Why do some plants have dark green leaves? Is it good to have dark green leaves? Why do you see various shades of green in a plant or in a garden? What makes plants dark green? These questions would come to anyone’s mind if you want your plants to be happy. Having no green on your plant leaves is a sign of plain. In this article, I am going to talk about the significance of dark green leaves in your plant.
Table of contents
- Significance of dark green leaves colour?
- Why are some plant leaves not green?
- Environmental factors affecting dark green laves
- How does Sunlight effect on dark green leaves
- Contribution of dark green leaves on growth
- How do weather conditions affect dark green leaves
To begin with dark green leaves, almost all plants contain green leaves and many of them have dark green leaves. Leaves are of various types, shapes, sizes, and colors. Grass, needle-shaped pine leaves, fronds in ferns, bracts on a poinsettia, and spines in cactus may not appear like typical leaves; because they are modified by plants to suit their surroundings.
Varied colors of the leaves can be attributed to a chemical compound called Pigment. The pigment absorbs certain colors in the sunlight and reflects the others. The reflected colors are visible to our eyes.
Are you worried about keeping plants green and healthy? Are your plants showing signs of yellow leaves or turning purple?
When you notice a plant with Yellow leaves or Purple leaves rather than the normal green color, it is most likely due to Iron, Manganese, Zinc, Nitrogen, and Phosphorus deficiency respectively. All plants need phosphorus (P) in order to create energy, sugars, and nucleic acids. Young plants are more likely to display signs of Iron, Manganese, Zinc, Nitrogen, and Phosphorus deficiency than older plants.
Significance of green leaves colour
The significance of the dark green color is important. The green pigment which makes up the dark green leaves color in the plants is called Chlorophyll.
Generally speaking, chlorophyll is responsible for absorbing sunlight needed for food preparation in plants. There are also other “accessory pigments” – that give red, orange, and yellow colors.
Chlorophyll is of many types – A, B, C1, C2, D, and F. Chlorophyll A is predominant in photosynthesis. While, Chlorophyll A absorbs short wavelengths – blue and violet colors in sunlight and reflects greenish-yellow, Chlorophyll B absorbs the long-wavelength – red-blue region and reflects dark-green.
To put more simply, it is an adaptive light-harvesting accessory pigment – absorbs maximum available light in shady areas and transfers it to Chlorophyll A. Green is reflected by both, but the ratio of Chlorophyll a-b varies across plants, giving the plants its different hues.
Why are some plant leaves not green?
On the contrary, All plants that use the photosynthesis process to make sugars, contain chlorophyll in the leaves. Therefore if a plant does not contain chlorophyll, it may not be able to use the photosynthesis process. Even though chlorophyll is always seen as green, there are other pigments that plants leave can have that are reddish and that cover up the green color
Another way to view this, there are many environmental factors affecting the color of dark green leaves. Tropical Rainforest has a canopy of trees. Lower plants, shrubs, lower branches of trees fight with each other for sunlight.
They need to absorb whatever light is filtering through the canopy. So, Chlorophyll B is produced more in these leaves. Only with its help, Chlorophyll A can carry out photosynthesis. Hence these leaves are dark green in color. E.g. Rubber tree.
To clarify they have broad, evergreen leaves. When grown in a garden, they can survive only in indirect sunlight or shade.
How does Sunlight effect on leaves
Similarly, plants growing under shade or indoors are likely to have dark green leaves. Shrubs under trees, lower branches of plants, houseplants are some examples. They either grow towards the light source or they modify their leaves to produce more chlorophyll b. You should not take an indoor plant in indirect sunlight rapidly. It should be gradually exposed to sunlight for better adaptability. E.g. Fern, Mint, Goldfish houseplant
Contribution of dark green leaves on growth
Similarly, new leaves in a plant are small and light-green. As they mature, their functioning increases, and chlorophyll is produced more and they get darker.
Meanwhile, the old leaves covered by this new foliage, produce more chlorophyll b to capture light and they turn dark-green. In the absence of light, the plant stops producing chlorophyll, and the old leaves wilt and fall down.
Similarly, an upper surface of a leaf is darker than its lower surface. The upper surface is exposed to sunlight and produces more chlorophyll to aid in photosynthesis. Since the lower surface is hidden from sunlight, the plant conserves its energy by producing less chlorophyll. E.g. Fig tree
How does weather conditions affect dark green leaves
That is to say, Some perennial and evergreen plants have to survive cold weather. While some plants become dormant, others adapt to the conditions by conserving their leaves.
Likewise, these plants produce more pigments and have green leaves to make use of whatever sunlight they can get. E.g. Evergreen plants like Fern, drought-tolerant plants like Blue Storm, perennials like Anemone Whirlwind, Cool-weather plant likes Spinach.
Dark green leaves
Hence, the darkness of the leaves depends on the above factors. Plants have the innate ability to adapt to any ecological conditions. Their varied structure, appearance, and growth is a reflection of this.