why do plants grow faster in the dark

You re Crazy, Mike! I have heard it more than once. Everytime I explain this phenomenon about plants, I get the same skeptical reaction. Plants have a mission: Catch the sunlight, convert and store the energy when you can. Grow later. During photosynthesis the plants grab all the light, carbon dioxide and water passible. With those ingredients that plant makes sugars, starches and other vital compounds. What about plant GROWTH? Not yet. Make FOOD while the sun shines. Save cell division and elongation(growth) for the night shift. Watch the video below of basil growing in time lapse. It has a slow start but finally starts to take off. You will notice two really neat things. The leaves move outPand wide, then the plant suddenly jumps taller then the leaves move outPand wide again, then another jump. Watch, then I ll explain
First the jump Plants need a night cycle just like all of us.


The camera does not take pictures in the dark, so it skips the night and resumes in morning. Yes the lights are on a timer. When the lights come on in the morning, the plants are now just a little taller so the jump. Yes, they grow during the day too, just not asPfast. What s with the fanning out leaves? If you rely on light for life, you need to catch all the light you can when you can. The leaves will move to face as much light as possible. BUT HOW?. The bottom of the leaf gets less light than the top, right? So the bottom of the leaf grows just a little faster than the top. This will flatten out the leaf and then curl it towards the light. BRILLIANT! (For an organism without a brain. ) During the night, all of the leaf grows equally Pmaking that jump when the lights come back on. Confuse your friends PEveryone knows that plants grow towards the light, right?


Actually they don t. The light side of the plant grows SLOWER while the dark side of the plant grows FASTER So they are growing AWAY from the dark! div#break-message { background-color: lemonchiffon; }. sp-message { border: 1px solid #dedede; display: inline-block; margin: 0. 45rem 0; padding: 0. 35rem 1rem; } Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Thursday - June 09, 2005 From: Region: Topic: Title: Answered by: Why do plants grow faster in the dark? In a strict sense, plants do not grow faster in the dark; they grow slower. However, plants seem to grow faster in insufficient light due to rapid cell elongation. In other words, they don t grow faster, they simply stretch. It is important to know that green plants really only grow as a result of photosynthetic processes.


Without light photosynthesis ceases and plant tissue develop the characteristic, low-light induced sickly green or white coloration. Rapid elongation of plant cells in low-light conditions is an emergency response on the part of the plant to return its plant tissues to the light where they can again photosynthesize and live. This would be analagous to standing on the bottom of a swimming pool and stretching to get your nose above water for a breath of life-giving oxygen. In conditions of total darkness, plant cells will generally expand upward, a process called geotropism. In conditions where a small amount of light is reaching the plant, it will grow toward the brightest source of light in a process called heliotropism. Prolonged exposure to darkness will inevitably lead to the death of a plant.

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