The Q&A Archives: Different Lights

Question: Why does red light affect the growth of plants?

Answer: Chlorophyll, the pigment in plants that makes them appear green, absorbs light principally in the violet, blue and red wavelengths of the spectrum. Most plants also have a very small amount of a pigment called phytochrome, which is particularly sensitive to red and far-red light. Red light starts a chemical reaction in the plant which causes some seeds to germinate, some plants to flower, etc. It depends on what the specific plant is.

I would suggest that you find a good botany text book for a more technical explanation. Good luck!

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