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Why are plants green?

Like humans, plants need energy to get through the day. With the help of a chemical called chlorophyll, plants are able to convert energy from the sun into chemical compounds that they can use. This process is referred to as photosynthesis. Chlorophyll, the primary facilitator of photosynthesis, absorbs blue and red light and reflects green light. Because of this, plants appear green in color.

Green leaf

Why do leaves change color?

There may be a number of reasons that leaves change from green to another color, but there are generally two categories of color change: season and plant health. Outdoor plant leaves often change colors during the fall. As the weather gets colder, chlorophyll pigments break down. This allows other pigments to reflect light, resulting in leaves of other colors such as red and orange. Conversely, if your plant is receiving too much or too little light, the green color may fade or turn to brown. Incorrect amounts of water or fertilizer and the presence of pests may also turn plants brown.

Do plants come in other colors?

Of course, plants don't always have to be green, it's just that the vast majority of them do. There are species of plants which appear yellow, or others with have purple or darker colors. This is why plants are so great for decorative purposes in workspaces like offices. The varied colors help break up the standard beige and white colors usually used in offices.

This is why discussing the interior landscaping with an Ambius is so important. What kind of colors are you looking for? What color of plant works with your current decor? All of these will be considered when discussing the addition of greenery to your space.

Why are some plants not green?

Though plants are generally thought to be green, there are some that are not. If a plant appears another color, such as red, it is not necessarily because the plant does not contain chlorophyll. Other pigments may cover up the green pigment, making the plant appear a different color. In this case, the plant is still an autotroph (self-feeder), using photosynthesis to generate energy. However, the chlorophyll's hue is just being masked.

There are also plants that do not contain chlorophyll and therefore also do not appear green. These plants are called heterotrophs, meaning "other feeding." As their name suggests, they cannot make their own food and will either obtain nutrients from other plants or will feed on fungi. 

Examples of non green plants:

  • Phantom orchid
  • Snow plant
  • Indian pipe
  • Broomrape

Color psychology of green

By nature, plants bring great value to their environment through an extensive list of benefits. As an added bonus, their green color has indications of its own. Green is the color of balance and calm, so incorporating it in office design can help to combat the inherent stressors of the workplace. Furthermore, cool colors such as greens and blues recede, creating depth and making objects look smaller. This effect can help a small space appear larger.

Learn more about our office design services here.

Why are green plants called producers?

The term "producers" is one you often hear when referring to green colored plants. Why are they called this? The answer is, green plants are producers because they create their own food.

Green plants absorb sunlight, as most of us know. Green plants also absorb carbon dioxide from the air while exhaling oxygen. Finally, these green plants absorb water from the ground. When all of this is combined, the plants produce glucose, or sugar, which they use for food and energy. This entire process is called photosynthesis.

Green plants from Ambius

From table top Hedera helix plants to free-standing Schefflera plants, Ambius has plant offerings to suit any space. Adding a little green to your office will help to foster a healthy and productive working environment. To see what plants we offer, visit our catalog or contact us today for a free quote from one of our design consultants.

Further information and next steps

Ambius is the premier creator of ambiance for businesses. We are committed to enriching the work experience.

Contact the experts at Ambius for any inquiries or to request a free quote.

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