Planting a garden depends on a lot of factors. The soil type, the plants to be planted, water and nutrient requirements are some of the things to be kept a note of while deciding to grow a garden.
One of the factors in deciding whether to use seeds or bulbs of the plants to be grown.
- Seeds are small embryonic plants enclosed in a protective outer covering, while bulbs are underground storage organs consisting of a short stem with fleshy leaves or leaf bases.
- Seeds are produced by flowering plants through sexual reproduction, whereas some plants form bulbs as a means of asexual reproduction.
- Bulbs can produce new plants more rapidly than seeds, as they already contain a mature structure.
Seeds vs Bulbs
Seeds are the reproductive structures of flowering plants that contain an embryo and a supply of nutrients to help the embryo grow. They’re formed through pollination. Bulbs are specialized underground storage structures that some plants use to store energy and nutrients for growth and reproduction.
Seeds are the first stage in the life cycle of a plant. Seeds are formed after the species of the plant has been pollinated.
They are in the embryonic state of the plant and are often covered in a shell-like coat which could either be hard or soft, and this coat is required to store the food.
Bulbs are plants that grow and live under the surface of the ground. Bulb shoots develop leaves on the top part of the bulb, and the leaves break through the ground surface.
The food for the bulb is brought in from the leaves and the root, which are then stored in the base of the bulb.
|Parameters of Comparison||Seeds||Bulbs|
|Definition||Seeds are the embryonic stage of a plant||Bulbs are plants that grow under the ground surface|
|Growth||Seeds germinate under the right conditions||The bulb is a modified stem and growth happens from the base of the stem|
|Lifetime||Seeds can be annual, perennial, and biennial||Almost all Bulbs are perennial|
|External coat||Most seeds contain an external coating that protects the inside of the seeds and also holds the structure of the seed||The globe part of the Bulb itself is the coating that holds the nutrients for the stem inside the bulb|
|Planting||Seeds are sown by placing on the ground and covering with soil||Bulbs have to be planted by digging a hole in the ground to the right depth|
What is Seeds?
Seeds are the first stage in the life cycle of a plant. They are the embryonic stage of the plant and are formed after the plant has been pollinated.
Seeds have a coating on the outer surface which could either be hard or soft and hold the seed‘s structure. The coating also holds the nutrients inside the seed.
As it is the embryonic stage of the plant, seeds need to germinate for the plant to grow.
Germination only occurs if the right environmental conditions are met, including the soil type, availability of nutrients such as ample water and fertilizers, weather, temperature, and so on.
Thus as the weather and environmental factors play a huge role in the growth of the plan, the seeds can be annual, perennial, or biennial.
Thus the maintenance required for growing a plant from the seed is more compared to bulbs and shoots.
While most seeds are dispersed from their flowering plants during pollination, some need to be sown. Seeds are sown by placing them on the ground and covering them with soil.
The depth and the amount of soil for covering the seed must be noted, as these factors are different for different plants.
What is Bulbs?
Bulbs are plants that grow under the surface of the ground. Unlike seeds, which are the embryonic stage of a plant, Bulbs are the entire plants that grow from within the ground surface.
Bulbs do not require germination for growing, as these are already fully formed. The bulb is also known as a modified stem, as the actual base of the stem is contained inside the globe part of the bulb.
A Bulb consists of a large globe part, a small bud on top of the globe, and the stem base inside the globe. The global part of the Bulb holds the nutrients required for the growth of the Bulb.
The stem is the main growing part of the bulb, and the bud on top of the bulb grows into the leaves. Thus the leaves break through the ground surface after the bud has developed.
Unlike seeds which could be annual, perennial, or biennial, almost all Bulbs are perennial, and thus they die off in the winter season. The next Bulb grows from the remains of the root of the last Bulb.
The nutrients required for the Bulb are partly obtained from the roots and the leaves, and the rest are stored in the globe of the Bulb.
Main Differences Between Seeds and Bulbs
- Seeds are the embryonic stage of a plant, whereas Bulbs are plants that grow underground.
- Seeds germinate under the right conditions, whereas Bulbs are modified stems that grow during the year.
- Seeds can be annual, perennial and biennial, whereas most Bulbs are perennial.
- Seeds contain a protective outer coating which protects the inner part of the seed and also holds the structure of the seeds. In the case of Bulbs, the globe part of the bulb acts like a protective coating.
- Seeds are sown by placing them on the ground and covering them with soil, whereas Bulbs must be planted at the right depth for growing.
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Piyush Yadav has spent the past 25 years working as a physicist in the local community. He is a physicist passionate about making science more accessible to our readers. He holds a BSc in Natural Sciences and Post Graduate Diploma in Environmental Science. You can read more about him on his bio page.