En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
4 ratings

Tuesday - October 18, 2005

From: Philadelphia, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: General Botany
Title: Smarty Plants on temperature
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Mr.Smarty Plants, I am a student at Hill Freedman Middle school and I have a science fair coming up. I really need a answer to this question "What effect does temperature have on the growth of plants?". Please help me!


This is a very broad question with many aspects to its answer. Temperature has an effect on germination of seeds, plant growth, and flowering. It affects photosynthesis, respiration and transpiration of the plant. There are also other factors that work in concert with temperature to affect the growth of plants; for instance, available sunlight and water, daylength, soil compostion, etc. Although, in general, warm temperatures enhance growth and cold temperatures inhibit growth, optimum growth temperatures vary for different plants. Some plants (cool season plants) such as cabbage and broccoli grow best with cool nights and mild days; whereas, warm season plants such as tomatoes and peppers grow best with mild nights and warmer days. Many plants require several weeks below a critical temperature in order to grow in the spring. You can read about critical temperatures for growth of several crop plants.

You can also read more about the effects of temperature on plant growth in a PDF file, "Plant Growth Factors: Temperature", that you can download from Colorado State University Cooperative Extension. North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension also has an article, "Temperature Effect on Plants" that you might find helpful.

More General Botany Questions

Genetics of Anemone berlandieri flower colors
December 01, 2010 - Anemone heterophylla or Anemone berlandieri, Genetics. Is the variation in the flower color due to Genetic Incomplete dominance or Codominance? The same codominance seen in carnations.
view the full question and answer

What is white sticky substance in the Mandevilla vine?
June 15, 2012 - When I was watering my Mandevilla one of the vines broke and there was a white, sticky substance that came out of the vine. I was just curious as to what that is.
view the full question and answer

Monocarpic plants for Indiana
October 06, 2005 - We were in Hawaii this summer and became acquainted with the Silversword. This plant (according to what we were told) blooms only once in it's lifetime (of 50-70 years). Are you aware of any other pl...
view the full question and answer

Information about Turk's Cap for school project
October 19, 2012 - Hello, my name is Veronica. I am doing a Species Study on Turk's Cap at Clint Small Middle School in the Green Tech Academy. I would like to learn more on my Native Texas Species. I am contacting you...
view the full question and answer

Mycotrophic plants that develop underground for years in Alabama
January 10, 2006 - I recently heard someone say that there was a plant that took seven years to grow. They stated that the seed is in the ground but it begins the growth under ground but does not come to the surface for...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center