Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

Effects of Ultraviolet Light on Plant Growth

...
cherry garden in spring image by Olga Shelego from Fotolia.com

Light is made up of particles of energy, known as photons. The light we see is made up of photons of different wavelengths and, thus, different colors. Ultraviolet light is invisible. Plants can use most of the colored spectrum, but not ultraviolet light.

Ultraviolet Light

...
sexy tanning image by Alfonso d'Agostino from Fotolia.com

Ultraviolet (UV) light has among the shortest wavelengths in the light spectrum. Although the sun radiates ultraviolet light, most of it is screened by the stratospheric ozone layer so it does not affect plant growth.

Microscopic Life Forms

Ultraviolet light is used to kill bacteria and other microscopic life forms. Its deadly effect is not limited to microscopic organisms, though. UV light can alter the composition of materials and conditions needed for photosynthesis, the process plants used to grow.

  • Light is made up of particles of energy, known as photons.
  • Ultraviolet light is used to kill bacteria and other microscopic life forms.

Crops

Scientists have been testing the effects of ultraviolet-B radiation on crops for decades due to concerns about the depletion of the ozone layer. Although the effects vary among plant species and cultivars, most plants are negatively affected to some degree.

UV-Resistant Plants

Scientists are addressing concerns about potential crop losses by trying to develop plants that are resistant to damage from ultraviolet light.

Limiting the Effects

According to plant scientists Alan Teramura and Joe Sullivan of Columbia University, plants which are not stressed by lack of water or nutrients are better able to withstand exposure to ultraviolet light.

Related Articles

Importance of Water in Plant Life
Importance of Water in Plant Life
What Are the Starting & Ending Materials of Photosynthesis?
What Are the Starting & Ending Materials of Photosynthesis?
Is a Venus Flytrap an Autotroph or Heterotroph?
Is a Venus Flytrap an Autotroph or Heterotroph?
Can Gatorade Make Plants Grow Faster?
Can Gatorade Make Plants Grow Faster?
Facts About the Plant Kingdom
Facts About the Plant Kingdom
Vitamins & Plant Growth
Vitamins & Plant Growth
Orgone & Plant Growth
Orgone & Plant Growth
Are Chinese Palm Plants Poisonous to Cats?
Are Chinese Palm Plants Poisonous to Cats?
Miracle Gro Potting Mix Ingredients
Miracle Gro Potting Mix Ingredients
How Does Caffeine Affect Plant Cells?
How Does Caffeine Affect Plant Cells?
How Do Plant Cells Elongate?
How Do Plant Cells Elongate?
The Effect of Infared Light on Plant Growth
The Effect of Infared Light on Plant Growth
What Parts Do Non-Vascular Plants Have?
What Parts Do Non-Vascular Plants Have?
The Growing Conditions for Sugar Cane
The Growing Conditions for Sugar Cane
The Effects of Smog on Plants
The Effects of Smog on Plants
Active Ingredients in Miracle Grow
Active Ingredients in Miracle Grow
Garden Guides
×