Science project

Do Insecticides Stunt Plant Growth?

Research Questions:

Are insecticides harmful to humans?

Plants grow through a process called photosynthesis. This requires sunlight to take place. The chlorophyll located in the chloroplast of the plant cells grabs sunlight and starts the reactions that are needed to make the plant grow. Water is also needed in the growth equation because, like humans and animals, plants need moisture to quench their thirst.

Insecticides repel bugs. Bugs are not a good thing for plants (except for pollinating insects) as some of these insects create holes and contaminate the plants.

Materials:

  • Any insecticide (don't need a huge bottle)
  • Bean seeds
  • Soil on the ground
  • Water
  • Sunlight

Experimental Procedure:

  1. Plant 2 groups of seeds at a distance from each other in an outside yard. Make sure they will get the same amount of sunlight.
  2. Spray some insecticide on one group of seeds. Be sure to remember which one gets the insecticide.
  3. Observe the germination rate and growth of both of the seed groups.
  4. Every few days, spray the designated plant with insecticide.
  5. Record any difference you see in overall plant health and growth for several weeks, up to one month.

Suggested Chart

 

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6
Day 7
With Insecticide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No Insecticide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Terms/Concepts: Insecticide; Plant Growth; Photosynthesis

References:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=plant-pesticides-health

https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/faculty/davies/research/abstracts/pdfs/2008-GreenhouseGrow-Spiers.pdf

http://npic.orst.edu/envir/plantint.html

Greene, Stanley A.; Pohanish, Richard P. (editors) (2005). Sittig's Handbook of Pesticides and Agricultural Chemicals. SciTech Publishing, Inc. ISBN 0-8155-1516-2.

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