How do plants use glucose? -Everything you need to know

Glucose– It is a very common item in our kitchen. We all are familiar with glucose. The question is do we know what exactly glucose is? Where does it come from? No, I am not talking about the Supermarket or your local grocery shop. My question is what is glucose and is it natural or entirely manmade product. We will also discuss how do plants use glucose?

Ok, don’t worry I am not going to start a question-answer quiz here. It’s all just for general understanding.

Glucose is a sweet compound. It is a complex sugar available in all plants. It mainly contains three elements. these are – carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.

The chemical formula of glucose is – C6H12O6 . It means 6 carbons 12 hydrogen and 6 oxygen atoms combines to form glucose. Isn’t it interesting?

Plants prepare glucose naturally for their own use. We need glucose for energy and so do the plants. Do you know- How do plants use glucose? –  All plants prepare glucose and fructose in a natural phenomenon called photosynthesis. Both glucose and fructose are natural sugar with similar chemical formulas.


Plants use glucose to support its life processes. Glucose is used as food for Energy,  growth, movement, and reproduction.

How is glucose made in plants?

Plants prepare glucose in the presence of sunlight and chlorophyll. Photosynthesis is the process by which plants prepare their own food i.e, Glucose.

Actually, Photosynthesis is a natural phenomenon where light from the sun is utilized to combine Carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and Oxygen to form Glucose.  The word photosynthesis is made up of two different words: – photo means light and synthesis means process. So Photosynthesis simply means the process by light.

Word equation of Photosynthesis: –

In simple words, the equation of photosynthesis can be termed as- Carbon dioxide + Water –in the presence of sunlight & chlorophyll–> Glucose +oxygen. Sunlight is a must for this reaction.

Balanced Chemical equation of photosynthesis: –

6CO2 + 6H2O —in presence of sunlight & chlorophyll –> C6H12O6 + 6O2

In what part of the plant is glucose made?

This is very interesting. Generally, we all know that glucose is prepared by the process of photosynthesis. Most important photosynthesis occurs in the presence of sunlight and chlorophyll.

Leaves are the part of a plant that mostly has the chlorophyll. So it is very obvious to say that photosynthesis occurs in leaves. Ultimately we can say that- Leaves are the parts of the plant where glucose is made.

It is true but not complete. Actually, many plants also contain chlorophyll in stems so they can prepare glucose in their stems also.

When do plants make glucose?

As I mentioned earlier that to prepare Glucose plant need “Sunlight and Chlorophyll”. So it is very obvious to say that most plants prepare glucose in the bright day time.

So do plant make glucose whole sunny day? – Actually not. Plants only prepare glucose when the temperature and climate are favorable to them.  Mostly in Morning and evening, the process of photosynthesis is faster than the rest of the day. Generally, the plant reduced the process of preparing glucose at noon due to high heat and direct sunlight. It can harm the plant and may cause dehydration.  No, I am not kidding; plants can dehydrate due to overheating.

Can plants make glucose at night?

Generally no, plants prepare glucose at night. The main reason is the unavailability of sunlight. No sunlight means no photosynthesis and no photosynthesis means no glucose formation.

So how do plants survive at night without photosynthesis? – Technically photosynthesis requires sunlight. At night when the sun is not there to support photosynthesis, the complete reaction for the process changed and the plants start utilizing their prepared food or glucose and Oxygen is used to break it down to form energy.

Why do plants need glucose?

Glucose is the actually prepared food for the plant that is being prepared by themselves. It is a little bit contradictory to the fact that plants need fertilizers to grow. Actually, you can consider fertilizer as a raw material to support the preparation of glucose.

Ultimately plants do need glucose for their sustainability. Glucose is used to support all the necessary life process that any plant requires to survive and also to maintain its generations.

How plants use glucose? – Plants use glucose for a variety of purposes. The most important is for the preparation of Fruits, as a source of energy for growth and other activities. Glucose is also used to support the plant structure i.e., the formation of the cell wall, seed formation as well as the preparation of proteins require glucose.

Technically glucose is a source of energy. It is used by the plant to do all the activities required to support its life. It means glucose is used for almost everything a plant does in its lifetime- from germination to reproduction, from flowering to fruiting.

How do plants store glucose?

From the above discussion we all known plants do need glucose. The plants should collect and store glucose for further use. In fact, all the life process of any plant is directly depended on the effective utilization of glucose. So—you can ask–

How is glucose stored in plants? – Plants store glucose in the form of Starch. Starch is a polysaccharide- a complex form of sugar that is insoluble in water.

Plants produce Glucose in the leaves by the process of photosynthesis. The glucose is prepared in the presence of sunlight. The prepared glucose is first used as much as required by instant processes like transmission of water and minerals from the soil to leaves and other parts.

The plant transfers the extra glucose to other parts. This glucose is converted to a more stable insoluble complex sugar form called starch. Starch does not get depleted with the flow of water as it is insoluble.  It is utilized to form the physical structure of almost every part of the plant.

Plants store Glucose in the form of starch & cellulose in leaves. It provides the firm structure to the leaves.

Starch forms the fleshy part of the fruit we eat. It is actually the stored form of pure glucose. seeds require this to grow healthy. In nature when the fruit gets ripen it fell down to the ground. Initially, The Seeds uses this food to keep alive and germinate.

Glucose is also present in the stems in the form of stored starch. The starch present in the stem or trunk of a plant or tree provides rigid structure as well as width to the plant body. Also, The plant uses this starch to form the vascular bundles. It supports the conduction of food and water in plants.

Glucose helps the plant to form proteins and lipids. Technically proteins are the basic building block for growth. So we can say that glucose stored in the plant is directly responsible for the flowers or fruits we have in our garden.

The seeds are a very important part for a plant. It is the support for extending its generation further and maintains its species. Seeds are also a store point for glucose. Glucose forms new cells in the seeds. A Seed will bring life to a new plant.

starch is the best form of Glucose. you can easily find Natural starch in the plant roots. Actually many plant store glucose in their roots in the form of starch. In adverse condition, the plant can reuse this starch. Also various tubers like potato a true example of starch is the way to spread its offsprings and grow back again.

Humans, as we are, we need this stored glucose to feed our family and community. Nature has given us a way to interact and survive accordingly. We eat fruits and help the species to grow again in another favorable place far away from its origin.

It is the dependency of animals on the glucose that has led to the very basic concept of evolution.  We humans as a type of animal need glucose for our sustainability. We cannot prepare it on our own so we are dependent on nature for this very purpose. In return, we helped nature to spread its growth from one continent to another. This is how most fruits and flowers are now available worldwide.

How does sugar help plants grow?

Plant Sugar is basically Glucose and Fructose. Both share the same chemical combination as C6H12O6. Sugar so formed supports growth in plants.

Glucose and fructose together form the plant starch. Plants need glucose to synthesize protein. The Starch forms the physical structure of the plant- It is present from leaves to roots and from flowers to fruits.

Presence of sugar provides structure as well as gives length and width to the plant. It helps the plant to grow both in its length and get thicker accordingly. Also, it helps the plant to develop healthy fruits that bear healthy seeds for the future generation, thus helps in reproduction.

How do plants use glucose for energy and transport?

Cells need Glucose or sugar to produce energy in the form of ATP. ATP, in general, is relevant to energy or you can say a direct source of energy. Respiration or cellular respiration is the process of conversion of glucose to form energy.

Word equation of cellular respiration: –

Glucose+ Oxygen –> Water+ Carbon dioxide+ ATP

Equation of Cellular Respiration: –

C6H12O6 + O2 –> H2O + CO2 + ATP

Actually, it is an exothermic reaction. Glucose reacts with oxygen to release Energy. Water, Carbon dioxide and Energy in the form of ATP is the product of this reaction.


What is the role of glucose during photosynthesis?

Photosynthesis is the process of preparing glucose. We know that glucose is dependent on photosynthesis. It is the product of photosynthesis.  But do you know that glucose has an important role in the process other than just being its product?

Glucose as a source of energy is very important for the conduction of water from roots to the leaves. Water is an important constituent for the reaction of photosynthesis.

Also, glucose provides energy to the leaves and the stomata to govern the exchange of gasses required during photosynthesis.

Ultimately we can say that to produce glucose, the plant needs glucose. It is the main component of the energy cycle present at the cellular level I  every plant and animal.

Related Questions: –

How can we take glucose from plants?

Getting glucose from the plant is not that difficult. Actually, the fruits we eat or the vegetables we consume are the direct sources of glucose. It is the best way to obtain glucose from plants.

Other than that we can obtain glucose in the form of starch. Other than eating, It can be utilized for various purposes. A coconut coir Rope is the best example of organic starch. Also, the paper we use is a composite starch i.e., cellulose a form of glucose obtained from plants.

Technically whatever we obtain from a plant is directly or indirectly derived from glucose. The fruits, flowers, furniture wood, paper or anything organic is dependent on plant glucose.

Is plant glucose different from market glucose?

Glucose is chemically same, no matter if it is natural or manmade. Manmade and natural glucose is different. The method of preparation is quite different.

Commercial glucose that we get in any supermarket may contain saturated sugar that is a complex form of glucose. Technically the sugar we eat is different from glucose.  Actually, you can think of it as a combined form of glucose and fructose.

Glucose purchased from the market will contain several other compounds like added sugar, salts, and several minerals and may contain added vitamins. Added vitamins and minerals are provided for instant energy release.

The glucose syrup we use in the kitchen is basically a combination of glucose, sugar, water, and some salts.

Can we eat plant glucose? Yes, you can eat plant glucose. Actually, we all do, we all eat fruits and every fruit is a rich source of plant glucose. It is very healthy. you can easily consume it.

Do plant glucose safe to consume?- Yes, generally glucose obtained from the plant is safe. Only you have to be care full in its exact form you consume.

Consuming glucose in the form of fruit is 100% safe but you should be care full about other aspects.  It should not cause any allergy- many people have allergies form certain fruits so be care full.

What is the taste of plant glucose? – Sweet.  Plant glucose is simply sweet if you consume fruits. Though you can find some sour or bitter fruit it doesn’t mean that fruits don’t have any glucose.

The glucose is itself sweet that’s why it is termed as plant sugar. Fruits contain several compounds like minerals and natural enzymes that are responsible for the overall taste. So be sure even the most bitter- The bitter gourd has an adequate amount of glucose in it and it’s very healthy to consume.

If I missed something please let me know and comment on your views or suggestions about how plants use glucose produced by photosynthesis.


Hi, My name is Sukant. I am an I.T professional. Gardening for me is not just a hobby, it's a way of living life with nature. My Ancestors were Commercial farmers: So I personally feel attached to the green. I am not an expert, I'm here only to share my gardening experiences. It's always Refreshing.

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