Effect of Light Color on Plant Growth - Knowledgebase Question

New King, PA
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Question by thisismya
February 19, 1998
I'm a seventh grader doing a science project on plants and I was wondering if you could give me any advice on it.
I'm testing how different types of light (black, red, and blue) affect the growth of cucumber seeds. Any information would be helpful.

Answer from NGA
February 19, 1998
That's a great plan for a science project. I actually did a set-up like that myself to use as a demonstration for teachers.

I'm curious why you chose those color lights. (Just wondering. I chose blue, green, and red for mine. I used 2-liter soda bottles covered with cellophane.) Remember that you should have some "control" plants that are exposed to regular light (classroom or sunlight) to compare the results.

A few things to keep in mind. First, be sure you treat all plants the same, so that the only variable is the light color. Also, try to have as many plants in each group as possible, to see if your results are consistent.

Also, decide ahead of time what you will measure. Total height? Size of leaves? Number of leaves? Time of flowering? These are all indications of growth.

Be sure your containers and set-up is big enough to accomodate growing cucumber vines--they can get pretty big! If you have any specific questions, please submit another question via the web site. I don't want to give you too much information--it's best if you find out for yourself the affect of different colored light on plants!

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