproduction begins with mitosis, a process during which a cell replicates its contents and splits in two, dividing identical genetic material between the two resulting cells. Familiar examples of asexual reproduction include the duplication of bulbs underground, the growth of potatoes from tubers and the spread of grass through stolons and rhizomes.

Sexual Reproduction

Sexual reproduction, on the other hand, involves cells from two parents. Sexual reproduction begins with the production of egg and sperm cells through meiosis, a process during which cells divide in half without replicating genetic material first. When egg and sperm cells fuse, the resulting cell contains genetic material contributed by both parents. Seeds result from sexual reproduction.


Both forms of reproduction have their uses in the garden. When you want an exact replica of a favourite plant, asexual reproduction through methods such as taking cuttings, budding and grafting meet your needs. Sexual reproduction produces new hybrids and allows horticulturalists to breed plants for traits such as disease resistance.

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