Do plants hate green?

Answered by James Kissner

Plants hate green? Well, maybe hate is a strong word, but they definitely don’t appreciate it. You see, plants are green because they have evolved to avoid absorbing the type of energy that falls within the green spectrum. It’s like they’re saying, “No thanks, green light, we don’t want your energy!”

But why is that? Why would plants not want to absorb green light when it’s all around them? To understand this, we need to delve into a little bit of plant biology.

Plants have special molecules called pigments that are responsible for absorbing light energy. The most well-known pigment is chlorophyll, which is what gives plants their green color. Chlorophyll is great at absorbing light in the blue and red parts of the spectrum, but it’s not so efficient at absorbing green light.

You might be wondering why plants would have evolved to be inefficient at absorbing such a common color of light. Well, it turns out that green light doesn’t carry as much energy as blue or red light. So, by reflecting green light and not absorbing it, plants are essentially saying, “We’re not interested in your low-energy green light, we want the high-energy blue and red light!”

But what happens if plants do absorb green light? Well, it turns out that too much green light can actually be harmful to plants. When plants absorb excess energy, it can lead to the production of harmful molecules called reactive oxygen species. These molecules can damage the plant’s cells and DNA, ultimately leading to cell death and reduced growth.

So, in a way, plants have evolved to avoid green light because it’s not as energy-rich as other colors, and too much of it can actually be damaging. It’s like they’re playing it safe and only absorbing the light that they can efficiently use for photosynthesis.

But what about indoor gardens or greenhouses where plants are often exposed to artificial light sources that emit a lot of green light? Well, in those cases, growers often use special lighting setups that provide the right balance of blue, red, and even some green light to ensure optimal growth. They take into account the fact that plants are not big fans of green light and adjust the lighting accordingly.

So, while plants may not hate green light per se, they definitely have their preferences when it comes to the colors of light they absorb. It’s fascinating to think about how plants have adapted to their environment and evolved strategies to optimize their energy intake. Next time you see a green plant, remember that it’s not absorbing the green light around it, but rather harnessing the power of other colors to fuel its growth.