4 May 2020

How Do Plants Know It’s Spring?


You may have noticed that some trees have started to grow their leaves back, and daffodils have started to spring up from the ground. But how do plants know it’s spring and they can grow again?

One of the first signs of spring is the days getting a bit warmer, and for a long time, people thought this is what plants could detect so they knew it was time to bloom. But it turns out this is not the case for all plants.

How Do Plants Know It’s Spring? - blooming gif 1 | Stemettes Zine

Actually, what the plants detect are the nights getting shorter and the daylight hours getting longer. Plants contain a molecule called Phytochrome, this is the molecule that tells the plant ‘the nights are getting shorter (i.e. summer is coming), it’s time to bloom’. Some scientists say this molecule is more important when plants have to transition from summer to winter.

As the nights also get warmer in the spring, this helps the new flowers/ leaves to grow. As the daylight hours increase during spring/ summer, the new buds have more time to absorb more energy from the sunlight to help them grow.

How Do Plants Know It’s Spring? - blooming gif 2 | Stemettes Zine

However, when the plants have to transition from winter to spring, plants detect the increase in temperature and this is the signal they use to bloom new flowers/ plants. According to scientists, plants use the temperature of the soil to detect the change in season. Some experts believe the ideal temperature for growing some vegetables is between 40°F – 70°F.

If you want to learn more about this, you can go here to find out more.


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