Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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?

Share

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Sunday - December 18, 2005

From: Saint Louis, MO
Region: Midwest
Topic: General Botany
Title: Consequences of leaving geranium in dark room
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

What would happen to a geranium plant that was left to grow in a dark room for many days?

ANSWER:

Light is necessary for photosynthesis, the process by which the plant makes its food. If a geranium plant (or any other green plant) is grown in the dark, it will become tall and spindly and turn pale and yellow. This phenomenon is called etiolation. The plant will be putting its energy into lengthening to try to find light so that it can photosynthesize and putting very little energy into making chlorophyll; thus, it grows tall and loses its green color. Left in the dark long enough, it will die because it cannot photosynthesize to produce energy for cell division and growth.
 

More General Botany Questions

Smarty Plants on air purification
September 14, 2005 - What plant purifies the air?
view the full question and answer

Halophytic biofilter plants native to Wisconsin
July 12, 2013 - I am trying to design a biofilter using native WI plants. These plants must be very salt tolerant and low maintenance (as this biofilter will be used to treat storm water runoff from a salt shed), so ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of strange tiny creature in plant water
January 14, 2010 - I have a house plant rooted in water. I has been for over a year and the plant seems healthy, I change the water often and keep it clean. I now have noticed that something is growing it. A fish type o...
view the full question and answer

Possible reasons for yellow heads for Indian Blanket
December 13, 2005 - I had Indian Blanket flowers that had almost pure yellow heads. Will the seeds of these flowers produce plants that will have yellow flowers?
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.