Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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

Does Nolina lindheimeriana have separate male and female plants
June 30, 2013 - RE: NOLINA LINDHEIMERIANA You show several pictures, with flowers & with seed pods. I have one plant that has only flowers and one that has only seed pods. Are they male and female? I don't see ...
view the full question and answer

Endemic plants for the Edwards Plateau
March 23, 2008 - Thanks so much for the info. it will be very helpful with the boys and we really stress "Leave No Trace Behind". The pictures will be enough. Thanks again!!
view the full question and answer

Water Use Versus Soil Moisture
October 14, 2014 - In the Native Plant Database, under Growing Conditions what is the difference between water use and soil moisture? Sometimes they seem contradictory.
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on spines
April 09, 2005 - What do you call part of a plant that is needle-like or has spikes or bristles?
view the full question and answer

Petals on Black eyed Susans not developing from Austin
September 04, 2012 - I just read Barbara Medfords response to undeveloped petals on perennial black eyed susans and was disappointed not to find a better explanation. I have had the exact same thing happen to mine, and I...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.