When we think of healthy plants and shrubs, we think of vibrant green leaves. But have you ever noticed that some trees and shrubs have red leaves all year round? We’re used to seeing beautiful reds, oranges, and yellows in the fall as the leaves change, but certain foliage stays that way no matter what time of year. Here’s why…
Why Leaves Are Usually Green
Have you ever wondered what makes trees, grass, and other plants green? At 3am Growers in Tallassee, Alabama, we thought we’d tell you. It’s all about chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is a green pigment that is used in conjunction with sunlight to create food in plants. It’s a vital part of photosynthesis and integral for plant life.
Reasons for Red Leaves
Some plants have red leaves all year round because they are parasitic. Certain weeds, vines, and other plants can’t produce their own chlorophyll so the take it from other plants and trees growing nearby.
Other trees and plants with red leaves produce chlorophyll, but they have other stuff going on as well. Chlorophyll actually absorbs and filters out red and blue light, leaving the vibrant greens we see in most plants. However, some plants, trees, and bushes have other pigments at work that shine through the filtration system of its chlorophyll.
Plants with red leaves that produce their own chlorophyll also produce high levels of anthocyanins. This is another pigment that has a high level of red and purple pigments.
Why Does This Variation Happen?
No one is 100 percent certain why some trees have a higher level of anthocyanins and hence a red-colored leaf. Some think it’s an adaptation to protect against sun intensity. One thing we do know, though, is that trees like Japanese Maples and other red leaved trees can be a beautiful part of your residential or commercial landscaping. Give us a call to find out more about your options at 3am Growers today!