Top 5 Time Lapse Videos Of Plant Root Growth

OK, I spent way too much time on YouTube this weekend.  I’ve pulled out the top five, all-time best videos showing how roots grow.   This is you chance to peek into a world we normally don’t have any access.   Plus through the magic of technology you get to condense weeks into seconds (most of these videos are less than a minute long).   And it is quite revealing.  Notice for example how much time the seed spends developing a root before moving up and sprouting leaves.

Radish Seeds:

My father-in-law says if you want to feel like a gardener right away, plant radishes.  They are fool-proof and fast growing.  The camera was set to take a frame each 14 minutes 24 seconds. The time lapse spans 9 days. Two 90 watt compact florescent lights where used for both the camera shooting light and the grow lights. The lights were set on a timer for 18 hours on and 6 off (for the health of the plants). The jump in the video is the 6 hour gap in the darkness. Amazing how fast the radishes grew.

In 45 seconds watch these radish seeds turn into plants with time lapse video:

Broad Beans:

Broad Bean Germination, leaf & root growth.  The time Lapse 16 Days in 60 seconds

Golden Peas (but too deep)

This next short video is of Golden Peas which were planted too deep. Some of the sturdy little pea plants managed to make it to soil surface, but what a struggle! The video length is only 1:49. Put this knowledge to good use!

Shot at 10min intervals over a few weeks, using CHDK firmware and a Canon P&S.

Garlic Roots (from clove)

A 27 second video showing growth of garlic roots over the course of a week using a Sony Eye-Toy webcam and Dorgem Open Source Software. The frame rate is one photo per 30 minutes.

You can see the sun move around the tube during the day if you look closely.

Cotton and Soybeans

This last video is an old one – looks like it was funded by the USDA. It shows time lapse photography of root growth of cotton and soybean plants.  Skip the first five minutes or so which only discusses the camera and setup. I found it fascinating to see the root moving along through the soil. There is some footage showing how the root dies when it doesn’t have oxygen. And at the final bit of film it shows how the root responds when it hits hardpan – sometimes it stops completely and sometimes it turns and travels along the hardpan looking for a soft spot.

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Marjory Wildcraft is an Expedition Leader and Bioneer Blogger with The [Grow] Network, which is an online community that recognizes the wisdom of "homegrown food on every table." Marjory has been featured as an expert on sustainable living by National Geographic, she is a speaker at Mother Earth News fairs, and is a returning guest on Coast to Coast AM. She is an author of several books, but is best known for her "Grow Your Own Groceries" video series, which is used by more than 300,000 homesteaders, survivalists, universities, and missionary organizations around the world.

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  • Mary

    Very neat videos.
    I used to have my students hang a garden on the side of their desks. We used ziploc bags with a wet paper towel folded to fit the bag. We placed 3 to 5 bean seeds across the middle of the bag. The bag was left open at the top and taped to their desk edge. They were kept damp.
    The students could watch the roots form and then the leaves. When they grew out of their greenhouse we transplanted them.

    • Nice project. Hey, I might do that at the school I teach at. Thanks!

      • Thank you Marjory so much for this great set of video’s. I have been gardening because of necessity for 47 years and more when I would help my parents. I love the outside and the information you share is so great–much of it is review but sometimes we forget. Judy

  • I love what you guys are usually up too. Such clever work and coverage!
    Keep up the wonderful works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to our

  • It’s actually a cool and helpful piece of info. I’m happy that you shared this helpful information with us.
    Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

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